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Strap button screw fell out. Wtf!?


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At rehersals yesterday, inbetween songs, the guitar almost fell to the floor, head first. Luckily I had my left hand on the neck and could crab it before disaster hit.

The screw just fell out of the screw hole. Wft! On my Les Paul. Never experience anything like this before. I guess the hole must have widened due to stress from the weight of the guitar.  Had it fallen to the floor I am pretty sure the neck would have snapped. 

Any advice on how to fix this? The other guitarist said I should just get a bigger screw. But I would like to keep the original screw. Will it be a strong fix if I plug the hole with some type of wood? And then rescrew. Any other remedies to prevent this from ever happening again?

Have enyone else experienced this problem? 

y4mXv-yzJuJlNO0CPSJ10FFm7rO9I8WtVJrKmoLW

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Fill with Elmer's glue. Stuff toothpicks in there. Wait 24 hours. Screw button back on.

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49 minutes ago, hamerhead said:

Fill with Elmer's glue. Stuff toothpicks in there. Wait 24 hours. Screw button back on.

This is exactly what I do also!

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A dowel rod will be better than toothpicks (I have done that, too.) so you have more solid wood.  In another thread Jeff R suggested either placing the dowel rod offset or drilling the new hole offset so that if the glue breaks the new wood will not spin when tightening the screw. 

Edited by Steve Haynie
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1 hour ago, hamerhead said:

Fill with Elmer's glue. Stuff toothpicks in there. Wait 24 hours. Screw button back on.

I've done that using toothpicks or matches and wood glue (not plain white Elmer's for me) literally dozens of times over the years.

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Agree with everyone here 👍.. i would definitely use a wood glue though .. 

Do you use any type of strap locks? Some straps have plastic adjustable locks that work well if you want to keep the original strap buttons. 

Rob

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2 minutes ago, iownit4 said:

Agree with everyone here 👍.. i would definitely use a wood glue though .. 

Do you use any type of strap locks? Some straps have plastic adjustable locks that work well if you want to keep the original strap buttons. 

Rob

On the Hamers with Dunlop buttons I use the Dunlop straplocks. On the guitars with ordinary strap buttons I usually use the Dunlop plastic locking rings. Or I have cut round pieces from a garden hose and then cut a slot in it and threadened it over the strap button, to prevent the strap from coming of. Cheap, but it works well.

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This just happened to me recently on my Hamer Diablo. Not sure why. Alder body. Since it needs a good set up, I will have it done then. First one that ever happened to me.

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Toothpicks compress easily and dowels are overkill IMHO. If you want a fast, easy and effective fix with no visible evidence of a fix ...

Change your strings and save the cut-off remnants from the D and A strings.

Take the piece of D string and push it into the stripped hole. Pinch the string and pull out. The pinch marks your depth.

Snip at the depth and put the little piece of string back in.

Screw the pin back on, and the string should grip the screw's teeth and the wood around it.

If the screw is really stripped out and won't grab the string in the hole good enough for you, remove the strap pin and repeat the process ... with the remnant of the A string, so that there are two strings in the hole.

Fixed.

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24 minutes ago, Jeff R said:

If the screw is really stripped out and won't grab the string in the hole good enough for you, remove the strap pin and repeat the process ... with the remnant of the A string, so that there are two strings in the hole.

He's gonna need a RotoSound Swing Bass E string to fill that hole.

y4mXv-yzJuJlNO0CPSJ10FFm7rO9I8WtVJrKmoLW

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Done all of the above before, shaved toothpicks around the hole with actual wood glue and a longer screw. You might have to grind the head of the screw a bit to get it to fit into the strap lock, but it's worth the effort.

Had this happen once many years ago and was inches away from really clanging the guitar, so I make it a habit to check these pretty routinely now. Glad you didn't have any damage, but easy fix!

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On 10/2/2020 at 6:54 PM, Jeff R said:

Toothpicks compress easily and dowels are overkill IMHO. If you want a fast, easy and effective fix with no visible evidence of a fix ...

Change your strings and save the cut-off remnants from the D and A strings.

Take the piece of D string and push it into the stripped hole. Pinch the string and pull out. The pinch marks your depth.

Snip at the depth and put the little piece of string back in.

Screw the pin back on, and the string should grip the screw's teeth and the wood around it.

If the screw is really stripped out and won't grab the string in the hole good enough for you, remove the strap pin and repeat the process ... with the remnant of the A string, so that there are two strings in the hole.

Fixed.

I put some glue in the hole first. Let it sit for a day. Then I did the string trick yesterday evening. Worked like a charm. Seems very solid now. THANKS!

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On 10/2/2020 at 8:58 AM, tommy p said:

I've done that using toothpicks or matches and wood glue (not plain white Elmer's for me) literally dozens of times over the years.

That doesn't sound like a good track record. 🤣😂

Seriously, I've done the same thing awn a number of guitars and it is quick, easy, and works really well.

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On 10/2/2020 at 5:35 AM, Disturber said:

y4mXv-yzJuJlNO0CPSJ10FFm7rO9I8WtVJrKmoLW

It looks like there's nothing underneath that hole there, maybe a portal to another dimension?  Or your LP is just telling you to play your Hamers.  😆

Glad it's back in service, though.  

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5 hours ago, DaveH said:

That doesn't sound like a good track record. 🤣😂

Seriously, I've done the same thing awn a number of guitars and it is quick, easy, and works really well.

lol.  Yeah, you got me there!  OK, maybe A dozen in 35 years, not dozenS.

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17 hours ago, The Shark said:

I am using them on my older Hamer's. And on the Les Paul. The problem is that on some thicker straps they fit really tight, and have a tendency to pop off. It is a real bitch to try and find them on a dark floor. Or in a rehersal place with the floor all covered with gear. Still, they work pretty okay.

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I use a stash of hardwood toothpicks dipped in Elmer's Woodworking Glue (or similar), as many as possible jammed into the hole.  Let it sit overnight. Re-drill the hole a smidge too small for the screw shaft.  Reinstall.

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6 hours ago, Disturber said:

I am using them on my older Hamer's. And on the Les Paul. The problem is that on some thicker straps they fit really tight, and have a tendency to pop off. It is a real bitch to try and find them on a dark floor. Or in a rehersal place with the floor all covered with gear. Still, they work pretty okay.

Yup.  That's the only problem.  I just use thinner straps with my vintage stuff, so these work.  "Pretty Okay" is better than installing StrapLoks on a '61 Les Paul or any of the other stuff I have laying around.

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