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Strat Trem Claw Screw Problem

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Joined: 8 years ago
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Hi! This my first post and I kind of found this forum out of desperation. I'm having an issue I was hoping I could get some advice on.

I have a '97 Squier Fat Strat that I've been working on upgrading into something that plays and sounds a little better than what I bought way back then. A few days ago I opened the back and started tweaking the tremolo claw to get it to float and noticed that the adjustment screws were a little bent. Apparently they were originally screwed in at a bit of an angle, and over the years it has given them a slight bend. While I made the adjustments I was inadvertently making the opening of the screw hole larger and now one of the screws has to be pushed in about a quarter of an inch before it has wood to grab onto.

I'm planning to order new bridge and trem hardware soon and I'm wondering what I should do about that hole. I have some wood epoxy that I once used in combination with some tooth picks to get a strap screw to stay in, but I'm a little nervous to use that technique in a place that could affect the tone of my instrument.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated!

- Chris

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 397

That one screw is a mite "kinked," ain't it?
No one would ever mistake me for a luthier, but I wouldn't think filling a hole like that would have a real deleterious effect on your tone. You're basically just patching it enough to give the new screw something to anchor in.

I went on Stewart-MacDonald's site to see what they might have for filler/epoxy. Reading the reviews, one guy said Stew-Mac's epoxy was good for fixing stripped threads on softer guitar woods, and another said he used it for sledge hammer handles. :shock: I hope that means it would hold a trem screw.
At least one reviewer said while the slow-setting stuff says it bonds in 8 hours, you really need to wait at least three days before sanding or anything.
Your epoxy-and-toothpicks method sounds like it would work, as log as the epoxy was solid.