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What's the best way to fill in screw holes?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dalo, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. dalo

    dalo Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY

    I'm planning on replacing the tuners on my bass with Hipshot Ultralites. There will definitely be visible screw holes from the previous tuners when I'm done so I was wondering what would be the best way to fill them so that the holes are not not too obvious.

    The neck is all Rosewood so I was thinking maybe some sort of dark wood filler? I would certainly appreciate any guidance on methods and materials.

  2. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I'd use rosewood dust and CA.
    Lownote38, Gilmourisgod and dalo320 like this.
  3. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Glue in a dowel as similar in color as possible. Cut flush and finish over. Voila!
    dalo320 likes this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Both answers sound good to me - the dowel is better if the new screw holes overlap the old, the CA and dust better if it shows (I'm guessing here).
    ak56 and dalo320 like this.
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Rosewood dust and CA would be good. Or a rosewood dowel - I'm sure you have lots of rosewood dust and dowels handy.

    Oh, you don't! OK. find some of those round toothpicks or some skewers or carve down a popsicle sick into suitable sticks. Glue them in, cut flush. Go to an art supply store and look through their coloured marking pens - hundreds of shades available. Pick a rosewood coloured one and dot the ends of the dowels. When dry, put a drop of CA on the end of each dowel letting it bead up a bit higher then the surrounding finish. When hard, cut it down using a single edged razor blade as a scraper. Sand and buff. Get the full picture about the CA, scraping, sanding and buffing here:

    You just don't need the acetone and dye part.
    Lownote38, Dean N and dalo320 like this.
  6. dalo

    dalo Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have an extra rosewood knob that isn't being used that I can sacrifice for dust. Dust and glue seems really easy and would be my best option. Such a simple solution!

    Thanks everyone!
  7. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015

    plan a:
    solid rosewood dowel.

    plan b:
    solid maple dowel set just below the surface then capped with a dust & ca or epoxy mixture.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Dust and ca because it's quick and effective. Leave it a bit lower than the existing finish so you can top it off with ca and sand and polish it to blend in with the finish.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I was redoing a bass and the pickguard had a few holes that were not exactly lined up right. They were close enough to work, but the heads sat cocked on the guard when they were run down. Since I was completely redoing the whole bass I decided to fill all the guard and control plate holes and drill new ones to both improve the fit between the guard and control plate and so all my screw heads would sit perfectly on the guard and plate when run down.

    First pic is a hole filled with a toothpick and CA. As you can see the CA is proud of the body.
    Second pic is the same hole after the CA was shaved.


  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Another option is to just put screws back in th exposed holes. Doesn't look out of place (metal studs! Best for metal!) and avoids the fact that fills will always be somewhat obvious.
    Spidey2112 and 202dy like this.
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    ?? I guess I'm slow on the uptake here. I used wood and CA because the holes would allow a screw but the head above the pickguard was cocked and I wanted them all flat, which meant I had a few that needed to be drilled so close it would have been impossible to do so without a solid surface to drill into. Start another hole close to an existing hole and the bit just walks into the existing hole and then you have a wallowed out hole that a screw won't grab in, not to mention trying to drill a hole with half your bit in a screw and the other half in wood. As for fills being obvious, all mine were under the guard or control plate.
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    ?? OP is talking about his tuners not your PG. I am referring to his tuners.
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Ok, what is ca?
  14. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Super glue.
  15. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Ahhhh I C said the blind man!

    *head removed from rectal orifice* :D
    Spidey2112 likes this.

  16. It's short for Cyanoacrylate, or, superglue. I like the gel type to fill in a hole even if there is a toothpick or other filler material in it. The gel glue stays where you put it instead of running all over and will build up a little so you can sand it back down.
  17. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    I'd bet money Stew Mac has a specialty tool, filler piece and / or glue for this application. New from Stew Mac, "tiny rosewood screw hole filler pieces." Pack of 4 , $5.......
    fhm555 and Spidey2112 like this.
  18. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Hilarious, but probably true, too...
  19. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Gotta tap this market!

    Wood slivers, various hardwoods. May contain mahogany, ebony, maple, Pau Ferro, Rosewood, Ipe, Oroko, Myrtle and many others. $6 per pound. Shipping extra. Note: Orders from outside Canada will not contain any Rosewood due to export/import restrictions imposed by the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species. (10% discount for TB members)
    96tbird and Lownote38 like this.

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