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Intermediate Member
Username: robinc

Post Number: 132
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post

One of the straplocks on my bass has become loose. I've tightened the screw a few times, though never very hard for fear of stripping the wood, and after some use it wiggles itself loose again. I've seen some straplocks that have a small felt bushing between the metal and the wood that occasionally needs replacing. Is that the case with Alembics? I figured I would get some expert advice before I tried a DIY approach. Thanks!
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 992
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 4:03 pm:   Edit Post

Wooden toothpick down the shaft to take up the slack, cut to fit the depth or sometimes just break it off if you are in a real hurry, a dab of elmers if you like, replace screw. I carry those things in my gig bag. I have had to do it to all my basses. I kinda put a lot of force on my basses when I play. Just one man's opinion.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3609
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 4:27 pm:   Edit Post

Danno is right on (as usual). In fact , there is a story on use of toothpicks in one of the current magazines, I think it's Vintage Guitar, IIRC. One suggestion: try and get good and solid round hardwood toothpicks, not the cheap flat ones. Put it in with some wood glue. Let dry 24 hours. Carefully (with a razor or similar blade) trim off the extra toothpick sticking out of the hole, then replace the screw.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 441
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post

Several times in the past I've used wooden matches (they are a little bigger than toothpicks) and then just put the screw back in. I didn't want to glue it just in case for some odd reason I wanted to get it out again. None have failed yet....

Senior Member
Username: kungfusheriff

Post Number: 820
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 1:42 pm:   Edit Post

If you use epoxy, you can heat the strap button screw with a soldering iron just enough to melt the glue, and then unscrew as normal.
Backyard mechanics know _all_ the tricks!
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 442
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post

Will the residual epoxy in the hole have any effect on putting the screw back in afterwards?

Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 1589
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 10:10 am:   Edit Post

my Strap is screwed into the bass insuring it will never come loose unless i unscrew it..that's always sure safe option that it wont give-way unexpedly.
Username: bassdr

Post Number: 100
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 10:16 am:   Edit Post

I solved this issue by installing threaded brass inserts and using machine screws to hold my straplocks in place.
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1411
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post

I read on the forum somewhere that Clarkee uses the method Keavin suggested. I presume the idea of threaded inserts would have been considered by Alembic since they use threaded inserts everywhere else. So I suppose there is a good reason they don't use them on the straplocks.
I could see threaded inserts coming lose due to continued movement of the strap in use.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3672
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - 12:18 pm:   Edit Post

I always double check my strap pins and the straplock mechanisms on my strap before playing. I find that the piece on the strap loosening is far more common than the posts on the guitar loosening. I guess this is almost second nature to me as a result of owning an old Austin Healy Bugeye Sprite many years ago. I was always taught to preventively check and tighten bolts on a British sports car.

Bill, tgo

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