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Anyone ever plug the string-through holes on Fender body?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bass Atlanta, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. I have a Fender Frankenbass that has been made to look like a 59 Precision Bass. However, one thing keeps bugging me: it has string-through holes in the body. In an effort to make it look more "vintage", I have considered plugging the string-through holes so they don't show on the back of the body. I will, of course, be re-painting the body to cover the "evidence". (I'm not trying to deceive anyone....just doing it to aesthetically please myself.)

    Has anyone ever done this and how did it work out? I suppose I would just dowel the holes with wood glue, then sand and paint.

    Any comments from someone who has done this? I've searched the threads and have found nothing on the subject.


  2. I'm not a qualified luthier or anything, but I have built a bass from scratch.

    I would do it the exact way you described, even though that personally wouldn't bother me.

    But it's your bass man! Do it!
  3. Thanks for the response.

    Since the string-through holes won't interfere with the bridge screws, there should be not compromise in body integrity, right?
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    No change to body integrity...but it is a lot of work to cover some holes that are only visible from the back.
  5. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Make sure that the plugs you make have the grain in the same direction as the rest of the body. Normal dowels will have the grain in the wrong direction. The problem with normal dowels is that they will expand and contract differently than the rest of the body making the visible through the finish after a while.

    You can easily make your own plugs with a scrap piece of wood and a plug cutter. If you are low on cash and have lots of patience you could cut some plugs by hand.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    why would you not use them, since all things being equal, they're a more solid way to anchor the strings?
  7. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    To the OP..you can get small hardwood plugs at most home centers like Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. The will have a domed top and are used to fill recessed screw holes. The grain is across the plug not through them so the shrinkage issue should not be a problem. Find the same size dowel and plug so only one size hole needs to be drilled.

    Walterw, it's just a cosmetic detail to have a correct franken repop. ;)

  8. Thanks, mech.

  9. That's good advice about the grain disparity. Appreciate your comments.
  10. The plugs will most likely shrink over time and show thru the paint. I would not do it.
  11. Yeah......you're probably right. I think I'm talking myself out of it. I've got other projects that take priority right now.

    Thanks to everyone who commented.


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