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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
The neck screw on the shabby sax (Vito tenor) snapped leaving a piece totally flush with the thread.
Any tips for extraction? I guess I could drill a fine hole and tap a small screw in as one might on larger problems... Maybe I could cut a groove for a screwdriver?

The screw - 2mm diameter, seems the same size as my yas280 - so sourcing spars is easy.


Cheers for any tips.
 

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If it's loose and not frozen or anything I usually use something sharp like a pin or a needle to work things like that out. A sharp tack might work.

We used chewing gum to removed broken off plumb bob tips when I surveyed in the field. It worked every time.

If it is jammed There is such a thing as a screw or bolt removing tool kit. I'm not sure if they make them small enough. You would have to drill a hole in the screw large enough to fit the tool.

https://www.amazon.com/a15081400ux0...hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583451666723282&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cheers.

It's not frozen, but stiff. Too stiff to wiggle out. But I might "soak" it in WD 40 and see if it'll move.

(Yes, I knew it was stiff. I knew the thread needed a good clean, yes this contributed to the snap. Yes my fault!)
 

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I'll take a small, sharp screwdriver and cut back and forth on the broken stub until a slot is formed, then use a larger screwdriver to back it out. That works when the screw has snapped from the head being hit.
If the head on yours broke off because the threads are frozen it'll be more of a chore.
 

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Can you get to it from behind? Does it have the combo clamp/lyre mount like a Selmer? If you can, take a small drill bit, put it in from the other side and drill into the stuck screw in normal rotation which will try to turn the screw out, which is exactly what you want. You have to be straight or you could damage the threads.


Simso; I did not intend to restate what you said - evidently I was composing while you were posting. :)
 

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Cheers.

It's not frozen, but stiff. Too stiff to wiggle out. But I might "soak" it in WD 40 and see if it'll move.

(Yes, I knew it was stiff. I knew the thread needed a good clean, yes this contributed to the snap. Yes my fault!)
Hey, stuff happens. I dropped a mouthpiece and one of the screws snapped. Then I did it again. Another screw snapped. I ended up buying a new ligature. A cheap one for about $5. Works fine. Lesson is I shouldn't drop mouthpieces but stuff happens. The MP is fine.
 

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The method I almost always use is to cut a slot with the dental micromotor and then unscrew it with a screwdriver.

This is not a DITY option for most people, so I'd try the drill that was suggested. Just make sure to not hurt the threads inside. Drilling from the broken end might work even better because they tend to grip uneven surfaces like that. If you have a drill you don't mind ruining for this and a way to grind it, you can grind the end to more like an end mill shape (flat), so it would have better grip than a pointy drill.
 

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Well, first off, it's not an M2. Have you ever actually seen an M2 screw? They are tiny. I would guess M4 or M5.

Secondly, you may think it's easy, but it isn't, to find thumbscrews to fit a sax neck screw. You will probably need to get another saxophone neck screw. The last time I needed a neck screw (because I am cheap and handy) I took a slotted round head screw of the correct thread and soldered a US penny (bronze = old, not zinc = new) into the slot, which I widened (I can't remember exactly how, probably with a Dremel and one of those little abrasive wheels).

As far as getting the old one out of there, you do have one advantage which is that you shouldn't have any pressure on the screw now. I would start with daily doses of a penetrating oil (like Liquid Wrench), and then after several days I would try various different things to try to get a purchase on it and either screw it forward from behind, or backward from in front.

You can buy left hand drills in tiny sizes from MSC Supply Company. If you have a reversible electric drill, this could work for you. You would need to get a punch down in there to make a divot and that-s not going to be easy. You may end up using a thick needle ground to a point like a center punch.

And by the way, the homemade neck screw I talked about above? Steel screw. Not brass. Unlikely to break. Unfortunately, cheap small brass screws are very prone to breakage as the grain size approaches the diameter of the screw, and threads are an inherent stress riser. Steel is a better choice. Go with zinc plated steel fasteners with unichromate conversion coating. Far stronger; minimal chance of failure due to grain size; won't gall in the brass threads due to dissimilar materials and the zinc plating. Only thing is that you'll have to solder "wings" on as thumbscrews with a shoulder (as needed for saxophone neck screws)_ are just about not to be had anywhere. Thus, the penny. Here's a picture of my INCREDIBLY CLASSY neck screw:

View attachment 236326
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Get a drill and attempt to drill the centre out from the tail end of the screw, the motion will cause it to unwind itself

Well, that proved easier than I thought.

So, pretty DIY (house, not crafts, so no drimmel etc.) solution:
I happen to have a 1.5mm drill bit (from a shower fitting), an electric screwdriver (because I'd rather not use the poperdrill on something this small) and a drill chuck with hex shank for same.

View attachment 236334


I tried the screw from the YAS280 and it fitted perfectly. Somehow a Yamaha standard part... so a couple of spares in the post from here.


Many thanks for the tips and thoughts.


cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, first off, it's not an M2. Have you ever actually seen an M2 screw? They are tiny. I would guess M4 or M5.
]
yes, of course - I was looking at the wrong side of the ruler - 2 1/16ths in old money, not 2mm - my only excuse is it was late in the evening :faceinpalm:
 

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I'm not sure if they make them small enough. You would have to drill a hole in the screw large enough to fit the tool.
Yes they are made small enough. This hole I drilled in two steps. 1st was .025 pilot 2nd was .035 inch. The screw extractor was #0 I think.
 

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Get a drill and attempt to drill the centre out from the tail end of the screw, the motion will cause it to unwind itself
Exactly the way I have approached this scenario before.

I’ll add.
Getting a good center point has its challenges as the end of screw is often not flat. I would use a Dremal tool and a point bit to make a mark. Using a center punch with a hammer could flair the end. Thus wedge it in the hole.
Occasionally some gentle heat helps too.
 

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As others have said, drill into what was the end of the screw.
Drill bit say half the thread's major diameter.
Cordless drill on slow speed, starting central, pressing firmly to help the drill dig into the metal. You won't drill far before the screw winds its way out.
Very quick. Very simple.
I've never had a failure. If it didn't work, then I'd try a drill slightly larger. That would jam nicely.
 

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Lesacks; the way you rigged it up was smart - low speed makes for fewer goofs.
As for using steel screws, the bronze screws are used for two reasons; corrosion resistance and as a way to insure that the screw breaks before the brass threads of the clamp strip. Its easier to get another screw than it is to re-thread the clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Exactly the way I have approached this scenario before.

I’ll add.
Getting a good center point has its challenges as the end of screw is often not flat. I would use a Dremal tool and a point bit to make a mark. Using a center punch with a hammer could flair the end. Thus wedge it in the hole.
Occasionally some gentle heat helps too.
As others have said, drill into what was the end of the screw.
Drill bit say half the thread's major diameter.
Cordless drill on slow speed, starting central, pressing firmly to help the drill dig into the metal. You won't drill far before the screw winds its way out.
Very quick. Very simple.
I've never had a failure. If it didn't work, then I'd try a drill slightly larger. That would jam nicely.
all spot on!

Lesacks; the way you rigged it up was smart - low speed makes for fewer goofs.
As for using steel screws, the bronze screws are used for two reasons; corrosion resistance and as a way to insure that the screw breaks before the brass threads of the clamp strip. Its easier to get another screw than it is to re-thread the clamp.
cheers. I wasn't going to use something from the DIY box! Unless there's a good reason, I'm averse to mixing metals - as you say, I'd rather the screw breaks for a few quid than have to replace or rethread the clamp ... also, maybe more of a long shot, two different metals can setup an electric-potential and could rust if they get damp.


The only "knack" thing I might add - is to work out which way the screw winds to move away from the drill bit and ensure the drill is rotating it that way so that you're (lightly) pushing and turning the screw stub out...plop!



again, thanks for the tips and thoughts.
 

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A tip I learned at a repair clinic is to cut a screwdriver slot into the end of the new screw so this problem doesn't repeat itself. This is especially useful when repairing school owned saxes where the screws are broken on a regular basis. I have found the underlying cause to be neck tenons that need to be fit forcing the player to over tighten the screw in an attempt to keep the neck from turning. The photo below shows the tool I typically use to turn out the remaining part of a broken screw. It is the third one from the left with a heavy needle spring.

View attachment 236346
 

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Lesacks; the way you rigged it up was smart - low speed makes for fewer goofs.
As for using steel screws, the bronze screws are used for two reasons; corrosion resistance and as a way to insure that the screw breaks before the brass threads of the clamp strip. Its easier to get another screw than it is to re-thread the clamp.
Hmm, well, that's a reasonable point - I don't think I could strip out the threads in any of mine with the leverage available with the thumbscrew, but of course an idiot might put pliers on it or something. And if the threads get dirty or buggered up, then the chance of stripping them would be higher for sure.

I was just thinking about my own usage but for general usage that is a valid concern.

If you use steel with Zn plating you're not going to have issues with rusting.

Galvanic corrosion isn't going to be a problem for steel screw into brass threads. Look at all the rest of the saxophone - nothing but (unplated) steel threaded into brass everywhere.

As an aside, I wish it were easy to find a small size variable speed electric drill in the US nowadays. The ordinary consumer grade ones are all large bodied with 3/8" chucks, which is fine for general homeowner use/household repairs, but not so good for the kind of fine work I am often doing. I have an old small 1/4" drill motor but it's not variable speed and this job is a real good example of where the VS is extremely helpful.
 
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