Guitar 911: How to Repair Worn-Out Screw Holes on Your Guitar

(Image credit: Joe Becker)

This time I'm going to show you the best way to fix a worn-out strap button hole, trem-claw-screw hole or really any hole on a guitar.

Over the years, I've seen and read about a lot of approaches to fixing this issue. Everything from trimming and filling the hole with tooth picks, using tooth picks and glue, plugging the hole completely with a piece of wooden dowel then drilling a new pilot hole and on and on and on.

My issue with all of these approaches has always been that they're relatively time consuming. So here's a trick I learned from my years teaching music and working at piano repair shop. The moment I saw it, it immediately became my Number 1 method for repairing worn-out holes on guitars.

The answer is solder, which is essentially lead (so lead will work too). It's soft and malleable, but it's also very dense. Cut a piece of solder to length (you can cut more than one piece, if necessary) and place it in the worn-out hole. Then put your screw in. The solder expands around the screw, filling the gap between the screw and the walls of the hole, making for a nice, firm, quick and easy installation.

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