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Filling screw holes

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by teej, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I bought an older jazz bass body for my mini-project, only the bridge that was on it (there was no hardware when I bought it) wasn't the tradition Fender-style bridge. The screw configuration looks more like a Gotoh 206 with 3 in back and 2 in front. I want to use a Hipshot B bridge, but I don't think it will cover the front 2 holes. So my question is is there someway to fill or cover these holes so that they don't show through a solid finish??
  2. If you're only concerned w/appearance & not structural integrity, wood putty should do fine(under a solid finish- transparent or sunburst would obviously show any puttied spots). Otherwise, you could drill oversized holes & fill them w/dowels of similar wood. Experiment on a piece of scrap.
  3. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I'm familiar with the dowel technique, but over time, because of the expansion/contraction of the two different woods, would the dowels slowly work there way out or cause the finish to crack?
  4. If you could use the same species, cut it so as to orient the grain in the same direction as the(wood in the)rest of the body, fit it well(snug but not so tight that it squeezes all the glue out) & let it dry thoroughly, I would think it SHOULD'nt. But you never know- I'd probably go w/putty if strength is not an issue/requirement, although being a different material than wood, it could certainly expand/contract at a different rate than the wood. So there you go...
  5. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Hmm... putty would definitely be the simplist, most hassle-free way. Strength isn't really an issue since the holes to be filled are about an inch in front of where the new bridge will be mounted. Perhaps I can find a gel-like filler/putty. Thanks for the help!!! :D
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden

    The dowel should be made with a very tight fit, e.g. +.05mm.
    Then you have to knock in in, lubricatee by the glue, and it will never work itself out.
  7. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I hope someone is reading this..... :D

    I have the same problem...I have filled holes with dowels before (the back of a neck, easy to clean up).... how do you you cut down the dowels on the front of a finished body without messing anything up??

  8. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Cut them before you put them in.
  9. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Don't you EVER talk to me that way again! :D ;)

    I was thinking about that...my only concern is getting a tight fit with the dowel (the body meeting the bottom of the dowel - i'll have to measure the drill depth), but once the glue dries, it should be fine...

    Thanks! :)
  10. jeffhigh


    May 16, 2005
    Use epoxy, the better stuff, not the 5 minute.
    Work it into the hole and slightly overfill then sand down to match the surface.
    Wood putty is softer and may shrink, dowels will have the end grain exposed.
  11. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    If you measure properly and use a forstner or something it shouldn't be a big problem to match it up really well. Probably just a little sanding to get it right.
  12. Another way, is to use epoxy mixed with some sanded wood (same as the wood on the body, or similar). The fun part is pouring it down the screw hole.