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 Post subject: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:06 am
Posts: 12
Location: seattle
Hey guys, I have a 4003 jetglow that is in need of some help. The screw hole that holds the strap nob is getting weak and my screw keeps coming out, causing my guitar to hit the floor at unexpected moments. I have heard that you can jam match sticks up there and then re-screw, but thought I would check here first. I was thinking of putting some sticks in the hole, a little wood glue and then screwing the sucker. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated, almost made me cry at the first drop.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 473
Location: Colorado, U.S.A.
I would probably simply go with a large enough screw to grab well but still fit in the nob. That would probably be the strongest connection.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
First of all, RICs have strap locks that are part of the machine thread bolt that threads into the guitar. I take a small file and file a few notches across the threads perpendicular to their pitch. Then I put some two stage epoxy(just a drop or two) on the threads, and screw it into the guitar as tight as I can. Filing across the threads distorts them, making them grab the wood better. The epoxy fills in the notches I filed, adhering to the wood and the bolt, making it stay put. I also like to put white felt strap peg washers under all my strap locks to keep the flat bottom of the strap bolt from cracking the finish.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
Is it the original bolt strap button, or an aftermarket straplock that has been screwed into a dowel in the original hole?

If it's the original bolt, I would repair it like this (as with a normal screw into an original hole in any other guitar):

Put some white wood glue into the hole, then a couple of matchsticks or toothpicks, and break them off flush (with a normal button screw, one is often enough; with a Rick bolt I would use two or maybe three). Now immediately put the screw back in WITH THE GLUE WET. This is important - if you do this, it will crush the new wood fibers between the remains of the old thread and the screw, and when the glue sets it will make a very strong cast-in thread. This is FAR stronger than waiting for the glue to dry and THEN putting the screw in (with or without drilling a pilot hole), as often recommended - by doing that, you don't compress the new wood and glue properly as it sets, and the result is not much stronger than dried glue or a matchstick (ie weak).

You also shouldn't drill out the hole and put a dowel in, since the old damaged threads provide a much better grip than a smooth-sided hole. Also, most dowels are softer wood than typical guitar body woods, so the result is weaker than repairing the old hole. But if this has already been done for an aftermarket straplock, you're better to remove the whole lot and do it again with a proper maple dowel, rather than try to patch a weak dowel.

I've been using the wet-glue/no-drill method for as long as I've been repairing guitars, and I can definitely say that it's the best and strongest method, as well as being the quickest and easiest! It sounds like a 'quick bodge', but it really isn't. I've used it many times for stripped Fender-type neck bolt holes too, and it's as strong as the original wood - stronger than any other repair method (not counting metal inserts, but even they need to be fitted really well to work best). I once tested several different repair methods to destruction using a scrap neck, and the wet-glue method won.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:06 am
Posts: 12
Location: seattle
Thanks for the tips. Sure is nice to be able to run ideas through this forum before doing something stupid. All responses were much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:33 am
Posts: 3403
Location: Denver
I like BA's glue method. Also, I just saw a product at Lowe's the other day for these issues... basically just abraided aluminum foil you push into the stripped wood, providing extra mass and grab. You may be able to try it with Reynold's Wrap but I would go with BA's method over this for long term strength.

Quote:
Thanks for the tips. Sure is nice to be able to run ideas through this forum before doing something stupid.


Agreed!


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 3362
Location: Atlanta, GA
The best method of repair, which Jingle_jangle (our resident Rick restorer/refinisher/luthier) has suggested in the past - Get a piece of hard wood dowel just slightly larger than the hole from a home improvement store. Taper the end slightly using a pencil sharpener. Glue this into the hole using a quality wood glue. After 24 hours for the glue to set, cut off the dowel and carefully sand or file flush. Drill a new hole just large enough for the bolt shaft, that will allow the threads to bite into the wood. Using a pair of pliers with the jaws cushioned so they won't damage the strap lock button, screw the button into the new hole.

Repairing holes with toothpicks is okay for small screw holes where there is not a lot of stress, but a strap bolt needs a good, solid foundation for the amount of pressure it endures.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:58 am
Posts: 84
Location: Michigan
I used a toothpick and 'titebond 3' wood glue on the 4001. The strap button threaded in very tight and solid, no problems.


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
Quote:
Repairing holes with toothpicks is okay for small screw holes where there is not a lot of stress, but a strap bolt needs a good, solid foundation for the amount of pressure it endures.
I will say this again... repairing holes with glued-in toothpicks or matchsticks is strong enough for Fender neck bolts, so it's more than strong enough for strap buttons!

It's actually as strong as the original wood, whereas doweling is only so if the dowel is made of the same hard wood (which you did say, but most dowels are not), and only if it's an extremely tight fit into the hole so the glue is properly compressed as it dries... which means you have to drill out the old threads first, too - otherwise there is not a perfect fit between the dowel and the hole wall. (This is why the toothpick method only works properly when done WET.)

When I tested various methods for repairing stripped neck bolt holes, I compared the original screw to three repairs - doweled and re-drilled, toothpicks glued in and left to dry, and the wet glue method described above. I then deliberately overtightened the bolts using a a ratchet handle. The dry glued toothpicks stripped easily, the glued-in dowel next most easily, and the wet-glued matchsticks (and the original unstripped hole) were so strong that the bolt head snapped off before the thread stripped.

If you can do that with a Fender neck bolt, it's strong enough for a strap button screw! And it's just so much less work than the 'proper' doweling method... no drilling, cutting, or sanding - which makes it more or less impossible for a non-professional to mess up, too. The doweling method is the 'proper' solution, but unless it's done perfectly there's actually more chance of making things worse. (Obviously jingle_jangle will do it perfectly!)


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 Post subject: Re: screw holding strap lock nob falling out
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:38 pm
Posts: 1163
Location: Sydney, Australia
Just to back BlueAngel up....(not that he needs it)...

When I bought my 4000 in '80 the strap button hole had been bored out by the previous owner and whatever replacement he had in mind hadn't worked. I had the original strap button, but the hole was now too big. A friend suggested the matchstick method but without the glue. I was dubious, but as I had no money to pay a luthier, it sounded like a plan.

Needless to say, it worked like a charm. It hasn't shifted in over 28 years. The glue will only improve the repair, so don't be afraid to go with it!

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