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Loose neck screws

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AdamR, Jan 26, 2013.


  1. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    2 out of the 4 neck screws on my Jazz Special will not tighten. How can I safely repair this ? Will gluing tooth picks in to the neck work in this case ?
     
  2. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    I prefer to drill out the old hole so I can and fill it with a long plug I cut from a very hard piece of maple I have for this purpose.
     
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  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes, that will be perfectly fine. Just remember to introduce the screws while the glue is still wet for best results.

    Riis
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Sounds like a good time to consider threaded inserts as an option to plugging and redrilling.
     
  6. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Burlington, Vt.
    I prefer matchsticks to toothpicks for this. Insert glue, matchstick, break off flush, insert screw to tighten. Being of soft pine, they "smoosh" better with the glue than toothpicks, which are usually maple and less inclined to break up and reform decent threads, IME. I've never had a failure of this repair. I also imagine threaded inserts would be a great fix, but I'm sure they require a higher level of woodworking skill to be done right than glue and matchsticks. Oh, and I have to wonder how you stripped the holes to begin with? Whatever it is, cut it out :)!
     
  7. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    No clue how why all the sudden they are stripped. I took the bass apart to paint it now the screws dont tighten which makes me wonder if they were already stripped. Its an 80s fender so truss rod adjustment is at the bottom of the neck so Im sure its been apart a number of times.
     
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Threaded inserts are actually an easy conversion. You simply overdrill the existing hole for the insert and crank it in. I've done it several times using a hand drill.

    I wouldn't do it that way for a new undrilled install (really calls for a drill press), but for a repair it's easy and painless.
     
  9. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    I have a drill press. were can I get inserts from ?
     
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  11. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Dec 21, 2012
    I've used the toothpick trick without the glue. The wood gets mashed in there pretty good on it's own.
     
  12. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    1/4-20 buttonhead machine screws, steel inserts. Tremendous crankdown torque, this way.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Do you end up having to overdrill the body holes to clear? I thought they were usually smaller than 1/4".
     
  14. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Yup. This is the way I've always done it, save for a few dalliances w/crossnuts, decades ago. The buttonheads rest on top of the neckplate.

    It's imperative to have the inserts square to the surface of the heel, so I recently made a jig that will hold the neck fingerboard down, and indexed to the quill of the drillpress. I use a Wixey digital angle checker, set to zero on the quill, and 90 degrees on the heel. The last conversion I did, I used this, it was an enormous timesaver.
     
  15. Hi.

    +1000

    I wouldn't use toothpicks or matchsticks and glue because...

    You'll probably have to remove it again at some point, and the band-aid remedies usually don't last very long if they have to be taken apart.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  16. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

    I do these conversions because of the the tonal enhancement & increased sustain.
     
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

  18. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    Thanks guys. I think Im gonna call the shop that does my repair work and have him put the inserts in the neck. Better safe than sorry.
     
  19. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Good call. I trust the matchstick/toothpick and glue trick for strap buttons, but for neck screws I would use the inserts for sure.
     
  20. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    Im sure toothpicks would work till I go to adjust the trust rod and end up right back were I was.
     
  21. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Probably, but by my way of thinking ( Maybe just the carpenter in me), if your strap button moves a little it's no big deal, if your neck moves a little, it's a big deal.
     



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