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Thread: How to make your own A-style strap from paracord

  1. #1
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default How to make your own A-style strap from paracord

    I made a few of these for myself over the years and figure I would share what I've learned over time. I've never had an issue with this design, but do check the slip knots. If you have a great mandolin like a Lloyd Loar, spend the money on the professional strap.

    1. Buy 50 or 100 feet of paracord, it’s cheap and you can always use it around the house.
    • Comes in many colors.
    • Use at least “100 pound test” line so you know it won’t break. That means it should hold 100 pounds without breaking.
    https://www.amazon.com/TOUGH-GRID-75...3241792&sr=8-5

    2. Measure it and cut off the proper length of cord.
    • I used about 57 inches of cord, but I’m 5-6, 180 pounds. Your cordage will vary. You may also like holding your mandolin higher or lower than I do, but you should have plenty of cord to mess up 19 times without incurring more expense.
    • Measure from mid peghead of your mando, around your shoulder and/or neck as you would prefer to wear your mando with either a measuring tape or just a length of string (you can later hold it up to a yardstick or less-flexible tape measure later), all the way back to the mandolin’s end pin, adding a few inches for a slip knot at one end and maybe another half a foot for the loop and retraced figure eight knot at the other end.
    • Cut the cord to length with a knife or even a sharp scissor. The next stop cleans the ends.

    3. Seal both ends of the cord.
    • Light each end of the cord, one at a time, with a match or lighter, etc., then quickly extinguishing it in a glass of water. This melts everything together and keeps it from fraying. The end will be hot after you extinguish it, but you may want to pinch or shape the plastic so it is compact and not sharp.

    4. If you’re happy with the ends, tie a simple slip knot at one end.


    5. Now tie a figure eight knot on the other side using this easy shortcut.
    • Fold over the other end of the cord about six inches or so. You can redo it if it comes out with too big or too short for a loop.
    • Treating the folded cord as a single cord (this is the trick), tie a simple figure eight “on a bight” knot. Because you doubled over the cord or made a “bight,” this will actually quickly create a fancy retraced figure eight knot used by mountain climbers and helicopter rescue teams for its ability to stay tight. This loop will secure your headstock.


    6. You’re now ready to try out it on for size
    • Loosen the slip knot “noose” and slide it over the end pin of your mandolin, then pull the string to retighten the knot. Test it manually before trusting your mandolin to it. Next, slide the loop end over your headstock to secure the other end. Put it around your neck.,
    • Determine if it’s too short or long for your comfort.
    • If it’s too short, you may have to cut a longer piece of cord and try again.
    • If it’s too long, you can tie a few extra knots in the middle to take up the slack. I
    like to use these fancy barrel knots that are easy to make. They help steady the instrument too.


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    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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    (Formerly known here as Santiago)

  2. #2
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make your own A-style strap from paracord

    Now fixed.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

    Member, Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra
    Visit my YouTube page

    (Formerly known here as Santiago)

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to make your own A-style strap from paracord

    Nice one Elliot, I saw parachord for about $50 one time -for about two kilometres of the stuff. It wasn’t full breaking strain but guaranteed at least like 150 pounds.
    I like to use the fisherman’s knot (barrel they call it) as the slip knot next to the mandolin, I think it looks neater.
    Old UserName: AtSunrise. DOUBLE STOPS in Rise by Eddie Vedder:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7SsNJkZBKuA
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Joedynamo1066

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  5. #4
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make your own A-style strap from paracord

    If anyone would like to try to make one hit me up(PM PLEASE). Before we closed a few years ago I owned/operated Paracord Joes....still have a lot of paracord at the house.
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

    Kentucky KM-150
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    Morgan Monroe MFM-300
    Rover RM-75

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