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Strap lock maintenance?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bopeuph, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    About a year ago I had some strap locks put on my Geddy Lee. After a while, the nut on either end comes loose and will fall off. It's happened while playing and I instinctively grab my axe, even though the straps are still hanging on the locks pretty far in and it probably wouldn't have fallen. I'm guessing the nuts get loose from the constant swiveling of the straps. Is there a way to keep them from loosening?

    Also, they squeak, and I don't know if WD-40 is a good idea on my bass. What's the best oil to use?

  2. For the loosening, I'd suggest some loctite- a mildly gluelike liquid that 'locks' the threads on nut/bolt assemblies. Ther are different grades; I believe what you'll want is the blue stuff, which doesn't completely lock things up, so you can take it apart.
    As for the squeaking, WD-40 is actually a degreaser, so it will work for a while but eventually evaporate & you're back where you started. I'd try a touch of light machine oils(3-in-1 brand for example)or a bit of bicycle chain wax.

    Edit: I might also suggest trying Dunlop starplocks; they snap together securely & can't unscrew. Billy Sheehan doesn't like them but I've never had an issue(after at least a dozen basses w/Dunlops).
  3. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    How about the valve oil from my brass instruments? If I can use that, should I use the regular stuff or the synthetic stuff (I use the synthetic for my best horn)?

    I also have slide oil, which is much thicker than valve oil.

  4. Read the labels, but I can't imagine that either would hurt anything; I would use the lighter(thinner)stuff.
  5. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks. I'll give it a shot.

  6. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    Sounds like you have Schallers, I'd recommend Dunlops to replace them, better on so many levels, Primarily? no nut.
  7. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks. Didn't know that. I just asked to have some straplocks installed at my last setup job, so I had no clue what they put on. That will be an upgrade I'll look into.

  8. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    How about putting some muscle into that wrench you Sally. :D

    The main reason that these nuts come loose and eject themselves is because people don't torque the piss out of them when installing.

    As for the squeaking, try a couple drops of light oil in the horseshoe.
  9. Well all nuts I've known that are not held in place by loctite eventually loosen if they are in a vibration friendly environement. So either you buy loctite or like you should already have done, you just tighten the nut every now and then to be sure it never come loose. It's a no brainer
  10. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    The above statement isn't always true. The vibration of a 1000 ton press doesn't shake itself loose, and we don't use loctite on them. It's all about the appropriate use of torque.
  11. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Dry wall screws work good too.
    You just can't take the strap off.
  12. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    +1. I have NEVER had an issue with Dunlops - more than 10 years on my oldest set now. And if you want to locate them easily, use their brand name "straploks" in the search engine.
  13. newfuture


    Jul 13, 2007
    +1, both counts. With the following caveat:

    be careful what you use to support the horseshoe when tightening the piss out of it. I once used a screwdriver inside the horseshoe. Bad move. It caused the horseshoe to tear out its sidewall. I now use either vice grips or a bench vice. Since being a bit more brute with 'em, I've had schaller style locks on for years now that have never loosened. I also like that you can pick up all-parts buttons for $1 a pop without buying the horseshoe. I've only got a few straps with the horseshoes on, but a lot more instruments with the buttons.
  14. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    I use a socket wrench on the Schallers and have never had any trouble with one becoming loose. I like the Schaller profile a little better, although I have also used the Dunlops and have found them to be easy to use.

    Do you guys turn your horseshoes up for extra security or downward for quicker release?
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    My brother uses the Schallers and has suffered the same problem of coming apart.

    For ANYTHING that gets vibration, I use a toothpick to put a small amount of clear silicone glue on the threaded part. So far these items got silicone this year: 3 basses' input jack nuts kept vibrating loose(tightening the snot out of them = busted plastic plate), Line6 BODXTLive input jack, every screw on any rack gear installed.

    I HAVE had the circlip come off once.
    After that time, I ALWAYS use needle-nose pliers to close up the circlip a little more than normal before putting it in the LOC slot. This seems to give it a tighter grip and keep them on.

    Lube on the connection parts?
    I'd use corn oil or gun oil CAREFULLY and as little as possible.
    It will act as a magnet for dust and dirt which can make things worse.
  16. troy2003


    Aug 29, 2007
    Something a guy told me works great-I tried it and it does.Is clear fingernail polish.You can still get it off relatively easy if you want to switch straps or something.
  17. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006

    Always to the up position, to put it on upside down would almost surely spell defeat someday. It's almost a criminal misuse of the product lol.
  18. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    WD-40 is actually a water displacement chemical developed in the 50's for US military aircraft skins. It just so happens to have a plethora of other uses. :)
  19. Water Displacement formula #40.

  20. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I've used the same set of schallers on the same strap for more than 10 years without a problem.

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