#1
I have an LP type guitar with the 3-way pickup-selector switch on the upper bout as per normal LP.

The actual switch itself (the shaft) broke. I know i can replace the whole toggle-switch assembly which will mean re-soldering and stuff. My question is whether it's possible to repair this WITHOUT soldering. In other words, can you replace JUST the shaft part, as that would be much simpler.

Or does a broken shaft/switch mean you have to replace the whole damn toggle assembly? Seems a waste to me if that's the case...

Oh, and if I have to take this to a guitar shop / luthier to repair (as I don't do soldering myself, yet), what might the charge be? Am I right thinking this would be a very fast fix and should be $20 or less?



Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#2
I really think the best fix here would be to replace the switch, I can't give you a price as far as a shop doing it because I work on my guitars myself. But look to be spending $10-15 on a switch depending where you go, or order one on eBay for less. Other than that you can TRY some sort of glue but I don't think it would hold up.
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#3
Ken,

I suppose there's a few options that would have a minimal chance at working, but a broken shaft does indeed usually mean a new switch.

I do all of my own repairs so I don't have a good idea of what a repair guy would charge for something like that, but it shouldn't be more than $50 (a switch itself can be 20 alone if you want a Switchcraft)

______________________
If I were in your position and wanted to try to fix it before replacing it, I'd first try using a strong epoxy glue (Gorilla's 5min epoxy is good) but keep in mind even with very strong glues, such a small area of adhesion just won't yield much strength.

An Improved version of that that I would try is drilling small holes into the shaft and the knob, and insert a rod of sorts (like a tack nail or something), spread epoxy into the holes and etc. That would give it slightly more strength, but if you're not comfortable with soldering I don't imagine you would want to do something like that. (it would be tricky indeed anyway)

A last option you could try is just drilling a hole into the switch, and screw a very small screw into it, and rig it up with a plastic tip....

Doing any kind of drilling on such a small area with a hand drill would also be both dangerous to you and your guitar, I would only ever try something like that on a drill press.
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None of these options would make it "as good as new" but it might be cheaper than buying a new switch and paying somebody to install it. Which I should reiterate is my actual recommendation (getting a new one installed).

Edit: I reread your post and saw you asked specifically about replacing just the shaft. Those things aren't made to be taken apart and I don't think you would have any luck doing that (not to mention I don't know where you could get just a shaft).
Last edited by RestinPeaceDime at Jan 29, 2015,
#4
You are going to have to replace the switch. No other way around it. Any of the afore mentioned repairs will be much more work in the long run.
There's never a better time than right now to learn how to solder.
You don't have to spend a fortune on equipment. your local hardware/home improvement store should have soldering kits for under $30.00 (or your local monetary equivalent).
I would say $10 to $15 max on the switch. I'm guessing LP style means not a Gibson, so you won't need genuine gibson parts.
Youtube will be a good destination for "how to solder" videos.
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#5
I buy them wholesale from china for 2-3$ each , the same kind found on epiphones. I'd just go that route. Soldering in a new switch is a piece of cake.

a similar problem happened to my LTD EX-250 or whatever it was (its on my profile) I just ended up de-soldering it, it's 4 solders as long as everything is tinned you'll do great.

you can get all sorts of options for various prices
all black
all gold
all chrome
or with tips made of black, white or cream
#6
Replace the switch. Your local music store should have them usually 10 bucks or less.

Soldering is not hard if you know how.

Decent 25 or 30 watt pencil type soldering iron, solder, and I prefer to use flux. Resin not acid flux, acid flux will cause electronics to corrode bad. Weller makes the best soldering iron you can get.

Use a wet sponge or paper towel to clean the soldering iron between uses, just wipe it across the wet material.

Use a toothpick to put a little flux on each piece to be soldered. Doesn't take much. With new chromed parts, a few seconds sanding with a foam fingernail file will scuff it a little and help the solder stick a lot better, it doesn't want to stick to the slick chrome.

Once flux is applied, melt a small blob of solder onto the iron tip. Touch it to the fluxed contact or wire. In a couple of seconds it should flow onto the part, remove iron. Takes 2-3 seconds max. Do the same for each contact or wire. This is called tinning.

Once tinned, put the first wire and contact together and repeat the process. GO to the next one. Use more flux and solder each time, it shouldn't take much solder. A small blob of solder on the iron will transfer heat a lot better than a dry, clean tip.

Good solder joint should be shiny and silver, cold solder is grey and dull, redo it but let it cool first.

Practice a few times on some wire first, once you get the hang of it, a good solder joint is not hard to do. Once I have the parts in front of me I can replace the same switch in 10 minutes or less with a professional soldering job that will outlast the switch. (plus disassembly and reassembly of the guitar time) 30 minute job total including removal of old switch

I'm guessing, but a shop is going to probably charge $30 or so. Plus parts.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#7
I've fixed lots of broken switches. In the end its just way more efficient to just replace the switch. Wouldn't bother trying to repair it. They are cheap and plentiful.

If youre not confident doing it yourself, buy the switch and get a quote for a repairer to install it. It's a 15 minute job at worst.
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#8
I have a semi-acoustic with a broken pickup toggle switch. I've replaced the switch once already but the case often falls over and lands upside down which breaks the switch. Before I replace it again I'm looking to find or make some sort of protector for the toggle switch in case it falls over again and some thing that I can do to the case so it won't fall over like this.