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I'm so stupid.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Evil Undead, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Replacing the strap buttons on my Squier with dual design Dunlops. Screw *very slightly* bigger than the old one (width not length) so used the existing hole as a pilot hole.

    Happily screwing in, noticed that it didn't seem to tighten at what I thought was the end... carried on slowly thinking that it would get there...heard a verrrry slight crack.

    Ah ****.

    I don't think there's much damage done as the paint is unaffected, and the button appears solid - only moves if I really twist on it.

    I know, I'm stupid.

    My question is, what do I do? Leave it alone and assume it's ok unless the button starts pulling away from the body? Or should I investigate? I'm not sure I wanna go poking around again, my confidence has been knocked by my own idiocy.

    Grateful for any advice, thanks
  2. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    All my strap lock pins have been installed with a slightly larger screw and have no problem. Done it on 3 basses and 2 guitars, all made of different woods. This should not be an issue. Its possible you may be confusing the sound. On some of my basses shen I put in a larger screw it makes a sound similar to a crack when it starts getting really tight. Usually starts making this sound just before I get to the point were the screw stops turning. I'd say if your concerned take it to a good luthier who would be able to diagnose the problem and fix it without effecting the finish.
  3. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Also i don't see a problem with taking it out to have a look. If its fine then it will go back in. if its cracked then you don't want to wait until you need to to work to find out it doesn't.
  4. That is what I was thinking. That was no "crack" sound. It may have just been the sound of the screw binding and then breaking free as it was at the final stages of tightening.
  5. peterkidd


    Oct 20, 2008
    Shirley, MA
    Doing things yourself is seldom idiotic, at worst, a learning Experience.

    The Dunlop would have prevented the screw from traveling deeper into the wood, effectively turning it into an Archimedes Screw, bringing the threaded wood upwards, perhaps making a noise.

    I've been fixing wooden things for a living since forever, and I'd leave it be.

    But keep an eye on it...
  6. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Thanks guys :)

    That's probably what it was then. But, it still kept turning long after it should have been tight, that's troubling me.

    If it comes out again, I'll just glue a match stick in there :D
  7. Okay, yes, it may have actually cracked the wood (which everyone else seems to be discounting, but is entirely possible).

    When you're actually screwing it in, you can tell if it's the sound of the screw binding against the wood by the feel. Just being told about it, we really can't know.

    If it did actually crack, that kind of crack is pretty easy to hit with thin CA glue. Just make sure not to glue the screw into the guitar.
  8. frozenbolt


    Jan 28, 2013
    A: You're not stupid. To take the initiative and work on your own instrument takes confidence, not stupidity.

    B: If the screw was "slightly thicker" (not longer) than the other one, then binding is probably the cause of the noise, if you didn't wax the screw before inserting.

    C: If it feels like the button is solid and the paint hasn't been cracked, I'd let it be and see how it fares during playing. If it starts to feel loose, then you can deal with it, then. If it stays solid, forget about it.

    Don't take this statement the wrong way, but it's a Squier. You can do a lot of work on it, yourself, without negatively affecting the value of the instrument. I have a late 90's Ibanez that I had to take a dremel tool to, in order to get a replacement pickup in. Would I have done that with an expensive bass? Probably not, I'd have had a pro do the pickup replacement. But I did it and learned along the way, as you did. The bass was worth 100 bucks when I started and it's still worth about that when I was done.

    You're learning along the way while you make your instrument the way you want it. That's always good.

    BTW, if for some reason, the button does come loose, you overdrill the hole, glue in a dowel to fill the opening, redrill the strap button hole, reinsert the screw and you're back in business, with a solid strap lock replacement.

    If the paint gets a little chipped along the way, you use a washer to cover the imperfections.

    There are ways to dealing with every situation, you just need to be creative. :)

    Rock on,
  9. PipeRain

    PipeRain Operator Of Pointy Basses

    Dec 4, 2012

    Having worked on all my guitars and basses, I have learned a ton and probably saved myself a couple wheelbarrow loads of cash. In the interest of honest disclosure, I completely screwed up a guitar once. As in beyond repair screwed up. But 1) I bought it for about $30 off of Ebay strictly to experiment with and 2) at least it was a guitar and not a bass right? :bag:

    As to the "Cracking" sound, yes, it might have been a legit crack and without actually hearing it no one but you will ever know for sure. My money would be on it "Creaking". I have put dozens of sets of straplocks on and almost always heard a "Creak" as the screw gets to the point of fully tightened. Back in the day I used to shear straplock screws on a fairly regular basis so I took to grinding the heads of 3" sheetrock screws small enough to fit in the pins and using those to seat my straplock pins. The holes would usually be hogged out as well so I would dip flat toothpicks one at a time in woodglue and shove 3 or 4 or them in the hole then dip about the first half inch of the screw in wood glue. I would then use a screwgun to drive the screw in at very high speed with the screwgun clutch set so that it would clutch out just as the screw tightened down. The heat of friction would dry the glue almost instantly and the screws never came out or loosened after that. Interestingly enough, even lubed up like that they would usually creak a bit just before they stopped.

    Granted, any real luthier would probably cringe at my ham-fisted methodology, but it has worked well for me.

    Oh, and...
  10. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Wax from a candle, or soap from a dry bar of soap makes a real difference (a new bar from the box, not a wet bar from the sink or bath). There's plenty of videos on youtube showing a guy waxing a screw before use on a strap lock screw.
  11. 3star2nr


    Jun 2, 2013
    There are a few possibilities
    1. What you heard was just the sound of the wood creaking as the screw dug into the wood, the sound was amplified by the slow speed you were turning the screw driver - nothing to worry about
    2. The screw it self snapping - Highly unlikely
    3. You created a hairline fracture in the wood - Even more unlikely wood is not very brittle.

    bottomline dont worry about it
  12. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    If it kept spinning like you say than I would drill out the hole and glue in a dowel then redrill for the screw. I believe that is the proper method to fix the issue if its really cracked and I'd feel better knowing it was done right vs done quickly. There should be some videos on how to fill holes with a dowel out there.
  13. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    To consider-
    screwing into a dowel (unless it is pre-drilled hardwood) may not result in a stronger attachment than you have now:
    that would be screwing into end grain which is not as strong as across the grain (using same wood).
  14. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Or I use liquid dish soap.. (an old trick from building decks I learned from my father back in the day, but he's no longer with us..tho his spirit shall live on with every tight screw I drill.)

  15. I keep a piece of canning paraffin in my tool kit for installing screws. Same genesis - learned it from Dad, works great.
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I love Dunlops but mine have ALWAYS pulled loose after a couple of months. The reason is that you need a screw with a narrow head to fit inside the button and they don't make those very long, so you can't get too deep into the wood to hold it secure. I think it's three instruments now I've glued dowels in to attach Dunlops, and never had another problem with them afterwards. I don't think it's the wood of the dowel that makes the difference, it's using a strong glue (like Gorilla Glue).
  17. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Being a Squier, the hole could be stripped. the screw could have bound up for a second, and when it became unbound is when you heard the crack. At that point, due to the soft wood that Squiers are made of, the screw hole stripped out. Solution? Round toothpicks and woodglue. Dip one or two toothpicks into the woodglue and then put them in the screw hole. Break off the extra length. Wait for it to dry. Wax the screw (or lube it with something), and screw it back in. I doubt you cracked the wood. The woods that Squier uses are pretty spongy.
  18. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    As others have said, I don't think the wood split or anything, it's likely just the loss of the threads that caused the sound. I love the toothpick and wood glue method.

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