Bendmaster FT - saddle adjust screw seizure

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Bendmaster FT - saddle adjust screw seizure Empty Bendmaster FT - saddle adjust screw seizure

Post by GRIMESPACE on Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:30 am

I've been doing some much needed TLC on my Bendmaster FT bridge, and found several of the height-adjust screws seized up. With some 3-in-one and some grunting with the allen wrench, I was able to loosen all except one. That last one WILL NOT be persuaded to budge, and wound up breaking my allen wrench in the process.

I purchased another wrench and went back to work, only to have it strip on me. Now the wrench doesn't grab. Not cool.

It was only at that point that I started searching the forum and found that I'm not the only one with this seemingly common problem. I'm reading that diesel fuel and liquid wrench are good to try. Probably will go out and get some liquid wrench (diesel isn't something I have on-hand, and would have to get a dedicated fuel can for - which in my case would be single use). Regardless, I'm kind of up poop creek at this point with this screw, and probably going to have to do some surgery to remove it.

Any ideas? I'm thinking I could try to grab the exposed threads on the bottom with some vice grips after soaking it, but concerned that I'm risking ruining that and not being able to ever use that saddle again. I could also drill it out with increasing sizes of drill bit, and possibly using an extractor (if one that small even exists), but this is another full-commit risk. If I do nothing, I can still adjust the height of the saddle a bit using the other screw, but it's certainly less than ideal.

Maybe I just give this whole thing up and get some kind of Floyd?
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Bendmaster FT - saddle adjust screw seizure Empty Re: Bendmaster FT - saddle adjust screw seizure

Post by Barry on Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:33 pm

As you have unfortunately found out the hard way, brute force is seldom a good option when trying to separate frozen metal parts, particularly small ones. No

The soaking solutions might have been the better way to go in the beginning, and will still be helpful, but it's more difficult to resolve at this stage.

Two things to consider:

1) If there is a sufficient length of screw above the saddle, you could carefully file a slot in it so a standard screw driver could be used.
DON'T attempt a removal before you either soak it in some sort of penetrating oil or try #2 first!

2) Sometimes heat can break the bond. Try heating the saddle with a soldering iron.

I would be careful about gripping the lower threaded section, only as a last resort. You should be able to use the hex wrench there too.
Be patient. If it doesn't move easily keep working at the soaking and /or heat. IIRC some folks have even used a Coca Cola bath with some success too.

In any case I assume the saddle has first been removed from the bridge yes?  clown

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Post by GRIMESPACE on Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:49 pm

Great ideas! Going to start soaking it in Liquid Wrench asap. Might drown it in Coke as well, although I wonder if Dr Pepper might be better? Very Happy

Yes, I have the saddle off of the bridge.

No amount of screw on top of saddle - only down below.

Are you saying there might be a hex opening on the bottom of the set screw? That'd be different...

I like the idea of cutting a slot in the exposed area of the screw. Perhaps I could use a dremel cutter to make that slot?

Forgot about heat - so, heating the saddle so it expands might help persuade it loose? How much heat to apply with the soldering iron? Just heat it enough to be warm / hot to the touch, or keep it there a while? I do have a digital controlled iron - maybe setting it for lower temp (it's usually at 750 deg F) would be good?
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Post by Westbone on Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:06 pm

Heat and grab the screw  from the bottom in a vice...works every time.

I use a gas gun and heat the whole saddle. Be carefull it's only pot metal unfortunately.
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Post by Barry on Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:56 pm

There ya go. Try option #2.
But don't melt the bloody thing! Razz

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"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
Bendmaster FT - saddle adjust screw seizure Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
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