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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default strap screws vs strap locks

Since having switched up my main rigs to Gretsch a couple months back, Ive been marvelling at the strap securing screws they use. But recently Ive noticed pictures of Falcons and other 6's using straplocks...

Has anyone ever had a strap screw fly off or be otherwise less-than-trustworthy? Has anyone here found a NEED to replace the screws with straplocks? Or have I just seen a superstitious few that might even put straplocks on their dog to attach a leash, or on a car to prevent theft...? Thoughts?

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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I needed to replace the strap screws on mine because they stripped the hole. I think the problem was that I was using a strap that was thick where the screw went through it. Since the strap was snug against the head of the strap screw, whenever the strap would move it would loosen the screw and I'd have to keep tightening it. Didn't take too long before it was stripped... Alot of people have good luck with the strap screws, I think my problem was due to the thick strap rather than a problem with the screws themselves.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I installed Schaller Strap-Loks on my Gretsches.

Why? For me, the strap-loks are easier and quicker. They hardest part is installing the strap's connector. If your strap is thick-ish leather it can be very difficult.

To get the most out of the Gretsch strap screws, take the screw out of the guitar and apply some Elmer's glue, wood glue, or even Superglue. Then place the screw back in the guitar. Lube up the knob-end threads with some soap, Vaseline, or light machine oil.

Thicker straps tend to work the Strap Screws loose, so get into the habit of checking them periodically.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Uhhm, yeah, the top strap screw of my 5129 was coming loose.
Last rehearsal before I switched to using the Gent, I noticed it started to get loose. It wouldn't tighten up anymore.

Since my local music shop gave me a 1yr warrenty, I'm having this fixed by them at the moment. I asked them if they could replace it with one of those fancy strap thingies I have my Country Gent. On the Gent, the strap lock is screwed on a separate base. The base itself is screwed into the wood. That way, if the strap lock moves a bit when I move the strap, the base will not move anymore.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiel View Post
Uhhm, yeah, the top strap screw of my 5129 was coming loose.
Last rehearsal before I switched to using the Gent, I noticed it started to get loose. It wouldn't tighten up anymore.

Since my local music shop gave me a 1yr warrenty, I'm having this fixed by them at the moment. I asked them if they could replace it with one of those fancy strap thingies I have my Country Gent. On the Gent, the strap lock is screwed on a separate base. The base itself is screwed into the wood. That way, if the strap lock moves a bit when I move the strap, the base will not move anymore.
Doesn't the Gent have the same Gretsch-style strap knobs? The stock knobs on Electromatics and Pro-line models are the same. When you unscrew the knob, the bolt (black screw section) should stay IN the guitar-- even on Electromatic models. If the bolt comes out with the knob, then the knob is screwed on too tight-- they are two separate pieces.

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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a pre-fender 6122jr. and I haven't looked at the original strap knobs since I replaced them but I though mine were one piece rather than the two-piece knobs they are making now. I'll double check later and let you know.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had the button on my 5120 strip real fast. I put in locks and I just went ahead and threw a set my TN Rose when I got it for peace of mind.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I read that several 5120 owners have had the strap screws come loose and fall out. I replaced the screws on my 5120 with Schaller strap locks. I did, however, miss the knurled metal knob on the end. When I replaced the pickup selector switch with a Switchcraft, I found that the stock metal tip did not fit. I screwed the strap knob onto the switch and found it's a perfect fit, just a bit larger. I'm sure those cool screws will come handy somewhere down the line as well, like using them to pin the bridge, etc.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just checked the original knobs from mine, I thought they were one piece but they are two piece like other people have noted. My knobs are completely stuck to the screw though, I doubt they'd come off without using pliers (and damaging the threads).
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tartanphantom View Post
Doesn't the Gent have the same Gretsch-style strap knobs? The stock knobs on Electromatics and Pro-line models are the same. When you unscrew the knob, the bolt (black screw section) should stay IN the guitar-- even on Electromatic models. If the bolt comes out with the knob, then the knob is screwed on too tight-- they are two separate pieces.

I'm not sure Tartan; I'd swear it's one piece, although I do see a chrome and a black part on the electromatic strap screw. Maybe I have the same problem as gfnk357 describes; both pieces screwed together too tightly. I'll check with the shop!

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Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Mine look just like the picture above so I'm assuming they're two pieces but yeah, they won't budge. I had originally thought the screw was welded on, guess I didn't look close enough.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'll bet you a cup of coffee that they are two-piece. To my knowledge, Gretsch never made the strap knob as a one piece unit-- that would defeat the purpose of the screw-on knobs. The black threaded screw was always intended to stay in the guitar body.

The best way to separate them is to hold the screw near the top flange (immediately under the knob) tightly with needle-nose pliers, and using a towel or rubber jar opener (or a small piece of rubber mousepad), unscrew the knob from the screw.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wish I knew all this about 10 years ago, I loved the look of the stock knobs but couldn't keep them in for the life of me.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So people are unscrewing these from the wood to change a strap? intentionally? more than once?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Gretsch has been using that kind of strap lock for more years than most of us have been around. I had a 1968 Falcon and it used the same as what you are showing above. It the outer part won't come loose then it has just been screwed on to tight.

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Old May 3rd, 2010, 06:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Wow. Looks like we got another piece of good intel for all here! I have to 6 series guitars (6119 Tennessee Rose, 6120 Hot Rod). On BOTH guitars - that I bought used - the base screw originally came out with the top piece. The 1st time it happened I used some wood glue (like white glue which might work just as well)

1) Like Tartanphantom said, remove the top knob from the base screw. Make sure those two so they can be easily unscrewed from each other with finger strength. Note: DONT get lube into the wood screw threads!

2) Put a THIN layer of wood glue into the threads of the base screw.

3) Carefully return the base screw into the wood. Try to match the original wood threads.

4) Use a clean rag to carefully remove any glue that comes back out the top of the threads-hole. Note: if you applied a LOT of glue, you will have a lot to clean up. If you applied the glue sparingly, not much to clean.

5) Let this cure for a several hours (the glue bottle should give an accurate timeline. If it says 5 hours, WAIT 5 hours... this isnt the project to rush).

6) Finished! From now your strap-screw should work as intended. Neither of mine have EVER given me a problem since I glued mine. Top comes off the base screw. Base screw stays firmly anchored into the wood.

NOTE: To expand on Sleepers post. Do not retighten the top knob too tightly in the future. Screwing the top on too tight. That is likely what caused the original anchor screw problem the first time. When securing straps I dont even use finger strength on the strap screws. Just enough to snug em, not enough to secure them from Ninja attack. If youre screwing on your strap knobs so tightly that Ninjas cant break them free, you may be damaging the assembly and/or its base wood.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
So people are unscrewing these from the wood to change a strap? intentionally? more than once?
Yeah.... I never knew anyone with a gretsch, and the knob was so tight on the screw that I never suspected it was supposed to come off. I just thought it was a weird way to do a strap knob. I might go back now and switch to the original knobs again, they look cool and it's a pain to change the strap length with the strap locks
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow, this thread is excellent timing for me. I've never used a strap much but recently got a good one and made the mistake of unscrewing the whole strap knob. I had no idea it was two parts. I'll have to glue mine up tonight and do it proper.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuroyama View Post
Since having switched up my main rigs to Gretsch a couple months back, Ive been marvelling at the strap securing screws they use. But recently Ive noticed pictures of Falcons and other 6's using straplocks...

Has anyone ever had a strap screw fly off or be otherwise less-than-trustworthy? Has anyone here found a NEED to replace the screws with straplocks? Or have I just seen a superstitious few that might even put straplocks on their dog to attach a leash, or on a car to prevent theft...? Thoughts?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I must confess, I find the Gretsch strap knobs a pain. I am used to just putting my strap on and going forward, not screwing and unscrewing. I put standard "other" guitar strap buttons on my Gretsch (I also put old style Fender buttons on my American Series Tele that came with strap locs.) Old fashioned I guess.

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