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I recently bought a Fender Stratocaster that came stock with Schaller straplocks. This is great, because I pretty much always play standing. In shows, I jump around and do all the tricks in the book. (Guitar behind head, guitar throws etc...)

Unfortunately, the neck-side strap pin wiggles a little bit whenever I jump around. The screw feels solid, when I pull on the offending pin. I have hesitated to do some of my tricks as a result of this thing.

The movement is 5 degrees at most. Should I take it to a luthier for inspection?

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I had a similar issue with a pick guard screw that I stripped by removing my pick guard so much while experimenting with electronics. While I certainly didn't get this issue in such a colorful way as you--I'm way more boring--it still was an annoyance to me. I fixed the problem by purchasing some wood putty, filling up the old hole, drilling a small pilot hole, and screwing the wood screw back into place. It's been solid for about 2 years now.

The only additional issue I can see here is that you will be placing a lot of stress on the joint whilst you perform your cool tricks--so I recommend patching and re-drilling as I mentioned above along with getting a longer screw. Probably double the length of your current screw should suffice and you can get those types of wood screws at any hardware store cheap--just remember to take the original with you so you get the correct diameter, thread grain, and screw head. Wider screws have the potential of cracking the body just like @InternalConspiracy mentions, but a longer screw will increase the development length of the screw in relation to the wood. This will make your strap lock more sturdy, because there are more turns of the screw in contact with the wood allowing it to remain in place and dissipate the forces of your antics more evenly. Additionally, a deeper screw will be sturdier because it prevents more rotation--what's known as a moment in physics and engineering.

I realize that's way more technical than you probably care to go, but there are advantages to being married to a civil engineer XD.

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Try tightening the screw a little more or to be safe and not risk cracking the body, you may want to also try removing the screw and drilling the hole just a little deeper. That should secure it in there. I had to do this when I installed my aftermarket Schallers on my Les Paul and BC Rich thin-line acoustic/electric. Easy enough for me and I'm scared to do anything to my guitars that involve power tools.

Also I thought a small piece of felt cut to fit under the strap button. That could work too if you don't want to drill.

Link to a How-To install Strap Locks

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Are you saying there is a 5 degree play in the screw itself, or are you saying there is play within the straplok mechanism?

If it is within the screw itself, I would consider using a longer screw.

Schaller straploks generally have a bit of "wiggle" to them anyway. If that bothers you, check out a few of the other systems around.

  • It's a wiggle on the button that gets screwed onto the guitar, but the screw itself is rock solid. I guess it just means that the screw isn't tight enough, but I think I need a deeper pilot hole to make it tighter. – Aurum Aquila Apr 1 '11 at 13:00
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There's no need to worry about this. I have Schaller Security locks on all my guitars and my bass. They all do wiggle around a bit, but that's nothing to worry about as long as the actual pin that's screwed on your guitar fits tight.

The Schaller system is one of the best on the market actually, I tried different systems before I switched to Schaller and was never satisfied with other solutions.

Even thought the Schaller wiggle around a bit, they NEVER came loose before, so I'd say it's safe. :)

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