How to correctly fill strap holes ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ElvisJabbar, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. ElvisJabbar

    ElvisJabbar New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here for a common issue, but I would like some advice.
    I’ve got a 2005 Sg faded worn brown with two extra strap holes behind the neck.
    I borrow this guitar to a guy as a spare guitar for live gigs. The original strap hole was too big, so he drilled a second one, then filled this one with a toothpick and drilled a third one.
    What do you recommend? Fill entirely with toothpick and glue? Or let it like it is?

    Thanks for the (future) answers!
    8119BD29-6E5B-4BF1-9DF7-E87278308C88.jpeg
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I'd leave it alone as a reminder not to loan my guitar to a cretin.
     
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  3. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Three things you don't lend another guy. Your wife, your pen and your guitar.
     
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  4. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Well-Known Member

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    this is like a bad Shia Laboof movie, no more holes!
     
  5. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Well-Known Member

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    Tooth picks and glue can work, but it is more better to get some hardwood dowel material and properly drill cut and glue pieces of that in the holes. then carefully drill the proper size hole and install the strap button. But I punched a hole in the back of my freshly painted SG so who am I to criticize :facepalm:.
     
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  6. ElvisJabbar

    ElvisJabbar New Member

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    Great advice, Cheshirgrin! This is why I asked my issue in this forum, I would never have think of this method (don’t blame me, please!). It seems to be perfect with hardwood dowel (and way better than toothpick!).
    For the others, yeah, I don’t think I’ll borrow my guitar again...
    Thanks to everyone!
     
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  7. ruster1

    ruster1 Active Member

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    Looks like a nice vintage 2005 SG there.. EVen its not considered old.. I'd take it to a luthier who has the skill to dowel these holes with similar grain wood and tint them so you cant notice and properly place the strap button where it needs to go.. good justice to those vintage guitars.. your cant ever bring back vintage SG's.. the pool keeps getting smaller.. Cheers those 2000's guitars played VERY well..
     
  8. DBluesMi

    DBluesMi New Member

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    Best to ask a guitar finishing -or- guitar building group on Facebook.
     
  9. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Are the extra holes covered with the button in the correct position?

    If not add a larger felt washer.

    Chew up a toothpick (they are made of hardwood), cram a bunch of fibers in the hole with an optional drop of elmers white, or wood glue and be done with it.


    y'all know how to overcomplicate something simple.
     
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  10. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget Boat too, Don
     
  11. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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  12. Rockabury

    Rockabury New Member

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    I would and have used toothpicks for holes like that. Toothpicks are typically made of birch which is harder than oak. I keep flat and round toothpicks lying around and use them for all sorts of stuff. I'd try and get some kind of glue in the mix too. For small holes liike those sometimes super glue is easiest since it flows well but my usual method would be to dry fit the toothpick(s) then slather them with titebond or Elmer's wood glue and then reinsert. It will work and re-attaching the strap button will be fine. Color matching and material is another story. I believe the faded SG's were a thin nitro finish so I'd look for a lacquer based nail polish.
     
  13. SteveFord59

    SteveFord59 New Member

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    ...books, albums, motorcycles...
     
  14. Stu R

    Stu R New Member

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    I've done near identical fixes to the heel button hole on an SG Junior. The hole at 3 o'clock doesn't matter so much due to the grain direction. On the one at 12 o'clock I'd drill it out with an 1/8" or 4mm drill and plug with a hardwood dowel, just to restrengthen the original hole from splitting. The grain doesn't matter, a dowel would be end grain which is impossible to match against long grain. Both "new" holes would be covered by the felt washer anyway.
    The more important one is the original hole. It's not been reamed by a screw being ripped out (like my SG Junior had), so it's not much bigger than original. I'd plug it with a toothpick or 2mm (1/16th) hardwood dowel, using PVA or professional wood glue, it's tough and takes long enough to dry that you can wipe away drips and surplus with a wet rag.

    After I'd done mine I soon after loaned it to a band guitarist, and I watched the gig. At one stage he slung it over his shoulder down his back while he did a keyboard break. I watched shocked and terrified as my SG hung upside down down his back, hanging by my recently refurbished strap button hole. It held!!! But as said above, I learned to never ever, ever to loan a guitar out ever again.
     
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  15. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    That depends on what you mean by "correct". Toothpicks and glue can work fine but a dowel is of course a little neater although more work since you have to fix the finish as well. If you go for dowel best ones are conical and made of the same material as the guitar. A middle alternative wold be mahogany wood shavings and glue. You can either make them or buy them. My standpoint is my usual; If chicks don't know the difference - who gives a sh!t.
     
  16. ezypikins

    ezypikins Member

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    Never heard of that. 2005 and vintage in the same sentence.
     
  17. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Grain direction or refinish would be the least of my worries with the location.

    It’s a real head scratcher why the original hole was not taken care of instead of drilling new ones next to it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020

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