Haven't really seen any good info on this, I have done quite a lot of these, the truss rod nut strips, and you have a walnut plug in the way... What to do...

Well the way I fix these, I start by steaming out the walnut plug, score the finish around the walnut plug, then drill a small hole that fit your steam needle tightly, be careful not to drill all the way through, into the maple, you just need a hole so that the steam will saturate the walnut and soften the glue..

Let the steam work,when you see bubbles around the walnut plug, you need to put pressure on the plug to drive it out, I use a screw extractor to unscrew the truss rod nut this will drive out the walnut plug..You can also pull the walnut plug with a little hook of some kind, have some dentist tools around for that kind of thing..

Once the plug and the nut is removed, I clean out the truss rod cavity and maybe chase the tread with the tool I have very similar to the Stew Mac truss rod rescue kit.

Steaming out the plug leaves a nice clean hole.

I let the guitar sit for a day or two to get all the moisture out.

Put on a new Fender replacement truss rod nut

Then I make a new walnut plug on the lathe, and tap it in with a little yellow glue..

Trim it to size and a little finish touch-up and here is the finished result.. 

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That really looks good. I wouldn't have guessed that you had to pull the plug. Nice work.

1000 Thanks Ned :) 

Really not that hard a repair, think I'll try it with hot hide glue next time :)

Really nice repair. What size is the walnut plug? I'm curious if a plug cutter could be used.

Thanks John :)

The plug is arround 8.9mm or .350 inch you need a really "deep" plug cutter, some of the plugs I have pulled have been way over 25mm (1 inch) long :) 

I have plug cutters that will make a3" plug but not that diameter, i suppose I could use a piece of the original with my pin router jig.

Or stick the plug in the drillpress and file it down, the old redneck lathe :) :)  

Great tutorial! Thanks!

Thank you :)

Very nice technique and thank you for sharing!

In terms of the stripped nut - are you seeing actual stripped threads or damaged hex drive features?  I see a lot of the latter and situations were the nut has been tightened so much that the threaded portion of the rod prevents proper wrench (particularly ball end wrench) engagement. 

Damaged hex for the most parts..Yes sometimes you need to shim it with a couple of washers..


I see these a lot also , I suspect people use 3mm key and round out the 1/8" socket , But for your info , fender supply replacement walnut plugs . I stick a soldering iron in the hole to soften the glue , after scoring the lacquer , then back out the nut as it is usually ok for this , but not tightening .

Thanks Claus!

I have not had to do this yet, but like Len, I use a soldering iron all the time to pull glued wood endpins in acoustic guitars. Typically for a pickup install. Way more controllable for me than drilling/reaming them out. It's the only reason I still keep a cheap soldering iron around.

It looks like you have a pretty nano sized steam needle.

Have you ever had finish lifting issues from the moisture?

I appreciate folks making the effort to make the forum more of a trading place for original Ideas and less of a one time call in show for  instrument owners with a problem.


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