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J200 Surgery Sucessful!


drathbun

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I decided to put at stap button on the new J200. I know the whole argument about strap buttons; both sides of it. However, this is NOT a vintage instrument and I've never been comfortable with the strap attached at the headstock. So I bought a gold strap button and went to work drilling and screwing.

 

Just remember folks... I am a trained professional! :rolleyes: I've taken necks off my guitars and scraped them down with rat-tail rasps that would make most of you faint. I've drilled holes in three Larrivee's to install iBeam pickups. So I'm no stranger to taking a weapon..umm tool, to an expensive instrument. That being said, this is the single most expensive guitar I've ever owned and so my hands shook a little.

 

Here is the process:

 

1. Decide on strap button placement. Refering to the button placement option guitar (Stew-Mac)

ts0055a.jpg

 

I decided on position #5. It is the most popular and all my other acoustics have this position. It holds the guitar securely without "dumping forward" or causing the guitar to sit high in the case as position $4 does.

 

2. Put masking tape over the location on the guitar and mark the spot with a Sharpie.

IMG_0553.jpg

 

3. Select a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the OD of the screw threads and place masking tape on it at the max depth of the screw.

IMG_0555.jpg

 

4. Drill baby drill! The key is to go slow. The masking tape helps keep the drill bit from skiddering across the glossy surface (again BAD!) and also helps keep the nitro from cracking. This nitro is still pretty soft. Again maple is hard hard wood and going fast with a drill will cause heat (more BAD). So I took a great deal of time and care with this in speed, angle and pressure. It is only a small hole, but oh so important.

IMG_0554.jpg

 

5. Put a felt washer between the button and the guitar and screw in gently using a hand driver. Maple is especially hard and will either split or the usually lousy metal of these screws will cause it to break off IN THE NECK. This would be what we in the business call BAD!

IMG_0556.jpg

 

6. Done! In my case, I got part way through hand driving the screw when the driver began to "cam out" of the Philips head. Typical cheap soft metal screws. I did NOT want to have a screw in there that could never be removed, so I substituted a black screw from another set of Shaller strap locks I had.

IMG_0557.jpg

 

While I was at it, I added the Tapastring "Strapkeeper" to the strap at the pickup end of the guitar. This is a truly great product and you should all get one! They are great VFM.

 

IMG_0558.jpg

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Hi Drathbun! I'm glad all is fine now with your J-200.

But I'm just a little stumped about the #5 place you chose for the button. If you're used to it all is fine.

 

Same adventure here, with my brand new J-200 Custom, last week. I did choose the #2 place for the gold button.

As Hsech, it's my most expensive guitar too!

 

I'm used to Schaller Straplocks for years now, and I didn't know about that Strapkeeper thing (thanks for sharing!).

So, call me a criminal if you like, but I did install a second strap button in front of the jack connection.

 

And now, at last, my J-200 feels... secure!

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Just a few comments to make the drilling and installing process easier. Tape over and mark the location for the screw hole, then use a scratch awl to put a dent exactly at the point you want to drill. This will stop the drill bit from "skating". In addition, use brad-point drill bits, which will chip the wood less. They also have a center pilot point which helps keep the drill bit aligned. Drill the hole slightly deeper than the total embedded length of the screw threads.

 

Finally, I always determine the proper bit size by using a drill index. Determine the smallest hole the threaded portion of the screw will pass through, then select a bit size one increment smaller for the pilot hole. For example, if the screw diameter is 1/8", use a 3/32" drill bit. The threads are what give a screw its holding power, not the screw shank. I always lubricate the screw threads before driving them in a hard wood like maple or mahogany. Scrape the threads over a candle if you don't have the type of sticky wax lubricant professionals use for this. Do not use oil as a lubricant.

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Just a few comments to make the drilling and installing process easier. Tape over and mark the location for the screw hole, then use a scratch awl to put a dent exactly at the point you want to drill. This will stop the drill bit from "skating". In addition, use brad-point drill bits, which will chip the wood less. They also have a center pilot point which helps keep the drill bit aligned. Drill the hole slightly deeper than the total embedded length of the screw threads.

 

Finally, I always determine the proper bit size by using a drill index. Determine the smallest hole the threaded portion of the screw will pass through, then select a bit size one increment smaller for the pilot hole. For example, if the screw diameter is 1/8", use a 3/32" drill bit. The threads are what give a screw its holding power, not the screw shank. I always lubricate the screw threads before driving them in a hard wood like maple or mahogany. Scrape the threads over a candle if you don't have the type of sticky wax lubricant professionals use for this. Do not use oil as a lubricant.

 

Excellent tips Nick!

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