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Strap pin failure

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jamersonburton, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. jamersonburton


    Jul 22, 2011
    So i'm talking about the screw that connects the strap pin to the bass. The hole that the screw goes into has become very worn and rather large presumably from jumping around on stage (am std pbass, top horn).
    I've tried the old matchstick and glue solution and after that failed I've had techs look at it. After trying different screws and different straplocks and more wood/glue after more wood/glue, the screw keeps coming out/getting uncomfortably loose and it's failing/coming out at gigs. Anyone else have this happen? Any other fixes?

    Edit: it gets all messed up after like 20-30 minutes of playing standing up.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Matchsticks aren't always hardwood, toothpicks (the round kind) might've worked better. But at this point, you're better off (carefully) drilling it out to a larger diameter and gluing in a matching diameter hardwood dowel and then putting a new larger screw in the center of the dowel. (Time to start over, from the sound of it.)
    lz4005, LowNloud1 and bobdabilder like this.
  3. Pics? Wood glue and toothpicks failed?

    Edit: dowel is way to go.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    If the hole is that mangled it's time to drill out and plug with a dowel. After that, instead of installing normal strap buttons you might consider the Billy Sheehan approach:long stove bolts and washers that semi-permanently attach the strap to the bass.

    Billy Sheehan Advanced Bass
  5. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    JB Weld works here if the bass is a keeper and will get used a lot.

    Started using glues the day after I caught a 1964 Gibson Thunderbird mid-air at a gig when a button let go. Never again. I'd already had 1 headstock repair on a '63 when fighting-over-a-girl drunks got onto a stage in Cutoff, Louisiana before our roadies could get to them.
  6. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    The strap button screws on my Am Special bass have only about 1/2" of threaded length actually anchored in the wood. It's no surprise that these can let go.

    As suggested, drill out and fit a dowel in the hole. Then replace the screw with a longer one, eg 1-1/2", so that you have at least 1" of threaded length in the wood.

    I would also use stainless steel if you are using the same screw diameter size; they're stronger than stock strap button screws. You could also move to a heavier strap button and screw.

    Stock strap buttons were never really intended to support a bass while jumping around. So simply reinstalling the original is only temporary at best.

  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    how did you do that method?

    the right way is to use enough toothpicks that the screw goes in tight, use enough wood glue that some of it squeezes out, and (obviously) to crank in the screw while the glue is still wet.
    Grumry likes this.
  8. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    A better way is to drilling out the original hole and using a well fit glued in plug (I use a cross grain plug cut from a block of extra hard maple I keep just for such repairs) at least to the depth of the original hole and a longer, more robust screw that extends past the plug into fresh body wood for about an inch.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  9. Radio


    Jan 8, 2010
    New Haven, CT
    The suggestions to drill for a piece of hardware dowel are headed in the right direction, however, there are posts here on TB that discourage repairs like this. The reason is that you would be screwing into end grain, a situation not unlike the original wood.

    TBer walterw had suggested using a cross grain plug, not a dowel in another thread.

    I have personally used the toothpick and white wood glue method to good effect, screwing the button in while the glue is wet. (I don't jump around on stage, though)

    One method I would like to try is to use a threaded insert for a number 10 or 12 machine screw. The insert threads into the wood, which may be sufficiently strong, but maybe someone can chime in on epoxying the insert.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I brought this up in an earlier thread but don't recall seeing a response.

    I'll take the OP's word on it. If screw hole is so jimmied that the properly applied toothpick & glue route doesn't endure, a cross grain plug may be in order.

  11. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    As an alternative, you can use a straplock and recess it into the body until it is about flush with the surface.
    This will create a much, much stronger point of attachment. It will also put the screw down deeper into fresh wood.
    Sav'nBass likes this.
  12. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    I notice you play with you bass slung low. Is it the horn button or the bottom button or both that are loosening? I just wonder why it is happening over and over and if it isn't a faulty repair, could it be you are pushing down on the body when you play and over-stressing the buttons? Maybe you are "kicking" the body with your legs as you move around?
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yeah, matchsticks are c#$* wood.
  14. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Dowel it, redrill and use a longer screw. More threads biting into the wood is a good thing.
  15. Yep, dowel it and get a longer screw. I've got this procedure down to an art. The screw breaking or stripping out is a common occurrence and easily fixed with this method.
  16. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    This... also... do you give the glue enough time to dry? What kind of glue are you using?
  17. Growlmonkee


    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    Alternative: Dunlop flush mount straplocks, they work great, look good, and last, I have them on 2 basses.

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