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One of the strap buttons on my bass is stripped. I’ve seen several methods for repairing this, all of which involved filling the hole with some bits of wood.

  1. Insert matchsticks, toothpicks, or a dowel.
  2. Optionally add cyanoacrylate or wood glue.
  3. Optionally drill a pilot.

I first tried the simplest method, with just matchsticks and no glue, but the screw just shredded the filler. Next I tried what I thought would be the surest repair, filling the hole with a snug dowel and a drop of super glue, but the screw wouldn’t thread tightly in that either. I didn’t really trust it for a weight-bearing screw, and sure enough I was able to work it loose pretty easily.

I’d rather not take the guitar to a luthier for a repair that seems like it should be simple to do at home. What can I do to strengthen this repair so that it will not just keep stripping?

  • Related but not quite the same: music.stackexchange.com/questions/2108/… – Bradd Szonye Nov 18 '14 at 4:00
  • NEVER NEVER use cyanoacrylate glue on guitars. – david strachan Nov 18 '14 at 9:50
  • @davidstrachan Why not? – David Richerby Nov 18 '14 at 10:01
  • @DavidRicherby many reasons Main ones Can severely damage finish and is not really good for wood. – david strachan Nov 18 '14 at 11:36
  • @davidstrachan I think you're making some unjustified assumptions about the material any given guitar's body is made of, as well as the type of finish. A little superglue dropped down a screwhole is not going to do anything to the exterior finish. – Carl Witthoft Nov 18 '14 at 13:36
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I have had to do this with 3 of my guitars, and by far my best results have been from filling the hole with wood glue and then pushing 3 matchsticks in. Once the glue dries, I use a new screw - same width as the old one, but longer.

Super glue really doesn't work on wood - you need wood glue, or wood filler.

  • Great solution (plus experimental evidence to support :-) ). Just thinking that a possible desperation move would be to use a screw anchor as is often done when running screws into drywall. – Carl Witthoft Nov 18 '14 at 13:39
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    Generally screw anchors (or rawlplugs in the UK) stress the wood, and guitars usually aren't made to take the transverse stresses. For one of the guitars I made, I embedded a bolt (like Ikea furniture uses) that I could screw the strap pin into. It's rock solid! – Doktor Mayhem Nov 18 '14 at 13:48
  • Third time was the charm for me. I filled the hole with wood glue and toothpicks, let cure for a day, drilled a pilot, and was careful not to over-tighten. – Bradd Szonye Nov 18 '14 at 16:20
  • I didn't have a longer screw handy, so if it comes loose again I'll try that. – Bradd Szonye Nov 18 '14 at 16:26

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