Simple Guitar Repairs 2: Stripped Screw Holes

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I’ve got a couple of cheap tricks to save your bacon and your money this week.

I recently inspected the electrics on one of my guitars and was rewarded with 3 stripped screws on the plastic cover. These can do some damage to you if they work out enough to get caught on your clothes when performing, to say nothing of all the crap an insecure cover can let into the electric compartment. Luckily, this is a quick and easy fix.

First, remove the offending screws, of course, then grab a couple round or flat toothpicks and stuff them in the hole, figure 2. Don’t fill it up, you just want to decrease the diameter.

Snap the toothpick(s) off flush with the surface and…

… screw the screw back in place. It should tighten right up… good as new!

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You can use wooden matches too, but the toothpick is harder wood and will even work for neck screws if you add a little wood glue in the hole as well. This works for door hinges, cabinet hinges, anything where the screw threads in the hole have been stripped but the surrounding wood is undamaged.

This next tip is more of a “poor man’s” remedy than an actual repair. I wanted to secure a guitar strap that had become a little worn at the attachment hole without the expense of a strap lock so, I made my own.

You’ll need 4 washers (1/4″ washers work well) and a screwdriver. Just sandwich the strap under the strap button with the washers. Make sure the screw is long enough to be secure with this added thickness under the button. If not, you’ll have to replace it with a longer one.

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The advantage to this is that the strap won’t come off. The disadvantage to this is that the strap won’t come off… unless you unscrew the buttons.

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The strap is thoroughly secure. I wouldn’t use this to fix a strap that is torn on the bottom of the hole or so worn that it can’t be secured soundly. It’s not worth dropping the guitar!

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Okay, that’s it for #2. See you next week.

More do-it-yourself guides from Doug Knight:

Simple Guitar Repairs: How To Align A Bolt On Neck

Build a K-MOD102 Guitar Amp Kit

Building the Mod Kits DIY Trill Tremolo Guitar Pedal

Installing a Sound System in an Acoustic Guitar

Build Your Own Guitar Pedalboard

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Doug Knight

Our “Man on the Street” reporter, with his “What’s New in Music Stores?” series, resides in Coos Bay, OR. You can find him on Friday nights at The Small Events Center at OrCoast Music in Coos Bay.

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