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HELP! Straplocks keep coming loose.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gismo, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. gismo


    Oct 11, 2005
    La Mirada, CA
    Any suggestions on how to keep my staplocks from loosening up? I've done a little bit of woodworking but I'm not sure what sort of compound I should use. Also, I would like to fix up a stripped pickguard screwhole. Thanks
  2. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Where are they coming loose?

    Is the endpin coming loose? If so, take it out, shove some wood glue in there in the screw hole, screw it back, and leave it overnight.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Wooden toothpicks have always worked for me. Maybe with some wood glue to go above and beyond. The toothpicks give the screw something to bite on.
  4. Yea, I put toothpicks into the strap button hole in the bass, then screw it back in... a tip I learned when I was in woodshop in high school. The extra wood of the toothpick tightens up a hole that has gotten loose from the screw threading. I usually only have to do that once, too. It's quite effective.
  5. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    Had the same problem...got rid of them and replaced them with the "original" straplock. Not as convenient, because, in reality, you end up leaving the strap on the bass full-time, and have to deal with that, but THE STRAP WILL NEVER COME OFF WHILE YOU ARE WEARING THE BASS PRETTY MUCH NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO!!!!... I have this installed on all my custom basses. Not because I'm too active while I play....I just don't need the "heart-attack" when the strap comes off or the straplock decides it isn't going to hold any longer.
  6. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    If it's the button comin loose from the body of the bass, then +1 on the toothpicks. I always put a a drop of wood glue on them before insering the toothpick into the hole, then put the screw in and leave it overnight.

    If it's the stap lock itself coming undone, try these:


    I've never had a bass come loose with these strap locks. I don't trust the push button types at all.
  7. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Toothpicks have always worked for me. I've got Schaller straplocks on all of my basses. That way, all my straps are interchangeable.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    The pushbutton types are the only ones I used (Dunlop). In 25 years of gigging I've never had a bass come loose. IME if I insert them, hear the "click" and then test by trying to pull it off the bass, chances of failure are pretty much nil. Not doing all of that isn't exactly the straplock's fault.
  9. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I have the Dunlop straplocks on my G&L. They have been on there for 20 years an never had a problem. On my other basses and guitars I leave the original strap buttons on and stretch neoprene washers over the strap and strap buttpons. I have never had a strap fall off doing this.
    You can get them pretty cheap at the hardware store.
  10. CLJMB

    CLJMB Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    North Alabama
    If you're using Schallers and the nut that holds the lock onto your strap is loosening, use blue loctite on the threads.
  11. gismo


    Oct 11, 2005
    La Mirada, CA
    Alright, toothpick it is! The screw on it just keeps loosening up from the body of the bass. Is there a specific wood glue any of you guys would recommend I use in addition to the toothpick? Thanks again guys!
  12. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Oh, I strongly prefer natural polyisocyanurate hermetic bonding adhesives made from the sap of opolocactulus bush found only in the north western jungles of a remote island off the norhern tip of Madagascar. The sap must be collected on the thrid Tuesday of the month of May, and only between 3 and 6 AM (the time being crucial to it's excellent strap lock screw holding properties).

    But then again, any wood glue found at a hardware store or home improvement center will work just as well.:p



    (Please don't be hate me because I'm funny, but it's OK to hate me for being a wise*ss).
  13. Same here.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I have it on good authority that the Tuesday afternoon batch is far superior.

  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Sure. If you don't already have some, go to a dollar store and pick up a little bottle of Elmer's. Wood glue preferably. Truth is, you don't really need the glue, just stuff the hole full with the toothpicks.
  16. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Another method is to take sawdust and mix it with wood glue and then fill in the hole.
  17. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Oh, Bradley! Let's not resort to name calling! Didn't your momma raise you better?

    Really, I'd love to stay and chat about this but I have an early flight in the AM (skiing for a week in Utah!:hyper: ). have fun with the thread, and be careful. You knwo it's all fun and games until someone puts an eye out!;)
  18. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    The perfect fix. They are made of hardwood and work perfectly. Use a dab of Elmers Glue as well or you can use super glue. A luthier told me the super glue trick.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I hope you knew I was joking. If not, I wasn't.

    The Tuesday afternoon batches are crap.
  20. Glue and toothpicks. The theory is that the glue bonds the toothpick to the body of the instrument, then the screw bites into the toothpick which is bonded to the body of the instrument. Some people say to screw the screw in with the glue wet, that the glue won't bond to the screw. I've had an issue with glue bonding to the screw that made it difficult to remove the screw and then I had to clean the threads out to re-use the screw.

    As far as the Schaller/Dunlop debate...

    I used Dunlops for many years, I had a few failures which I chalked up to "user error" (ie. me not making sure the pins were seated properly) After I had a very old, very fragile and very expensive guitar almost take a dive I seriously re-thought the whole thing. When you look at the design of the mechanism, the Dunlop is held in place by retractable ball bearings (two or 4 depending on how old the unit is). The ball bearing sits in a 'trench' in the female end of the unit (please don't start with "unit" "shaft" and "female end" "loose nut" jokes...) Over the course of time the retracting mechanism can fail on individual bearings or all together. I've seen individual bearings fail, but not all of them. Over the course of time, the base of the shaft of the male end can wear and the male end can be angled in so that not all the bearings are solidly seated in the 'trench.' Also foreign material may collect in the 'trench.' There's a lot of things that can go wrong with the Dunlop design.

    The Schaller design is just better. The metal 'cup' that holds the plunger mechanism to the strap pin is also a redundant failsafe device. The only thing that can cause the guitar to fall is if the nut and washer come off the strap, or the cast steel piece completely shatters. If you put a dab of loc-tite or nail polish on the threads of the strap end you don't have to worry about the nut coming loose.

    A simple way to test that theory- push in the plunger on the Dunlop and see how long it takes for the guitar to fall. Then do the same with the Schaller.