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Straplocks for ES-339 with pictures and screw sizes


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Many threads already on straplocks, so this is not on the debate of whether to use them. If you do want them here are some options.


First, there are add-on things like the oval plastic locks or Grolsch rubber washers.


Then there are the Dunlop straplocks which I like for some guitars. The problem with those is they stick out very far from the body, and for the pin location on an ES, that kind of brings the guitar body out too far and it tilts forward even further than it does with a strap on a regular button.


The nice folks at Dunlop offer a recessed version of their straplock set - it has a little cylinder that you sink into a hole and it brings the strap a little closer (not as close as a standard strap, but it's okay). It requires that you bore out a good sized hole for the recessed receptacle, and while I'd do that on my Epiphone (I did) I wouldn't start hogging out sawdust from my new Gibson.


What to do? Well, I decided on Schaller strap locks for reasons that others have posted - they stay put even if the mechanical part fails whereas the Dunlop requires that the springloaded catch stay the way it's supposed to. Also the Schallers require you to deliberately pull out the knob, instead of pressing a button like the Dunlops (while that's a concern for door handle design I don't expect my guitar to get sideswiped on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway).


OK now we have a nice set of Schaller strap locks, but looky here, the Gibson factory uses a larger screw in the tail of the guitar! Apparently it's for a larger screw that they hang the body from while finishing. Some people would simply fill the hole with toothpicks and glue (or maybe more conservative folks would use slivers of mahogany) but frankly I'd save that for a guitar where the strap button is missing and somebody already stripped out the hole.


So lets see if we can do this without removing or adding wood to the body, so theoretically you could re-install the original strap pins with the original screws. As I've said, that should keep the collectors happy when they appraise this thing for my great-grandkids.


The neck-block strap pin is held with a #6 x 1" tapered wood screw (basically a flat head, but the head is a little domed, almost like a pan-head). The Schallers come with black #6 wood screws of a more modern design - they're not tapered. This means if you use this screw it will seemingly fit just fine in the orignal hole, but if you tried to put the Gibson screw back in later it will not be holding at the tip of the screw. No problem, the Gibson screw fits in the Schaller strap pin so that's what we'll use. OK that's out of the way. Incidentally I like those black felt washers that F&%der uses, and a bagful of them is cheap enough from Stew Mac.


Here are the Schaller screw, the Gibson screw for the neck block, and the larger Gibson Screw for the tail block:




The end-block strap pin is held on with a large #8 x 1-14" screw. Easy enough, hardware stores have this size of standard old tapered wood screws. They'll be perfectly flat on the head instead of domed, but that's okay. Just ask for a #8 x 1-14" flat head phillips wood screw. It will be zinc plated instead of nickel, but you'll never see it deep inside the strap button. Get stainless if it turns you on - the color is pretty close to nickel. Just compare the new screw and see that the threads look the same as the original one.


In order to get the larger screw to fit in the Schaller button, you could use a counterbore or drill out the button (some posters have mentioned there's enough metal for that) but machining's not my thing. It was easier to chuck the new screw in a drill and turn it down on a bench grinder unti it fits in the Schaller button (no need to measure, just grind away until it fits). The modified screw is on top, a spare hardware store screw before grinding is in the middle, and the original Gibson screw is on the bottom.




Last thing to do is bore out the hole in the bottom of the Schaller button with an 11/64" drill so that the new screw will fit (it's more important to hold the pin in a padded vise than it is to use a drill press for this).


And Bob's your uncle - ten nieces and nephews of mine anyway.





Any other simple jobs you want me to make complicated, just let me know.


P.S. Something I didn't consider until I re-read NeoConMan's post on another thread - the Schaller button lets the screw sit a little deeper than the original Gibson tail screw - SO to do it perfectly (which is not what I did) you can use a washer as a spacer under the pin on the tail end so the screw does not go in any deeper than it did originally.

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Can't figure out what that mark is on the tail where the two rims meet - never noticed it until the picture. I'm not sure it's a pencil mark, I think it's a seam that isn't perfect but is filled nicely when it was finished.

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