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Gibson Stripped Pickup Ring Mounting Screw Removal



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1. A Gibson Les Paul Custom from 1979.  This lefty has been owned by a player for decades and has the wear to prove it.  I’m going to refret the guitar which is a lot easier to do with the neck pickup-ring removed.  2. Rusted hardware can be a hassle to remove.  I’m going to proceed with caution so that I don’t unnecessarily strip or break any of these dirty and rusty screws.
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 3. A dental pick is a good way to remove as much of the rust and gunk from the head of the screw as possible.  4. I’ll remove as many of the screws with a size 1 phillips (P 1) screwdriver as I can.
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5. Look at all of that rust!  Two of the screws are stubborn and won’t back out.  The screwdriver is simply stripping the head of the screws. 6. A number 7 torx (T7, or star drive) bit is my first line of defense for a stripped P1 screw.
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7. I’m tapping on the T7 bit with a hammer to jam the start drive into the softer metal of the stripped phillips screw. 8. I’ll use the torx bit in a ratcheting screw driver to back-out the screw.  I’m putting a fair amount of downward pressure on the screw driver to keep the torx bit locked into the head of the screw.
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9.  The T7 bit worked fine with the first stripped screw but wouldn’t hold onto the head of the second stripped screw.  Now I’m drilling a 1/16” hole about .025” deep into the screw.  I’ll once again jam the T7 bit into the stubborn screw in order to back it out with a ratcheting screw driver. 10. The last screw backed out without a problem on the second attempt with the torx bit.  The T7 is looking a little worse for the wear.
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 11. Check out the rusty and damaged heads of these screws! 12. Ready to refret.
13. Here’s a photo of the guitar all put back together with new frets.