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Crooked String Tree Screw Hole

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by RifleSlinger, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    Howdy,

    I had a tech assemble my partscaster, and among the few things that bother me, the string tree screw hole was not straight.

    IMG_2993.JPG

    I wish he'd have left it for me, because I don't think he cared much about what he was doing. It didn't even look like he bothered to pre-drill the hole (the wood around the hole was raised).

    IMG_2997.JPG

    My woodworking skills and access to tools are in the novice range, but I learn things well. If I were to drill it out to the diameter of the string tree, plug it, and drill a new hole in the same location, would that hold the upward pressure of the strings? I would use a pin vise to drill.

    So, is this important enough to bother fixing? Looking at it just pisses me off. I'm going to apply shellac to the neck this week, and if I'm going to fix it I should probably do this first.

    Thanks.
     
  2. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

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    get a hardwood toothpick and some wood glue..hammer it in there (2 or 3 bits) break it off level..an hour later start the screw again
     
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  3. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    That sounds reasonable Slinger (I couldn't help but notice the uncanny similarity in our usernames).

    Now I have to study on the mojo factor scores of various types of toothpicks...

    Thanks.
     
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  4. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a great tech in my area that is the road tech for several very well known bands. He is excellent, but there is a big difference in his efforts and speed when working on vintage gear and on items that are more pedestrian.

    I would take it back to the tech and point it out. Unless he was working for free, he should back it up and make the correction. It could be that he meant to install it at an angle to better anchor the string...not saying that I would believe that, but it might be true.

    Take it back.
     
  5. kidmo

    kidmo Friend of Leo's

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    I would not try the glue and toothpick route. It works well with pickguards and control plates but then they don't have the tension trying to pull the screw back out. If you drill and plug you will have an obvious repair with no way to hide unless you paint. I would definitely take it back to the tech and point it out.
     
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  6. poolshark

    poolshark Tele-Holic

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    Unless that hole is extremely cockeyed, there should be enough play between the screw and tree to allow the tree to sit flat when screwed down. Either way, would not dowel and redrill. Use a pick or file or drill bit to wallow out the hole just a little bit in the right direction. If you're not comfortable doing it, take it back to the tech.
     
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  7. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    +1
    This is the correct answer.
    No muss no fuss.
     
  8. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If it works, I wouldn't bother with it. Many times fixing a small problem turns into a bigger problem. There's been a hundred times I wish I'd left well enough alone.
     
  9. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hear ya, but I'd be worried about the north edge of the tree grabbing and possibly breaking the strings.

    I'd fill the hole and drill a new one just north of it, close enough that the filled hole is hidden under the bottom of the tree.
     
  10. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    If you're not 100% set on using that string retainer check out this one

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000...tring+tree&dpPl=1&dpID=41TNL-rYKJL&ref=plSrch

    It has a little pin on the bottom side. I made the same mistake when I made my strat this summer and it really bothered me. I was using the vintage style string tree but I picked up one of these. I used the crooked hole for the little pin and drilled a new hole to secure it. It's like it never happened.
     
  11. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    The tree had taken all the play up trying to level itself. The hole is more cockeyed than the tree in the picture.

    So if I read it correctly, you're suggesting that I enlarge the hole in the tree so it does have play to right itself? I hadn't thought of that. I'll keep it in mind.
     
  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, this is sort of a salvage situation now. I'd ream away all that loose maple, then remove the top 20% of the hole out to a diameter that's only got to be less than the OD of the base on the tree. Now, the tree should screw back in and be much closer to level and will sit flush to the headstock face. This maple is extremely tough and if you're right and he didn't remove much wood, you've got plenty in there for the screw to bite into.

    Are you using 11s or less? Maybe my advice would not work on 13s or something. Whether any tree stays right is at some level a function of whether the screw can handle the upwards load from the 2 strings at full pitch (plus whatever from behind the nut bends).
     
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  13. poolshark

    poolshark Tele-Holic

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    Pretty much what I had in mind. Filling or doweling won't do you any good in hard maple, as the soft fill will just draw the drill bit back into the previous angle. Wallowing the hole basically skips that debacle and keeps everything concealed under the string tree. Worst case scenario, if the hole is too wallowed out to hold a screw - which it won't be if you're careful - you can install the screw with some sawdust and wet wood glue. Will be more than strong enough when it dries.
     
  14. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    I'm going to find a piece of maple to play with and try this stuff out with similarly sized eyelet screws that I can hang weight from to test the failure weights.

    I'm currently using 10's, considering moving up to 11's. So that would be about 18 pounds tension per string (how that translates to perpendicular weight I don't know), and it looks like a full step bend adds about 4 lbs of tension, so I'm thinking if I can hang 60 lbs from my test wood, it should be adequate?

    And Boris, the words "salvage situation" sound like a micro-aggression and made me run to my safe space :cry:. My attempt at humor.
     
  15. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    Poolshark and Boris,

    The current screw is a #3 5/8. The ID of the string tree hole will accommodate a #5. Will "wallowing" the hole in conjunction with the thicker screw probably hold about as well as it did before?
     
  16. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Holy smokes! I thought I could complicate a simple job :) Wood glue and toothpicks are the way to go here, a sharpened bamboo skewer or chopstick would be great if you really want to get fancy. There isn't a lot of upward force on a string tree. If there was it wouldn't be secured by a single #3 screw that has maybe 1/4" of penetration.
     
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  17. poolshark

    poolshark Tele-Holic

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    Whether it holds as much as before isn't especially relevant. Considering the materials, the force we're dealing with here is minuscule. Go in increments. Stick with the #3 first. Chuck a 1/16" drill bit and use it to straighten out the hole. It might elongate the hole on top, but your screw will still get good purchase further down. If it doesn't, you can use the wood glue trick, or you can potentially go up a screw size. Do test pieces if you're concerned.
     
  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I would not use a larger gauge screw. The existing one should work. The head on the #5 will look IMO foolish.
     
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The way it works for me, once I've had it for a week, all my guitars are "salvage". :^)
     
  20. RifleSlinger

    RifleSlinger Tele-Meister

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    I straightened the hole last night (I'm glad I could say that in proper context :)). There still seems to be plenty of purchase for the screw. If it flings my string tree across the room I'll, uh, salvage it. Shellac is going on nice, and my neck pickup should be here soon. Looks like this might happen!
     
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