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Best Way to Tighten Up Strap Screws on a Hollowbody

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jasper383, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    I have a Harmony Reissue bass. Nice bass, distinct sound and look.

    The strap screws (small Phillips head screws)are starting to wiggle, and it's only a matter of time, I fear, that they will strip on out.


    The screws are very small, and the wood is quite thin, it's a recipe for not holding for long.

    Any advice for how I can get the screws to hold in the bass, and not strip out, before it happens?
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Pull the screw out and put a few toothpicks in the hole, then screw it back in. Simple but effective.
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Hollow body, eh? Hmmm....I'll punt on this one. Minimal contact area betweenst the screw and wood complicates the repair.

  5. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Yes, the wood here is very thin. I'm not sure wooden matchsticks will work very well here.

    How about some Titebond glue and a couple cardboard matchsticks? I could bend them so they curve around the lip of the hole.
  6. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    The toothpick and wood glue works excellent. Super glue can be injected into the hole, a little at a time and giving it time to dry. It drys very hard and it builds up the remaining threads in the wood and it also reduces the hole to a smaller size.
  7. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I wonder if the area where the strap pin screw goes is has a block of wood glued in place inside the bass to provide a proper amount of stock to accept a wood screw.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    There has to be a wood block behind. There's no way that, alone without blocking, the 1/4" wood used in a semi could hold a screw for a week of jangling at the end of a strap. Pull the screws and look, stick a toothpick in there and you'll hit bottom, not a void. Picks and glue; screw in while the glue is wet. I don't use match sticks because they're saturated in chemicals.
  9. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    No, there's no block behind the screw. I took a screw out and there's just a hole right into the cavity. :)

    I took the screws out, lined the holes with a little Titebond 2, and replaced the screws.

    I don't jump around much when I play, so I figure this gives me a little more time.
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    That's too bad, I know it's a budget instrument but a block wouldn't have cost them very much.
  11. Budbear

    Budbear Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Staten Island, NYC
    I had a similar situation many years ago and I just moved the strap pin to the heel of the neck. There's plenty of wood there and the bass balances well at that point. Put it as close to the body as possible, drill a pilot hole first and then screw it in. Use a little wood filler to hide the hole, don't be messy and color it with tip of a Sharpie. Done.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    moving the button to put its screw in a solid zone of wood is a good option, probably the best from a purely structural standpoint.

    the other option is to rig up a backing for the stock button placement.

    you could get a little block of wood, pre-drill a strap button screw-sized hole all the way through it, feed a length of string or fishing line through the block and the hole in the guitar (tied to something behind the block to let you pull it into place), use a bit of superglue to hold the block against the guitar rim, and once that dries, run the strap button screw through the guitar rim and into this block.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Walter is right. Also, if you're really sneaky you can probably either glue in a wood block or figure out a way to get a nut and fender washer on the inside of the body.

    I didn't suggest that it would be easy....

    For practicality, probably moving the strap button to the heel of the neck would be good.
  14. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    An interesting problem. Are butterfly anchors out of the question?
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Plastic butterfly would be ok. I wouldn't use steel. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1364907732.387886.
  16. I had the same problem with my budget hollow body, I just coated the screw in green loctite and screwed it back in. Worked perfectly. I also could have used wood glue bit I didn't have any.
  17. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Great idea.

    Maybe when the screws give on my temporary fix, I will do this.

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