Making my own strap

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Bertotti, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I need a strap for my Mandolin but refuses to pay for what's out there. So I grabbed some soft leather I have and made a section with a mystery braid, a braid within a strip of leather no loose ends. I made it a bit to wide each slice is about 3/4" but for a first try, IMG_9880.jpg I am happy with it. I just need to add ends now. Maybe I will have time next weekend.
     
    Henry, LivingMyDream, G5422T and 9 others like this.
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    wont that stretch like another foot like a coily cable?
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  3. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I've been playing with it and it will stretch some but the Mandolin is very light nothing like out guitars. I may just hand a couple of pounds on it to see how much and it was just my first attempt. What I really want is a round braid but it was a bit more complicated and needs a much longer strip to get a useable length. I do have some control though as I will use a three-hole end and string end since my mando has no button on the neck heel I will tie it to the headstock.
     
  4. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Couldn't sleep so I tried stretching on it hard. I did get almost a foot out of it and a nice curl, so much so I might be able to fold it around and it will look pretty cool. I think a three-hole end and a loop end will work just about perfect. I'll get a picture up once it's done. Currently, it is unstained and I haven't decided if I want to stain it or not. I think I will finish it up as is maybe work the ends a bit once I get the lengths sorted out and leave this section Natural.
     
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Nice strap . I know what you mean about " what's out there "
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  6. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Lakota and a few others have some nice straps and if they had what I wanted I would consider them but they don't so now I'm playing around. Truth is a simple flat strap no braid would probably be just as comfortable and easier to make and suit me just as well but I had to try a hidden braid. I always thought it was cool how someone could slit the inside of a leather strip and braid it but not have all those loose ends. Now I know and I'm running with it. As you know a lot of people don't toss the strap over their head with a mandolin, it is on just the picking hand shoulder. I want one just in case I slip with my grip.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  7. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Age:
    46
    603
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    I could do with creating some 'bespoke' straps for myself as every strap I buy seems to ride up the side of my neck and that ain't good for me as I have a long-standing neck injury from being knocked off my motorcycle by a car twenty years ago. It strikes me that what I need is a curved strip of leather/material rather than a straight strip in order for it to fall naturally over my shoulder.
     
  8. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    To get leather cut to your specs, find a harness maker first. Far better prices than going to custom leather workers.
     
    19MGB76 and Jockabilly like this.
  9. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I buy my leather from a local leather shop, sheepskins, elk he can get it all. I just get what I want and cut it for my use.
     
  10. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Age:
    46
    603
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Here in Scotland leather etc. and the craftsmen to work it for you are not nearly so easy to come by. I'll really should put the feelers out though and see if I can find someone to make me some straps that will suit my needs.

    With my banjo's where the extreme weight of the tone ring was given me massive headaches I tried every gimmick going like harnesses that went over both shoulders and the like and they were all more hassle than they were worth but, studying the problem while playing my guitar recently it struck me that, if the strip had a significant curve to it it would probably solve my problem.

    I have noticed that some old leather straps seem to have the piece of the strap that connects to the forward strap button attached to the rest of the strap by a large ring and I can see how this would achieve a similar situation to a curved strap. Anyone got one of those and do they work?
     
  11. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    The weight will generally try to pull things straight. Are you trying to keep the strap from your neck out towards your shoulder more? Have you tried a nice thick piece of sheepskin over your shoulder? I sometimes play with the strap over my strumming shoulder but not behind my head it takes a load off the neck and is how some Mandolin players wear their straps. Really works best though if the strap is attached at the heel, not the head.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  12. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Age:
    46
    603
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Yup I am trying to stop the strap riding up the side of my neck as I play. I am not quite sure how it does it but I settle it evenly on my shoulder when I start playing and then, as I play it seems to sneak up and try to throttle me. I have actually seen myself engrossed in working on a piece or even just thrashing away for say an hour or two and, when I stop, I actually have a sore neck/throat from where the strap has been pressing into the side of my neck. I think I must be pushing down on the guitar without realising it as well and that is increasing the pressure the strap is putting on my neck and throat.

    You would think it would slide down the slope of the shoulder but nope it creeps up.
     
  13. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Try shoulder only like I mentioned above it is odd at first but works well. You may want to try and learn how to play without the strap. When you play while standing without a strap you can't push down on it.
     
  14. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Age:
    46
    603
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    When you say 'over the shoulder only' I take it you mean in the traditional style that banjo used to be played with the strap just over your picking hand shoulder?

    I tried to do that with the banjo and could never get comfortable with it.

    I think I would have trouble with my current 'speed metal' style I would have a lot of damaged guitars if I tried to play without a strap as I need to move my right hand a great deal not to mention two handed tapping as well. Maybe what I need is one of those rigs that ZZTop used when they spun their guitars :D

    Straps seem to be one of those areas of musical instrument playing where there hasn't been a great deal of research done into how to improve them but still make them easy to work with. I have tried neoprene two shouldered harnesses and other types of harness as well for banjo but they all ended up just being a right pain to use and way too much hassle.
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  15. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    for my 6 string uke I bought the cheapest vintage style fender strap(sez made in usa but...), pulled off the kotex thing that is supposed to be a shoulder pad. then put the strap in water..stretched it a bit. let it dry and then waxed it w ubenof's. I now feel safe enough to do windmills :) I do have an old banana republic braided leather belt from the 80s when Indiana Jones and Romancing the stone were a thing. I bet that could be a good uke strap now that I see you are french braiding things.
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  16. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Back home and trying something different, The three strand mystery braid was just too sloppy and big, ie. wide. So I split it into 6 individual strands and tried to learn a round braid. I like this much better, soft nice diameter, it may stretch a bit but I will do adjustable ends.

    bQbyq9CIRCuA+sGwnQxt1w.jpg
     
  17. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    584
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Yeah, I'd avoid paying the $7 for one too... :>)
     
    Sabato and new6659 like this.
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I like doing things myself. Sadly I found two spots where I messed up the weave so it will come apart again next weekend and get redone, but for a first try it isn't too bad and it is leather I had on hand. Now show me where to find a 7$ round braid mandolin strap. Best I could find was substantially more than that.
     
    Jockabilly likes this.
  19. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    584
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Yeah, me too. Just giving you a hard time! That braid job you did looks cool..
    Some possibilities:
    Ebay sale numbers, $4 and up:

    292520218986 Cotton Webbing

    323258177425 other

    223164523014 other

    302181259743

    264195808618

    263648855809 Braided leather $14+
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    At it again. I had a couple of bad spots in the last try so sitting in a hotel I unraveled it to the bad spots were cleared and rewove it, from memory! Why can't I remember music as easily! Anywho you may not see a difference but I sure do. Much better weave this time around and no missed or wrong spots!
    IMG_9949.jpg
     
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