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Thread: Mandolin strap for f style

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    Registered User ELSOL102's Avatar
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    I just got a Michael Kelly Legacy F style mandolin...currently I'm using a guitar strap but the strap button is small and the strap can come loose. I was looking at straps online and it was unclear how they go on...I have seen straps tied around the florentine on the mando...I don't like a strap tied up at the headstock. How do I look for a strap...what's the best way to use a strap on these F style mandolins? Thanks!

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Most straps used by players of F-5 style Mandolins have a 'flat' loop at one end that goes around the scroll of the Mandolin at the top of the body,while the other end has a 'button hole' that fits onto the strap button at the tailpiece end. This is the braided strap made for me by John Brown in Miami - as an example,
    Saska
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    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  3. #3
    Destroyer of Mandolins
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    Attaching the loop end of the scroll is like tying shoelaces; easy to do once you've seen it, but almost impossible to describe in words.

    For that kind of strap, you double the loop back on itself to form a noose, then slip the noose over the scroll until it's 'inside' the scroll, then slide it tight. #That probably doesn't make sense, but once you've seen it done you'll slap your head and say Duh!!

    Other kinds of mandolin strap have a wide part at the scroll end that has a slot cut in it. You feed the end of the strap through the slot to make an ajustable loop that goes over the scroll the same as the first type.

    On my MK, the scroll is too tight to allow the strap to go inside it. The only mandolin strap I found that was thin enough was the NeoTech strap. #For a long time I used a regular guitar strap that had a thin loop of shoelace-like material at the end that was intended to loop around a guitar's headstock. #I just put the loop over the scroll instead after making the noose out of it.

    The length of the strap depends on how you like to wear your instrument. Some use long straps that go over the head and behind the back like a guitar. Other like a short strap that just goes over the picking arm shoulder and goes in front of the body. Bill Monroe made that famous. I heard that he did that so he didn't have to take his hat off.



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  4. #4

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    I use a modified dog leash on my F style, works great.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Tim,if you were ever interested in buying a strap similar to mine,the leather of the loop is only 1/16" thick. It should fit any scroll unless theres virtually no gap. My Michael Kelly 'Legacy' took a strap loop thicker than that,
    Saska
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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    Thanks, I'll remember that. I think I just got an MK with a really tight space in the scroll.
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    I'm with you Dave, the "Hartz Mountain" $5.95 small dog leash and cut the clip off, poke a hole in it and start pickin'!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    I couldn't find the Hartz Mountain leash, but found another. It cost a bit more and is probably a bit thicker. I had to thin out the "strap" on the loop and where it attached to the end pin. Other than that it works great. I soaked it a few time to bleed out some of the color and then treated it with saddle soap. So far so good.
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    Bill Bailey

    Custom made, really nice, very comfortable. Everybody that sees it likes it.
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    mandolinist, Mixt Company D C Blood's Avatar
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    I've used old belts, mostly from thrift stores, for a long time. Generally the buckle end has the hole which fits the end pin real well, then add leather bootlace cut to size for the scroll end...I have snake skin straps, alligator skin straps, crocodile skin straps...
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    mandolinist, Mixt Company D C Blood's Avatar
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    Dave H...John Duffey used to do the "dog leash" straps...
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  12. #12
    mandolinist, Mixt Company D C Blood's Avatar
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    see my "belts" post above
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    D C Blood Mixt Company
    '96 Ratcliff Silver Eagle/Angel
    '09 Silverangel F5 distressed
    '09 Ratcliff A model distressed
    ..Blue Chip pick user...
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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    Quote Originally Posted by D C Blood View Post
    I've used old belts, mostly from thrift stores, for a long time. Generally the buckle end has the hole which fits the end pin real well, then add leather bootlace cut to size for the scroll end...I have snake skin straps, alligator skin straps, crocodile skin straps...

    great idea.. I'm going to a thift store after work to what I can find!

    Baileys look very nice, $55 is just a little pricey

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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    I had great fun going to a crafts store and buying some long strips of leather, a cheap book on how to weave and making my own strap. It was fun and now I have an original for under $20.

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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    I got the idea from the Mike Marshall DVD. I went to a leather shop and bought a piece of leather about 1/2 inch wide, then on one end I took a razor knife and made a slit as long as needed to fit over the scroll. On the other end I mad another slit to fit over the end pin.

    This beats all other straps, costed me about 4 bucks and 10 minutes worth of work and there's no bulky tie on the scroll end.


  16. #16
    Registered User Miked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    I really like my Long Hollow. I've got the 71070 Softy; it's a pretty simple strap that's very comfortable. Check 'em out:

    http://www.longhollowleather.com/catalog_dobro.htm
    Mike Bloder
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    I like the Long Hollow softies.

    Webb(nylon&cloth) mando straps are my fave. No worries about leaving the strap on the mando when in the case.

    Maybe it's OK to leave leather strap on mando while in the case;I don't though.

  18. #18
    Registered User Tommy Wintle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    Be careful though! The leather strap I bought when I got my F5 was only 'finished' (for want of a better word) on one side... The rougher side has completely taken the finish off the inside of the scroll on my mando. It's now rough as you like in there! Didn't occur to me at all that that might happen till it was too late.

    I'm not planning on getting rid of it though so not the end of the world. Mind you...if you're after that 'distressed' look it might be worth rubbing the whole thing down with the back of a strap, an old shoe, the back end of a cow etc!

  19. #19
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    some players like the balance of tying to the headstock a cord also tied to the end of a guitar strap, the button end can be held in place with a following O ring , or even a plastic bag clip from the Produce section.
    scroll or none..
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    I went to my local Tandy leather store and bought a 1" wide by 60" long strip of suede leather and cut my own strap.....for $5.00 NO TAX! :D It's as soft as a baby's bottom. I used a hole punch and an exacto knife to make the holes for the end pin, and cut a circle with slot for the f scroll. It's a bit wide, but very comfortable. I'll try 3/4" on my next one, and cut it to 1/2", using neatfoot oil to darken and soften the leather.

  21. #21
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    Plenty of good ideas at this thread. This was my contribution:

    My favorite DIY strap was modified from a nylon dog leash that I picked up at a yard sale for two bits - that's right, a quarter. You know the kind - wrist loop at one end, metal clip at the other. All I did was cut the clip end off to length plus about two inches, folded the extra over itself and glued it with Krazy Glue, threaded a thick insulated wire (matching color) through the small loop that resulted, wrapped the wire around the endpin, slipped the wrist loop over the scroll - TA DA!!! I know some people are leery of letting anything plastic touch their mandolins, for fear of chemical interactions with the finish (I think that pertains mostly to vinyl), but I never noticed any problem. I lucked out with a snazzy design and color combination, too. And talk about sturdy - if Rover can't break a leash, what's your Hoss gonna do?
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  22. #22

    Default Re: Mandolin strap for f style

    I've been messing around making straps from leather belts I find in markets, and having fun and getting some satisfaction out of it. My latest is a one-off, as I found a single suitable gents belt of braided leather that was long enough and soft enough for me to try and learn how to do four-strand, round cross-section braiding. It was hard work, but worth the effort, and is now the favourite one of my slowly-growing collection. Total cost of manufacture, about $3 and some sore fingers.


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