Help with string tree! (Charvel So-Cal)

Shask

Well-known member
I have a Charvel So-Cal. This guitar has a Floyd nut, no tilt back headstock, etc...

A few string changes ago the string tree popped out of the wood. I bought some wood filler that says "holds screws and nails securely". I filled the holes and re-strung. Slowly over the course of 6-9 months the screws slowly started to pull out again. (Mostly on the bigger strings). I just went to restring it, and of course as soon as I released the locking nut, the damn thing popped out again.

So, again I filled it..... a few hours later, I go to tune up the new strings, and it popped out again :doh:

What kind of industrial-hightech-military grade stuff are you guys using to keep this damn tiny little screw in the wood?
 

Code001

Active member
Ghetto solution: Scrape off a sliver of a toothpick, stick it in the hole and then screw down the string tree. You can glue the sliver in place, but never glue the actual screw in place. Always make sure the glue has dried first.
Proper solution: Get a maple dowel, drill the hole bigger to fit the dowel, glue it in, sand it flush and re-drill the hole.
 

sytharnia1560

Well-known member
Code001":mguvfwjk said:
Ghetto solution: Scrape off a sliver of a toothpick, stick it in the hole and then screw down the string tree. You can glue the sliver in place, but never glue the actual screw in place. Always make sure the glue has dried first.
Proper solution: Get a maple dowel, drill the hole bigger to fit the dowel, glue it in, sand it flush and re-drill the hole.

all of this (esp part 2) .... personally I would just lose the trees altogether
 

Code001

Active member
The string tree on a floyd rose w/ a non-angled headstock is needed to set the proper break angle from the nut to the tuners. Without it, the strings will be affected even more than normal when the nut is clamped down. The entire point of the bar is to allow the fine tuners to re-tune the guitar within a reasonable range once the nut is locked down. There are certain tuning tricks you can utilize to help reduce this, but the bar is the most effective and reliable method, hence why it's on so many guitars with non-angled headstocks.
 

Stramm8

Active member
Either drill the holes and fill with a dowel or just re-position the tree over a hair so you can drill two new holes.
 

Shask

Well-known member
Code001":3s95hitd said:
Ghetto solution: Scrape off a sliver of a toothpick, stick it in the hole and then screw down the string tree. You can glue the sliver in place, but never glue the actual screw in place. Always make sure the glue has dried first.
Proper solution: Get a maple dowel, drill the hole bigger to fit the dowel, glue it in, sand it flush and re-drill the hole.

I found a Poplar dowel. Hopefully this will be hard enough?
 

Code001

Active member
It'll work. There's not a ton of pressure on that screw, anyway. I'd try the toothpick method before resorting to the dowel method, personally. Once you dowel it, it'll never look the same, even if you were to use maple.
 

Shask

Well-known member
Code001":1zldp77l said:
It'll work. There's not a ton of pressure on that screw, anyway. I'd try the toothpick method before resorting to the dowel method, personally. Once you dowel it, it'll never look the same, even if you were to use maple.

I am getting ready to go out and I am passing by somewhere that is advertising having birch ones, so if I get that I may use that instead. Looks like it is a harder wood... :confused:

The ones I am getting are only a hair bigger than the original screw hole (1/8"), so I have my doubts it will be noticeable after I drill it out. I tried the wood filler already and it popped out, so I dont know if a toothpick would be much stronger. I have some Elmers wood glue I am going to use....

I just dont want to have to do this every time I change the strings....
 

Code001

Active member
Birch is harder than poplar, but it's not a night and day difference. Oak and mahogany are harder than both, and maple is about the hardest you can buy from a normal store. Wood filler isn't really meant for keeping things held in place. It's meant for covering seams, gaps and holes. Seriously, try the toothpick method first. Take a toothpick and cut a small piece of it off either the depth of the hole or slightly less. Make it so that there's not much of a hole. Now, crank the screw back in the hole. It should be quite hard to screw back in there, but use some common sense. Don't make to the point where you break the head off. The dowel method should only be a last resort because it's a permanent thing, and you can easily drill right through the headstock. I know because I've done it, even when trying to be careful...
 

Kelly

Active member
Toothpick + Titebond. I use this method every day repairing furniture. I would try a bigger screw before I would drill it out and use a dowel. FYI, softer dowel wood works better than something hard, like oak. Harder woods tend to split.
 

Shask

Well-known member
stdio":3jw2fwz2 said:
rlord1974":3jw2fwz2 said:
The guitar is beyond the point of being able to be repaired. Send it to me to use for parts. ;)

:D
:LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:


And what would you send me in return :D


Funny enough, I was thinking about selling this because I have been more into 7 strings lately....

Then I picked it up....

And forgot how much fun it was to play! It is still out of whack because I was in the middle of testing a different string gauge when all this string tree crap happened, but it is still a great guitar!
 

Shask

Well-known member
Well, the birch thing fell through, so I used what I had. I drilled it and filled it, and re-drilled it. I finally got it all done today and I think it worked! It is holding, feels solid, and doesn't look too bad. I may try to trim it a bit more with a razor blade next time I change strings since they were in the way.


It is funny you mention drilling through the headstock. I am not sure how I didn't before I posted this thread :no: I drilled pretty deep the first time I ever fixed this. This time (being aware and drilling a much bigger hole) I held the drill bit up the side and decided about halfway was good. Then I put tape on the drill bit so that I only drilled until I hit the tape. Then I used that "measurement" to cut the dowel pieces. Speaking of, for the 50 cents that piece cost, I could fix this guitar about 600 more times, lol.

Anyways, back to playing :rock:
 

Attachments

  • IMAG0465.jpg
    IMAG0465.jpg
    827.4 KB · Views: 697
Top