Screw extraction – ahh forget it.

A sonnet is a 14 line poem written in iambic pentameter. Typically, in an Italian sonnet, the first octave (8 lines) has one rhyme scheme (a b b a a b b a) and the final sextet has a different rhyme scheme (c d c d c d) . I know this because I have written Italian sonnets for my job. But why am I telling you this?  Wait and see mon frère.

Anyway, I am mostly done with my stupid screw adventure. It doesn’t look great but it works. Just don’t look too closely.


Things were getting dicey. I wrote about my first adventure with the totally useless StewMac extraction tool, which seemed like something someone would dream up in their garage and then sell to unsuspecting dipsticks like me without ever testing it.

My next step was to go to a real hardware store (OSH in my case) and buy a real screw extraction tool.


This came in a kit of 4 different sizes and really looked the business! One end drills into the screw and creates a tunnel into the screw. Then you flip the bit around, and using the magic of reverse threading, you crank the bit into the screw while unscrewing the screw. If you are having trouble picturing this, not to worry, it worked no better than the StewMac approach. The bit basically couldn’t drill into the screw – it just polished it to a beautiful gleam. So plan B was scuttled though the broken screw was a lot shinier in the end.

Which meant it was time to enact plan C. What was plan C? Drill a hole right beside the broken screw and try to cover as much of the damage as possible with the strap holder base. I feel a little bad leaving the broken screw in the body but I am so frustrated at this point that plan C feels like a major win.

And as if that weren’t enough, I received this email from a friend:

I took the liberty of drawing what I think your guitar will look like when you’re done “fixing” it.


To get closure on this abject misfire of a project end, I thought I would wrap up this tale by writing a sonnet to describe my adventure. I’ll apologize right now to Elizabeth Browning. Here goes:

How shall I extract thee? Let me count the ways.
I drilled thee to the depth and breadth and height
My drill can reach, when feeling sorry for my plight
For the chips of finish and too large holes.
I extract thee to the level of StewMac’s
Most useless tool, broken, in candle-light.
I extract thee freely, with tools born of OSH and night.
I extract thee purely, though I suffer great malaise.
I extract thee with the passion put to use
From my almost Telecaster, and with my chipped neon blue faith.
I extract thee with a love I seemed to lose
With mounting frustration. I extract thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and if God choose,
I shall never ever use a solid maple body because death.

2 thoughts on “Screw extraction – ahh forget it.

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