1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Help: Plugging and Moving a Small Screw Hole

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Ryantist, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Sorry this is for a g**tar and not a bass, but I figured this is the best place to go for help. I'm replacing a Floyd Rose nut, and the replacement has the mounting holes off by about half of the screw diameter. The nut on this guitar mounts with wood screws and not machine screws.

    So I'm thinking I can just plug the holes with a dowel and re-drill. But will there be any issues if the new hole I drill is centered on the edge of the dowel instead of the middle? I haven't measured the screw diameter yet, but it's probably about 1/16". Would I be better off stepping up to a 1/8" dowel? (the holes are probably less than 1/8" deep)

    Do I specifically need a maple dowel (the neck is maple) or is any "hardwood" dowel ok?

  2. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Any hardwood dowel should work. I'd probably step up to 1/8" to get the threads as well.
    bvdrummer likes this.
  3. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    I do this all the time. What works MUCH better than wood is 1/8" styrene plastic rod. I've never had much success with wood dowels, especially the ones sold today. Most of them are soft imported wood and metric sized. For example 1/8" will be 3 mm, 1/4" 6mm, etc.

    With the plastic rod I drill the hole out. squirt some CA in it, jam the slightly sharpened end of the rod into the hole, cut it flush and redrill, all in about 5 minutes. The CA welds the plastic to the wood and keeps the new hole from wandering, unlike dowels. The plastic also holds screws better than most wood. Here's an MDF template I plugged.


    All small holes and the dowel are 1/8". I use a brad point bit to drill the holes. Good luck!
  4. Fatboy 2015

    Fatboy 2015

    Mar 13, 2015
    I had to do something similar recently and used 1/4" OAK dowel rod iI found in a 2 foot legth along a
    the back wall of the lumber section at Lowes for a couple bucks, pick up a quality wood glue like elmers while your at it. test drill a piece of scrap first to ensure your useing the correct size bit, you want a wrist pin fit, snug, but still able to rotate the dowel in the hole.....measure the length of the screw, and go about 1/32 deeper for your holes. you can mark your drill bit by wraping a piece of masking tape forming a flag...when the flag contact the area around the hole your dtlling, stop. next insert your dowel rod leaving it whole, bottom it out and mark it for cutting, repeat this for each hole in case your holes are not even in depth. ( you may wish to make a ID mark on each dowel to match it to its proper hole. next cut the dowel about 1/64" short, so it will end up a hair below the surface, this waty you wont have to. and ittdown once installed, and it will be hidden under the new nut regardles. next put some elmers wood glue on a pice of cardboard, make a decent size puddle, now snip the swab off a Q-tip and use the shaft to swirl some glue arod the inside of the holes, try to coat every surface inside, you can follow up with a dry shaft if you feel you put too much in....next roll the pin in the glue coating it liberaly in glue, slip it it the hole, a tap it into place if needed with a flat punce of inverted nail, what evers handy, be sure to get it slightly bellow flush. once its all done wipe up the excess glue with a damp rag or paper towel, wipe it again with a dry rag, and allow it to sit and dry for at least 24 hrs, 3days is better, since it a seal hole, and the wood absorbing the glue, combined with minimum airrslows the curing process. after your sure its dry, intall your new nut as normal.
    sorry for the book but no knowing your leval of handiness i figgured it best to pile on the details
    walterw and bvdrummer like this.
  5. Fatboy 2015

    Fatboy 2015

    Mar 13, 2015
    Ps. if you dont have a decent drill bit set a cheepo set with plenty of tiny bits is also available from Lowes for around $10.....if the dowel fits too tight you can chuck it in you drill, a wrap a piece of 220 grit or so sand pand around it whill spinning the drill, just do a few seconds at a time..it wont take much.
    bvdrummer likes this.
  6. Thanks for all the tips. I'm fairly handy but I haven't done this specifically, and I was mostly concerned about locating my new hole right on the edge of the dowel. I just measured the screws and they are just under 1/8 (I underestimated) so should I go up a little larger for the dowel, maybe 3/16 or 1/4? or just keep it 1/8" and not remove too much wood? The styrene method is interesting, I had not thought of that. My decision for plastic vs. wood may come down to local availability because I don't want to order a 50 cent part online :)
  7. Fatboy 2015

    Fatboy 2015

    Mar 13, 2015
    if the dowel sod is to mush hassel another faster method would b JB Quick weld, mix up a little after drilling out the hole stuf it in with a cut off Q tip, wipe of the excess before it dries, using a lttle accetone on a rag, let it dry over night, keep the hole faceing uap, iaf it settles too much into the hole, add more repeating the process untill its how you want it, the Quick eld dries faster, but i let it dry over night. it dries super hard and can even be macined..when I raced vintage motorcycles, and had a paut with a striped hole, and didnt want to buy a helicoil kit to repair it..id do this, wait a couple days the drill and re tap the holes. about 7 bucks at wally world, comes in two tubes, filler and hardner, kind of a super epoxy......I also used it on two base necks I bought, to build my own bass from aprts, I wanted to be sure the screws would be tighttso I filled the orrigional holes then when I was ready I redrill freesh holes to ensure it would be tight......a little messy, tape of the areas around the holes and work carefully to avoid a clean up mess.........I had an old kz900 kawasaki front master cyclinder that had the right miror mont boss on it as well strip out, I simply fill the old hole as it was some stuf count flow,into whar was left of the threads, waited a xouple dyas, the drilled and retapped to the proper thread size, mirror stayed put at 130mph +
  8. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    1/8" should do. I use 1/8" plastic for my side dots so I always have it around. But I understand what you're saying about cost.
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    This is not a motorcycle. Use products made for wood. Use methods that woodworkers use.

    Use WOOD GLUE and a snug dowel. The glue Is stronger than the wood. It fills the threads in the wood and won't let go. Shot of glue in the hole. Dowel in, trim immediately, wipe excess, sand flush. Don't worry about catching the edge of the dowel.

    This is a nut. The nut just needs to be anchored and flush on the neck. Even once locked and tuned there isn't enough force to pull out the glue or dowel if you drill the size of the screw shank.
    bvdrummer, 202dy and mech like this.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    yeah, not big on the JB weld here, if nothing else it's a risk to the finish.

    otherwise, what @Fatboy 2015 said in his first post with the doweling and the wood glue, especially the detail about getting the plug to sit slightly below the surface.

    i will admit to often using superglue for this operation since most of the proceedings will be drilled right back out as soon as it dries.

    haven't tried @Dadagoboi's plastic rod idea, that's interesting. if it really does help with drill bit wandering that's pretty cool.
  11. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I recommend epoxy and hardwood dowel. This works very well. I don't like super glue as serious glue on wood (though it would be the choice if you dowel with plastic) And I don't like to use wood glue (in spite of all the fans) for things I NEVER want to come apart (like dowels in holes) Just be sure epoxy is new and mixed in proper ratio. Epoxy that won't set is a nightmare.

    Coolest is an actual maple dowel. I've made these (you only need a short piece) by sawing a sliver of maple wood, and chucking it in a drill and holding it against a belt sander while the drill turns it to "make" a dowel for plugging. Perfecto.

    And you are right to worry about drilling along the edge. So long as dowel isn't soft crap (drill will wander right into soft wood) and you drill VERY carefully there should be no problems. I always start with a sharp small diameter drill first to get things started. Once you manage to get the pilot hole in the right spot enlarging it to the right size is usually no problem.
  12. Thanks for the tips everyone. I just used a "hardwood" dowel from the hardware store (89 cents) and wood glue, and it worked out great.

    That's a cool idea to make your own dowel out of whatever wood you want! I'll keep this in mind.
    Jon Clegg likes this.
  13. Fatboy 2015

    Fatboy 2015

    Mar 13, 2015
    I have used JB weld and JB quick weld, ( quick weld dries faster) ..What. I used it for on my basses was I was building them from parts. I.E. i bought new/ used, parted out bodies and necks to build. what I wanted. I used it for the neck mounting screw holes in the neck only, not the body. I wanted to be sure of a solid union between the neck and body, so i first relived the "burr" the old screws left with a dremmel and cone reamer, then mixed up a batch of. JB Wel, and applied it into the holes a little at a time useing a broken off round wooden toothpick, to pack it in.......i have also used an infant oral syringe packed with the JB Weld to bettercontrol where it goes, just dont try this with quick weld as it tends to thicken faster, once aapplied i wippedthe excess off with a bondo spreader, or you could just use a business or playing card.I then carefully wiped any residue with a rag DAMPENED, not saturated in, with accetone then Immeadiatly wipe with a dry rag.....I saw no effect to the finnish, BUT, the area I was repairing, was to be hidden once re assembled so i wasnt concerned. just keep the repaired area faceing skyward while it cures for about 24 hrs. then if any sesettling occured, I repeated the process untill flush, if it went higher than flush, i took a pice of masking tape i punched a hole in with a paper punch, and masked the surounding area and carfelly removed the extra material with then edge of a small dremmel drum sander coupled with a steady eye and hand,(Other attache ments will also work, your preference)....once everything was done, I used a friend and matched the neck to the body, and used the body holesas a template to drill tiny 1/32" pilot holes into the neck, then dissambled and drilled proper holes. on all 3 necks I did this with, at least one hole was in a slightly new location. .....having to do it again, I probaly used the dowel rod method, but I didnt feel like doing the drilling work twice....but dont over look JB weld as an option, it has a place in your aresenal. in sumation I would only use it if the repair would be hidden by hardware or new paint. If ever your left plugging a hole that WOULD BE VISABLE, say your going to refinnish a translucent finnish like varnish, use a dowel plug cut a tad short, andd save your drillings, or obtain a piece of identicle wood, take some 60 grit to it and make a bunch of sawdust, then mix it into a paste with wood or elmers glue in a dixie cup, or the like, and finnish filling the hole over flush, let dries a few days and finnish sand, prctice this skill on different types of scrap board, trying different varriations to master the end result, priot to undertaking your prize instrument as a project. when I was younger i would some times get a small, shoe box lid or small size pice of scrap wood, and a TV try and "play" with techniques in front of the TV.sorry for the typos, tablet is being dopey, and I gotta run, but I feel you get the jest of things


    Nov 13, 2009
    I just want to bump this thread because this technique was very useful for me over the weekend. I had to fill about 8 pickguard screw holes and some bridge holes and even 1 pickup. The 1/8th styrene rod worked perfectly after I received from eBay. Thanks Dadagoboi for such a great suggestion. I do plan on refinishing the bass so I am not worried about the looks. The drill bit had no issues at all working between the styrene and wood, also with the super glue you can work on it very quickly to redrill. I wish I would have known about this a long time ago.
    Dadagoboi likes this.
  15. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    But wait, there's MORE!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.