Some tips for a messed up strap button would be extremely helpful

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Kylo88, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Kylo88


    Jan 23, 2018
    So I bought this SR500 as my first bass, I bought it knowing there were some things that needing touched up, I got told in another thread this is the place I should come to so here I am :)
    Basically the hole for the screw looks like it’s been bored out for some reason into some daft oval shape, any ideas on a fix for it? It doesn’t need to be pretty, the rest of the bass isn’t the prettiest anyway, just functional, I’ve heard jamming matches or dowels in it might make it more snug but I’m not sure, any ideas? Thanks
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Toothpicks and glue.
  3. jebmd


    May 4, 2009
    Iona, Florida
    I would drill the the hole and glue a dowel in. It’ll be good practice if you ever need to repair a bass you really love.
  4. Agreed with Jebmd.. A glued in dowel will be stronger.
    hrodbert696 and jebmd like this.
  5. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Yes and no to a glued in dowel. You need to cut your own plug to go in there rather than a store-bought dowel - the key is that you don't want to open up and glue in a chunk of end grain from a dowel. The easiest solution really is just some toothpicks and glue. :)
    JRA and Reedt2000 like this.
  6. markoc


    Jan 6, 2014
    North San Diego
    Looks like a good sized hole. Use a chopstick instead of toothpicks. Whittle it to fit and glue.
  7. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    +1 - I did this more than once and always worked flawlessly
    JRA likes this.
  8. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I’m a believer in matchsticks and white glue. The pine sticks are soft enough to mush around the screw and “reform” the threads in the wood. Have done it many times without a failure. Toothpicks are usually maple and are a bit too hard for the job, IMO.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  9. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Just roll a toothpick in wood glue, stick it in the hole, beak it off flush, repeat until you can't fit anymore toothpicks (You can tap em in with the butt of your screwdriver as the hole gets full). Then screw the strap button in while the glue is still wet. The soft toothpicks and glue kind mush all together around the threads of the screw. Don't hang it from a strap for 24 hours to make sure it is setup. Use yellow glue not white glue (not strong enough), crazy glue, or epoxy (both are overkill, sticky and messy).
    96tbird and Zooberwerx like this.
  10. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    It never occurred to me to use match sticks. I like the cheaper, squared toothpicks cuz they are softer than the larger, round ones.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This is the correct answer and costs dinkus. Use yellow carpenter's glue or TiteBond. Once dried / cured, you can even remove the screw and apply thin super glue onto the wood threads. This wicks into the surrounding wood and strengthens the structure. This is more commonly used as a preventative measure with softer woods.

    mech, 96tbird and Reedt2000 like this.
  12. Kylo88


    Jan 23, 2018
    Thanks for all the help chaps
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I've repaired stripped strap button holes with toothpicks, match sticks and dowels. They all work fine.
    But there are limits. That one looks big enough that I'd fill it with whatever you like and then find a new location for the strap button an inch or two away in solid wood.
  14. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    Matchsticks is a good idea. I've used toothpicks before that were nothing more than compressed wood dust.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    This is a case where a plug is not a good idea - a dowel would be correct. You want the grain of the insert to be running the same way as the grain in the body- so a dowel is correct. A plug would have the mating surfaces having the grain at right angles, and the end grain on the plug would not bond well to the long grain in the body.
    jebmd likes this.
  16. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    My main player is a G&L SB-2T. I used the toothpick and Elmer's glue fix for the top horn strap button hole that got too big. Been working for several months now.
  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    My usual solution is drill it out, fill with dowel and gorilla glue, then redrill a smaller hole to guide the strap button screw in with.
    jebmd and petrus61 like this.
  18. This is exactly what I do. I install Dunlop strap locks on all my basses and they almost always wind up stripping out within a few days of playing. I use 1/4” poplar dowels from Home Depot. They’re about a buck each and the perfect softness. Once it’s done, it’s good for a lifetime.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    hrodbert696 and jebmd like this.
  19. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    You can do this, or use JB Weld...guaranteed to not get loose, again, ever. :D
  20. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    It's funny because I far prefer Dunlop Straploks on a gig to others I've tried, but the design tends to pull on the button with too much lateral leverage, and they don't make a long enough screw with a narrow enough head to let you really sink it deep in the wood. So too much use of the straplock is enough to pull it loose after a while. My way of dealing with that has been to only use the strap with the locks on gigs, and when practicing at home or band rehearsal, when I'm not moving around so much, just use a regular strap.
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