You may have seen my question a while back about how to handle a faulty strap pin. I found another pair in my 'accessory kit' that are of much better quality. The dilemma now is removing the strap pin on the cutaway. It is angled in such a manner that makes it nearly impossible to get a screwdriver at it properly. The screw is pretty much stripped, and I'm getting very frustrated.

Is it safe to drill through? I really don't want to pull off the neck :( Should I just let the pin get loose like most guitars do after a couple months and then try again?

I've thought about putting crazy glue on the end of a screwdriver then putting it on the screw and coming back in a few hours. So frustrating that fender didn't just put the proper strap pins on at the frigging factory.

This crappy photo makes it look worse than it is, but it'll give you some idea of what I'm dealing with.

This crappy photo makes it look worse than it is, but it'll give you some idea of what I'm dealing with.

  • :(. Take heart, this can be fixed though. I'll write it up later unless someone else gets to it.
    – Jduv
    Apr 5, 2011 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


A number of standard woodworking fixes... 1. Go to Sears and buy a set of "back-out" screw removers. These require drilling a small hole in the offending screw and inserting the device which grips the remains of the screw.

  1. With a Dremel or similar tool use a cutting wheel to cut a straight slot in the remains of the screw head and then use a straight-bladed screwdriver to remove.

  2. if these fail, there should be no problem with drilling the screw out entirely, and then either using a larger screw or filling the resulting hole with a hardwood dowel and then re-drilling. There should be plenty of material in the underlying block to allow this.

  • Think you won't get a dremel in there, but the drill should work.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Apr 5, 2011 at 15:34
  • @drmayhem I think he means 'slotting' through the Strap Pin with the Dremel to get to the screw.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 5, 2011 at 18:48
  • @ledfloyd - slotting so you can use a screwdriver is the standard way to do it but not possible with a typical inset screw.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Apr 5, 2011 at 19:19

An alternative to @MWerner's option is if you can't get a screw remover to work, all you need to do is take off enough of the screw head that the strap pin can be pulled off over it. A drill or router type bit will do it.

Then you just need a good pair of pliers and some brute force to unscrew the remains of the screw.

  • This sounds like it's going to be dangerous for my nice black matte finish... I'll do it as a last resort :) Apr 7, 2011 at 6:25
  • You use a drill bit that is about the same size as the head of the screw, you use a slow drill speed, and you stop when the majority of the screw head material is removed, you then pull off the strap pin, and the remainder of the screw will be protruding from the guitar by at least 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Then you simply grasp the screw with pliers and unscrew it. Any scratches (there won't be any) will be hidden by the replacement strap pin, and if that bothers you, apply some masking tape to the painted surface. Typing this comment took longer than it will take to actually complete this job.
    – horatio
    Apr 8, 2011 at 14:11

One thing you might try is simply filling the strap pin with glue. Once it has dried, unscrew the whole thing as a unit. If the pin is loose you run the risk of getting glue around the screw and onto the guitar, which would be Bad, so don't do it! :)

Another alternative might be to get a dowel that just fits into the pin, then gluing that in there. This would enable you to chuck the dowel into a drill and attempt to unscrew the pin. If you keep outward tension on it (pulling it out) you should either unscrew it or unscrew the strap pin, leaving the screw behind. If you get the pin off the screw, it should be fairly easy to get a hold on it with a pair of vice grips or something similar and unscrew it like that.

Good luck!

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