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Please Help! My strap screws keep stripping!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rei, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Rei


    Apr 4, 2017
    So I'm new to TB, although Ive gotten countless invaluable advice from this forum, but I recently came across an issue that I can't seem to find any info on.

    I own Fender USA Jazz Standard, and about month after receiving the bass, the strap screws stripped. I also use schaller strap locks, with the original fender screw. I am kinda an OCD freak, so I constantly check the screws and tighten them if need be (I NEVER over tighten) but somehow the darn things managed to strip. So I repaired them by using bamboo dowels and quality wood glue (correctly measured, cured for 24 hours, and properly drilled) and things were fine for a while, but only a few weeks later they both stripped AGAIN! So now I'm wondering what I can do, because the whole process is super frustrating, especially since I gig every weekend. Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You're stripping them by overtightening.

    You think you aren't, but you've done it 4 times now.

    Drill out the bamboo. Glue in a wood dowel and reinstall the strap button with a longer screw. Put some glue on the threads when you do.

    Then don't ever touch that screw again unless the button feels loose. Do not tighten it any more.
    JLS, gebass6, Kustom_Thunder and 3 others like this.
  3. dannylectro


    Aug 2, 2010
    Yonkers, NY
    ^^^ That.
    Clark Dark likes this.
  4. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    What Iz4005 said. Welcome to TalkBass.
  5. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    If you're using the shaller strap locks, no need to check the strap button screw. As stated above, once it's in there, it's good to go.

    But keep checking the nut on your strap lock, they can get loose from time to time. And you only need to check them with your fingers to see if they're loose, no need to use a wrench on it.
    gebass6 likes this.
  6. Rei


    Apr 4, 2017
    Thank you for all the helpful advice! I'll be doing the (hopefully final) repair with a longer screw, hardwood dowels and glue after I drill out the bamboo. This time I'll make sure not to mess it up again and over tighten.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Yep, if the button isn't loose you shouldn't tighten it. You're adding force and something's gotta give. Always the weakest link gives. Wood threads in a hole are weaker than steel threads on a screw. The wood finally gives in.
    gebass6 likes this.
  8. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    I'll go a different direction... Schaller locks are a problem. I was constantly dealing with loose and stripped strap screws when I had them. Then I moved all my basses to Dunlop straplocks and never messed with a screw again.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  9. Oversized strap buttons is my recommendation.
    Ibanez, ESP, & G&L use them, with no need for a locking mechanism.
    fhm555 likes this.
  10. FunkBear


    Jan 2, 2009
    Next time you strip a screw (hopefully there is no next time) instead of gluing in a wooden dowel and drilling into that you can instead use a toothpick. Place the toothpick in the hole on one side and tighten the screw into the hole; clip off excess toothpick when done.
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Use longer strap button screws.
    Burwabit likes this.
  12. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I've repaired several stripped strap button screws on both ends of a body using glue and toothpicks, and a couple by drilling and filling with an oak plug, and so far none have given me any further problem. I drilled and filled both strap button holes on a body when installing straplocks that used smaller diameter screws than what was used for the stock button. Because the buttons for the straplocks required a specialized screw with a smaller head, i decided to use the included screws rather than risk softening some screw heads by grinding.

    I believe the trick for larger load bearing screws is fill with glue, insert multiple pieces of toothpick(s), then run your screw down while the glue is still wet. Swab up any excess and allow everything a day to dry before putting any weight in it.

    With the drill and fill, make a hole the same diameter as your plug or no more than an RCH larger and deep enough to leave your plug slightly proud, fill the hole with glue, tap in your plug, clean up excess glue, then let it dry. Once it's dry bring your plug flush then use a centerpunch, or your screw if you don't have a punch, and mark your hole location in the plug. Next, drill the recommended size pilot hole for your screw, and mount your button. Once you have it in place, take the screw out and put a few drop of water thin CA in the hole and quickly remount the button. This will harden your threads cut in the wood.

    I use plain old wood glue for toothpicks and plugs. It more than does the job and you can clean up any excess with plain water. If you don't have any thin CA, white glue will work in it's place, it just won't be as stout as CA would.
  14. Rei


    Apr 4, 2017
    Thanks for all the great advice. In case you're wondering, I ended drilling out the bamboo dowels and glueing in oak dowels, which I then drilled in a longer schaller screw with a tiny drop of glue in the pilot hole to solidify as well as glue on the screw itself. Hopefully no more issues from here on out! I'm not gonna touch those strap buttons again unless called for.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Then when that screw strips, get an even longer one. Repeat when it strips. Finally, when the screw is so long that it comes right out the other end of the body, replace the screw with a long bolt, lock washer and nut.

    Here's the problem. Let's say the original screw goes in one inch and it strips. So you replace it with one that goes in 1.5 inches. The original screw was holding with 1 inch of thread. But since that's stripped the new screw is holding with only one-half inch of thread. Far better if you can get the original screw to hold along its entire 1-inch length - i.e. plug the hold and remount the original screw.
    bassdude51 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  16. Bamboo isn't a great choice anyway. It's actually considered a grass ,and while rather hard does not have a proper grain to it. And as others have mentioned,resist the temptation to be monkeying around with the screw all the time. If the button doesn't spin around it's tight.
  17. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Which is why i prefer Dunlops..
    Badwater likes this.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    1) Drip white glue into hole
    2) Insert toothpicks, break off even with surface.
    3) Screw strap button on while glue is wet.
    4) Walk away for 24 hours.

    Problem solved.
    mysteryclock likes this.
  19. Rei


    Apr 4, 2017
    This thread is kind of dead, but I thought I would give y'all an update because I finally found a solution that seems to be working pretty well; Dimarzio Cliplock Straps. I ditched the original Fender screws and used the screws that came with the Dimarzio strap. I noticed this strap was very popular among bassists, so I decided to give it a try, and so far I have had zero issues in the 8 months or so I've been using it. I guess the schallers just didn't like my jazz bass.