Repair a Broken Pivot on Shooting Earmuffs

bolt pivot shooting earmuffsA few years ago I was given a nice pair of earmuffs meant for shooting.  They have a microphone on the outside, so that if someone talks to you or there is some lower volume noise.  Rifle fire or other loud noise is cut off using some internal circuitry.

At some point I broke one of the pivots off where the earpiece attaches to the headband.  After contemplating throwing the ‘muffs out, I decided that it could be fixed with a simple 1/4 inch screw.  I had bought this assortment from Amazon a while ago, so I was glad to have these available.  For this fix, you’ll need the following:

  • 1/4 – 20 screw about 1/2 inch long
  • 1/4 – 20 tap and pilot drillHere’s a set of taps off of Amazon for under $10 (as of this writing) that includes a tap-handle.  I’ve never tried this set, but it should work.

Take the earmuff in question apart.  In my case, it was a matter of prying it apart using a screwdriver (there was an indention for this on the bottom).  Using the tap drill (should be a 13/64 bit or #7), drill a hole where there used to be a molded post for the headband to attach to.  Tap this hole and make sure the screw will thread into it.

Put the screw through the hole in the headband, then screw it into the earmuff hole.  You could put some glue on the earmuff side to keep it from backing out, but I haven’t had that problem yet.  Pop the part that actually attaches to your ear back on.  If it doesn’t fit, it may be hitting on the screw you just put in.  Take it back off and use a Dremel tool or whatever you have handy to remove the piece of the ear padding that interferes with the screw.  If done correctly, this won’t be visible.

I was quite proud of my fix, and decided to try it out when I noticed that the batteries were dead and the contacts were somewhat corroded.  After attempting to scrape them off, I replaced the batteries to no effect.  This electrical problem led to the second phase of the project, converting these earmuffs into headphones that could be plugged into an iPod or whatever generic MP3 player you have.  Check out how I did it in this post!


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