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Cornfield
10-10-2014, 06:07 AM
Sometimes I like to use a strap but I have not been happy with available products. A lot of the straps just seem too big. I've been searching for some decorative rope and a way to attach it.
I was at a Hobby Lobby store and bought a spool of curtain cord. It's a thin decorative rope. I used about 70 inches per instrument.
I tied a hitch knot and looped it around the end pin of a ukulele. I ran the cord under the C and E strings at the headstock and tied a simple knot there.
The real break through was re-discovering the hitch knot. This makes an inexpensive, attractive way to hold up the uke.

Has anyone else tried this?

ohmless
10-10-2014, 07:26 AM
really cool idea. i'll look into this further. can you show a pic of the knot at the headstock?

Cornfield
10-10-2014, 07:55 AM
At the headstock I just tied a square knot, nothing pretty. I was a Boy Scout a long time ago but didn't remember any of these knots.
I found a free Android app (Knots Guide) that shows lots of knots, how to tie them and what they were traditionally used for.

Rllink
10-10-2014, 08:46 AM
Someone posted a thread about Willie Nelson's guitar, and I got to looking at some pictures of Willie with his guitar, and I think that he has an old twisted nylon fishing stringer attached to the clip that goes in the sound hole. It looks like that to me.

Cornfield
10-10-2014, 12:20 PM
Willie's setup looks like one of those uke thongs

kypfer
10-10-2014, 01:47 PM
I've been using decorative cord for instrument straps for well over a year now. I've mentioned it in several other postings ... not that that's of any consequence!

I started by whipping a loop to fit snugly on the end-pin and using a length of bootlace at the machine head end, then I moved on to passing the cord itself under the strings between the machine heads. On some installations I use a piece of tubing for minor adjustment, as in : pass cord through tubing, around machine head, then back through tube. Dimensions of tube will depend on dimensions of cord, obviously. The tubular top off a ballpoint pen with the end cut off works for me ... else a small buckle from a handbag strap or similar (I found one lying on the ground in a car-park)! The very end of the cord has also been whipped to prevent fraying and make it easier to thread under the strings and through the tube/buckle.

The super-de-luxe ultimate custom-fit version has a spliced loop at both ends, a small loop for the end pin (obviously ... a bit of extra whipping was needed here to tighten the loop) and a larger loop under the strings around the machine head. All looks very smooth, but actually having no adjustment means it's only really perfect if I'm wearing just a shirt!

I've got these arrangements, in one form or another, on five ukuleles of various sizes and a short-scale nylon-strung guitar and it's fine on all of them. I've used more conventional straps on my other guitars, mandolin/mandola and banjo either for comfort with the weight of the heavier instruments or just because I already had the straps to be used. I'd have no reservation recommending/using the decorative cord on any lightweight instrument :)

YMMV but enjoy the journey ;)

Ukejenny
10-10-2014, 02:01 PM
I would love to see photos of how you have the chord tied on. I use nylon twine for knotted prayer beads and I bet it would work great for the same purpose. I used to order my twine from FNT Industries - but they are out of business now. I did find this, however. http://divinetwine.blogspot.com

Ukejenny
10-10-2014, 02:03 PM
I've been using decorative cord for instrument straps for well over a year now. I've mentioned it in several other postings ... not that that's of any consequence!

I started by whipping a loop to fit snugly on the end-pin and using a length of bootlace at the machine head end, then I moved on to passing the cord itself under the strings between the machine heads. On some installations I use a piece of tubing for minor adjustment, as in : pass cord through tubing, around machine head, then back through tube. Dimensions of tube will depend on dimensions of cord, obviously. The tubular top off a ballpoint pen with the end cut off works for me ... else a small buckle from a handbag strap or similar (I found one lying on the ground in a car-park)! The very end of the cord has also been whipped to prevent fraying and make it easier to thread under the strings and through the tube/buckle.

The super-de-luxe ultimate custom-fit version has a spliced loop at both ends, a small loop for the end pin (obviously ... a bit of extra whipping was needed here to tighten the loop) and a larger loop under the strings around the machine head. All looks very smooth, but actually having no adjustment means it's only really perfect if I'm wearing just a shirt!

I've got these arrangements, in one form or another, on five ukuleles of various sizes and a short-scale nylon-strung guitar and it's fine on all of them. I've used more conventional straps on my other guitars, mandolin/mandola and banjo either for comfort with the weight of the heavier instruments or just because I already had the straps to be used. I'd have no reservation recommending/using the decorative cord on any lightweight instrument :)

YMMV but enjoy the journey ;)

If you have any photos, please share them. I have some nylon cord here and I'm in the mood to try something! I have a uke leash right now.

UkerDanno
10-10-2014, 02:17 PM
sounds painful to me, but congrat's on rediscovering the hitch knot, hopefully you'll find more uses for it in the near future!

coolkayaker1
10-10-2014, 06:46 PM
Doesn't Ukeval on UU use something like that?

I sure would like to see a photo of what you're describing, John. Maybe you'll do a Seasons video with it.

Danielle uses it on her uke, I think. I'm not crazy about her knot, though.
http://youtu.be/AuFD4IKz6bk

kypfer
10-11-2014, 01:05 AM
Ukejenny wrote :
I would love to see photos of how you have the chord tied on.

If you have any photos, please share them.

71746

Hope this helps. The top two images show the "basic" version. On the left the end of the cord whipped and threaded through a piece of appropriately sized tubing, in this case a cut-down pen top. On the right, the end of the cord whipped, looped and whipped again to fit the strap-button on the ukulele (10mm).

The lower two images show a slightly "flashier", though not necessarily superior, system, with spliced loops at each end ... in hindsight, non-adjustable so a bit tight if I'm wearing a fleece :(

Both arrangements are "pre-production prototypes" or "proof of concept" so could doubtless be made neater and tidier should one so wish.

The "cord under the strings" arrangement may be a bit tight on some instruments, so you might prefer to slacken the strings to thread it and re-tune when finished. Alternatively, attach a length of boot-lace or similar and thread that for your tie-off. On another thread, one poster recommended attaching a loop of boot-lace to the end of the cord, passing the loop under the strings and simply hooking the loop onto one of the machine heads to retain it. I've not got around to trying this yet, but it sounds like a simple idea which would save having to actually tie off at the machine heads ;)

coolkayaker1
10-11-2014, 03:34 AM
Thanks, kypfer.

I think the headstock end would rotate as I play and move the uke. I can't justify headstock burns when I resell ukes ( as I know John does, too).

I use the same straps as Kris Fuchigami and love them.
http://youtu.be/Ur-XofI6wP8

Cornfield
10-11-2014, 04:52 AM
Thanks, kypfer.

I think the headstock end would rotate as I play and move the uke. I can't justify headstock burns when I resell ukes ( as I know John does, too).

I use the same straps as Kris Fuchigami and love them.
http://youtu.be/Ur-XofI6wP8

I'm not quite as bothered. Ukes are musical tools

vanflynn
10-11-2014, 05:48 AM
Ooh, I have the perfect gown for that

71754

IamNoMan
10-11-2014, 06:59 AM
Some Ideas:
If you are using chord that has any plastic in it you can prevent fraying by applying a cigarette lighter to the end of the chord.

For other chord material: Put a dab of glue at the frayable end. Loop the chord back on itself to create an eyelet of whatever size is appropriate. wrap tape around the glued end and the chord. In sailors parlence this is called the bitter end. They used tar rather than glue. I would use cloth backed electricians tape.

Alternate arrangement: Use a length of chord twice+ as long as you need. Make a loop and knot the two ends together. a square knot will do. Slip the loop end under the strings on the headstock leaving the knotted end above the headstock. Bring the loop end behind the headstock and insert the knotted end through the loop and pull tight. You now have a perfectly usable Ukulele strap. I need one of these and now I have one. I made it as I typed.

strumsilly
10-11-2014, 07:21 AM
no, but I have used long shoelaces. I find mandolin straps work well too.

kypfer
10-11-2014, 07:35 AM
coolkayaker1 wrote:
I can't justify headstock burns when I resell ukes I fully understand your reservations. The cord I'm using seems to be soft enough not to cause an issue, there's certainly no sign on the headstock of my Kala (or any other instrument) that a cord has been tied there, (the Kala gets played most days), but a more delicate surface may not be so resilient.

I've deliberately not used any sort of tape or glue which might create a "hard-spot" or stickyness adjacent to the woodwork, hence the whippings. The whipping thread would have had a wipe of beeswax just to give it a bit of "bite" for the initial few turns. Applying a flame to a scrap end of cord resulted in an impressive flare-up and a rather unsightly black blob once the flame was quenched ... serviceable, but not very pretty :(

... as always, YMMV :)

IamNoMan
10-11-2014, 07:53 AM
Does the beeswax really add to the friction when fabricating your whippings. Fiddle rosin would work for this application as well.

If you don't like the unsightly blob when fusing the ends of plastic chords don't touch the flame to the material. A quick touch with a soldering iron or a hot stove/frying pan will also work but may lead to spousal abuse.

Those who are concerned with scarring the headstock should consider using I-Cord; particularly the kind with a soft velour finish.

kypfer
10-11-2014, 08:03 AM
Does the beeswax really add to the friction when fabricating your whippings. Yes, and it's cheap and readily available at the local hardware store. I am talking beeswax in it's pure form, just a stick of relatively hard wax that'll soften slightly in your fingers. Dragging the whipping thread "briskly" across the wax generates enough friction to melt the wax enough to impregnate the thread ... a trick I learnt when tying flies for fishing ;) Just hold the thread firmly against the block of wax with a thumb then pull the wax along the thread ... or pull thread across the wax ;) Do just as much as you need at a time, trying to wax long lengths of thread all in one go can end up with annoying tangles if the thread stretches!

Lori
10-11-2014, 08:43 AM
Ooh, I have the perfect gown for that

71754
I remember that joke... it was perfect... I never laughed so hard.

For those DIY people, I have a part that might be handy (a leather keyhole button connector) http://shop.ukeleash.com/Button-Adapter-for-Guitar-Style-Strap-BA-GGS.htm
I also make protective sleeves that might help in some circumstances. http://shop.ukeleash.com/Protective-UltraSuede-Sleeve-US.htm If you are in the USA, I can offer free shipping on these flat, lightweight items. Just PM me for details.


–Lori

Ukejenny
10-11-2014, 11:35 AM
coolkayaker1 wrote: I fully understand your reservations. The cord I'm using seems to be soft enough not to cause an issue, there's certainly no sign on the headstock of my Kala (or any other instrument) that a cord has been tied there, (the Kala gets played most days), but a more delicate surface may not be so resilient.

I've deliberately not used any sort of tape or glue which might create a "hard-spot" or stickyness adjacent to the woodwork, hence the whippings. The whipping thread would have had a wipe of beeswax just to give it a bit of "bite" for the initial few turns. Applying a flame to a scrap end of cord resulted in an impressive flare-up and a rather unsightly black blob once the flame was quenched ... serviceable, but not very pretty :(

... as always, YMMV :)

I've had good luck melting the ends of my prayer beads (you can't tie a knot at the end) and then flattening the melted fibers with chopstick to press them into the end. If you are careful with the heat, the fibers don't change color much.

Ukejenny
10-11-2014, 11:36 AM
Ukejenny wrote :


71746

Hope this helps. The top two images show the "basic" version. On the left the end of the cord whipped and threaded through a piece of appropriately sized tubing, in this case a cut-down pen top. On the right, the end of the cord whipped, looped and whipped again to fit the strap-button on the ukulele (10mm).

The lower two images show a slightly "flashier", though not necessarily superior, system, with spliced loops at each end ... in hindsight, non-adjustable so a bit tight if I'm wearing a fleece :(

Both arrangements are "pre-production prototypes" or "proof of concept" so could doubtless be made neater and tidier should one so wish.

The "cord under the strings" arrangement may be a bit tight on some instruments, so you might prefer to slacken the strings to thread it and re-tune when finished. Alternatively, attach a length of boot-lace or similar and thread that for your tie-off. On another thread, one poster recommended attaching a loop of boot-lace to the end of the cord, passing the loop under the strings and simply hooking the loop onto one of the machine heads to retain it. I've not got around to trying this yet, but it sounds like a simple idea which would save having to actually tie off at the machine heads ;)

The photos are very good. Thank you!

Ukejenny
10-11-2014, 11:37 AM
I use the same straps as Kris Fuchigami and love them.
http://youtu.be/Ur-XofI6wP8

Can you share the name/link? I'd be interested in looking at these.

coolkayaker1
10-11-2014, 02:58 PM
Hi, UkeJenny. Your wish is my command.
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-Acoustic-Guitar-Quick-Release/dp/B0002GWFEQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413071656&sr=8-1&keywords=Planet+Waves+Acoustic+Guitar+Quick-Release+System

Very inexpensive, unclips with ease to swap straps (one just leaves the part that goes by the nut on the uke attached to that uke all the time), and it works with any regular strap--it's just an add-on. It's soft material, so unlikely to damage uke head (plus, it's right by the nut in the thin area). Tidy and keeps the thick part of the strap away from the fretting area and fretting hand (that's what I like most about it). I, honestly, bought it after someone else told me that Kris F. uses it. I think it was nongdam or AndrewkUker. Now I have, like, five of them...one on each main uke. lol

One thing, though. The Strap you use it with will have to be adjustable with a slide buckle or something to make it short--the addition of the PlanetWaves accessory end does add length to the overall set-up--maybe 6 inches or so (see Kris's video again). So, just need a shorter length, adjustable strap to pair it with. :-) For instance, Lori's Uke Leashes, which I enjoy, can be used with the PW attachment--just adjust to perfect fit, and clip off any extra nylon (if you have the actual Uke Leash, you really might not need to clip anything off depending on your height), burnish the strap end with a lighted match, and it's good. A short person might get a kid's strap, or youth-sized strap, which is usually thinner, and would likely be just right with this PW accessory. A tall person, like original poster, John, probably would not need to do anything even when adding this to a guitar strap. That said, once you have your perfect strap (even something simple, like Kris's), then it's just a matter of swapping that same strap to any ukulele that has the $4 PW accessory, with one click. :-)

TheCraftedCow
10-11-2014, 06:27 PM
As a Boy Scout and as a US Sailor, I learned that the square knot is an unreliable knot unless kept under constant tension. It tends to work its self loose if pressure is ever released. As an upholsterer, I use a knot on the springs which hold whether slack or taught. It is quick, easy and also easy to undo or adjust. Anything which will hold the weight of the uke and the strain of being played is fair game for strap material. A wider piece of padding either across your shoulder or around the back of your neck will make it more comfortable. A washcloth is more than adequate, plus it is easy to launder for those sweaty times we play. I think I will add a scroll gimp strip down the middle of a strap (since I make them in 19 colours) and see how it moves through the adjuster buckle. Thank you for the inspiration!! If you would rather use some jute cord or Italian Flax cord, drop me a Private Message and tell me how long. I will send it to you as payment for your creative idea. Again-- thank you

Cornfield
10-12-2014, 03:52 AM
Crafted Cow, what is the knot that you use?