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Thread: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

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    Default Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Iím playing an Eastman MD-505 and picked up a Long Hollow Leather mandolin strap. No problem at the tail piece, of course, but the instrument has no body button. I have seen two different ways of attaching the strap to the headstock - one way right behind the nut - the other threaded between the 2nd and 3rd row of tuners. Thatís where I have it right now. Functional, but a minor pain when tuning. But is there any downside to threading it behind the nut? Opinions and why?

    At some point I may want to install a strap button. Is there any danger to the instrument?

    As always, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    I've got an MD-305 and have been tying the strap between the nut and the lowest tuners. At first I was worried that the strap-tie might push up on the strings and pop them out of the slots in the nut but ~5 months in this has yet to be a problem.

    I had also experiment briefly with tying the strap under the elevated fingerboard but didn't like the way the instrument balanced in that configuration.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    I just hated the strap on the headstock. Gets in the way. Another option is to use a loop of leather shoe string around where the fretboard and body meet, and attach the strap to that.

    No danger to the mandolin if you install a strap button on the mandolin. Just needs to be done right. I'd suggest a guitar tech do it, and decent local shop can do it.

    My local shop repair department sold me a strap button, screw and felt washer for like 7$, showed me where to drill it, told me the size of pilot hole to drill, and to coat the screw with wax. Back off driving the screw if there is too much resistance.
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    The method outlined in Gary's post above sounds like the way to go if you don't want a strap going under the fretboard extension. As a luthier, I have built all of my mandos and actually drill an 1/8 inch hole through the heel before I carve the neck (NOT recommended for a non-luthier) this way I have a shoelace connecting the heel to the strap with no button in the way of the hand.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Take a look at this thread. I always wrap it around the body even without an elevated fretboard.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Wrap it around the body under the fretboard as suggested. I've noticed with my guitar, which has the strap attached behind the nut, it really gets in the way of my hand. Ymmv
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    I just went through this and tried behind the nut but it was in the way for me so I moved up a tuner and it was better but I am so used to no strap all the time I spent braiding a nice leather one may have been for nothing because at the moment I have removed it. I think up between the tuners is fine and I think a bit longer then normal is how I will go because I would rather continue to hold the mandolin-like I do now but have the insurance of it not going to the floor if I am bumped or stupid, and drop it.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  14. #8
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    I put a strap button on my Collings A style, and the Breedlove prior. No regrets.
    Collings MT2
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    Ellie eMando
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  16. #9

    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I always wrap it around the body even without an elevated fretboard.
    I do as well.....I play with the strap on the shoulder and not around my neck, so no balance problems for me.

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  18. #10

    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Thank you all for the valuable input. Love this forum. So many friendly, helpful members. I think I may try to find a luthier or tech nearby here in the Northern Virginia suburbs of DC and get a heel button installed. In the meantime, I'll stick with the headstock between the 2nd and third row of tuners. I tried threading the strap under the partial fretboard extension, but this particular strap has thick strands and the extension is shorter than a full Florida - so it doesn't hang well and some of the strap bulges out. Now I just need to find somebody I trust to drill a hole in my baby! :-)

  19. #11
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    A strap button won't hurt anything, but if you do it yourself it sure takes a lot of time. A bought a new Martin D28 in the early 70's and installed a strap button. After measuring 10 times, drilling holes in scrap wood to match screw size, holding button to guitar and trying to lay in case insuring no problem with location, making sure strap would stay on in location chosen,insuring neck block was located where I was drilling, slowly drilling hole, lubricating screw. It took about all day to install it. I guess it was worth the trouble though because I still have and play the guitar.

  20. #12
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    A strap button won't hurt anything, but if you do it yourself it sure takes a lot of time.
    Yes, it CAN take a lot of time, I suppose, but I've done a couple of strap buttons (on a mandolin and on my Martin HD28) and it took me about 5 minutes, and that was mainly getting the drill out and putting in the drill bit. Maybe I'd hesitate with an expensive mandolin, but the installation is really very simple.
    Doug Brock
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    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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    Default Re: Strap attachment - A style, no body button

    Just make sure the screw misses the truss rod.

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