It happens to us all, usually at the worst possible time.  Yes, the dreaded stripped tuner screw hole.  What can be done to quickly fix this mess?

The top photo shows the back of our old faithful Alvarez acoustic.  Last Friday night we decided to change the strings, and we were truly surprised.  As soon as we wound the old low E string off, the tuner popped off the headstock!

The tuner screw holes had stripped, and the tuner literally fell in the floor.  The only thing that was holding it in place was the string.  We had to fix this problem, pronto.


We went to the kitchen and secured two toothpicks.  We really like the ones from the Cracker Barrel restaurants.  The are pretty robust, and have some cool ends.

We took some super glue and glued the toothpicks directly into the holes.  Be careful here -- it doesn't take a great deal of glue, and you must keep the glue from running down the finish.  Here is a photo of the two toothpicks glued into place.

Once the glue had dried we --

1.  Cut the toothpicks off with a small flush-cut saw.  If you don't have one, you can use some wire cutters and trim the toothpicks with a razor blade.

2.  Used a punch to ensure that there was a hole to reinsert the screws into.  You can also use a nail to push into the hole.

3.  Reinstalled the tuner and screws.  We always use beeswax on the screws to get them to go in easier.

4.  Strung the guitar up and started playing.

This is a quick, inexpensive way to fix that stripped screw.  Remember -- do some analysis before you start gluing!  This might not be the best technique for Uncle Dave's '59 Les Paul.  We recommend this for a quick repair on your "playing" guitars only.


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