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Irish Uke Tom
12-31-2015, 11:03 AM
I really want a strap on my ukulele - one that attaches to the base. I've been to my local music shop and he couldn't/ wouldn't drill a hole into it. The ukulele is really light so I'm thinking I could fashion some sort of glue-on one. Like shape a bit of wood, attach a strap button, then glue it on. What do you guys think about that?

Anyone have any better suggestions? I really want one that attaches to the base. I've tried all the other sorts and I just don't like them at all ,where as attached to the base a strap is useful.

Oh, I play a mainland mahogany tenor - love it. Really don't want to mess it up! But i plan on playing it for a really long time and want a strap button.

Thanks for all help :cool:

Tootler
12-31-2015, 11:12 AM
It's a job you can do yourself. There's usually a little block of wood inside the base, as there's often a join in the body at that point. Check with a small mirror and torch or contact mainland and ask them. That's where you drill your hole. Strap buttons are readily available and pretty cheap and you just need a small drill and a screwdriver. I've recently fitted strap buttons to my Bruko concert and tenor and it only took me about 15 minutes to do both and it was straightforward. Just make sure the drill is smaller diameter than the strap button fixing screw.

There's probably a tutorial on You Tube somewhere if you do a search. I think I got my instructions via Barry Maz's "Got a Ukulele" Blog.

Nickie
12-31-2015, 12:52 PM
It's a job you can do yourself. There's usually a little block of wood inside the base, as there's often a join in the body at that point. Check with a small mirror and torch or contact mainland and ask them. That's where you drill your hole. Strap buttons are readily available and pretty cheap and you just need a small drill and a screwdriver. I've recently fitted strap buttons to my Bruko concert and tenor and it only took me about 15 minutes to do both and it was straightforward. Just make sure the drill is smaller diameter than the strap button fixing screw.

There's probably a tutorial on You Tube somewhere if you do a search. I think I got my instructions via Barry Maz's "Got a Ukulele" Blog.

So right! No way I would ever trust glue for this job.

PhilUSAFRet
12-31-2015, 01:11 PM
Pick one, very easy to do: https://www.google.com/#q=how+to+install+a+strap+button+on+a+ukulele

Brian1
12-31-2015, 01:32 PM
Well there are a few options depending on the ukulele.

Jake S. uses a hook strap that goes into the sound hole it isn't something that you can play "hands free" but will keep it from slipping. You can get them or something similar on e-bay for a couple of dollars.

If you have a gloss finish you might even be able to use a suction cup (but still I wouldn't trust it hands free)

I have one ukulele that doesn't have a block of wood at the heel, so be careful if you choose to drill into your uke.

There are a couple of straps out there that work if your uke has a waist that don't require any buttons for a strap:
http://www.mobiusstrap.com/

Some people just tie a piece of light rope around the body and the head stock.

whistleman123
12-31-2015, 03:08 PM
Just put a button on the base and one on the heel of the neck. I followed some instructions I found on youtube. Easy-peasy. I would defonitely suggest a strap made from leather "saddle strings" as discussed in a recent thread to minimize head droop.

Jim Hanks
12-31-2015, 03:37 PM
I did it, you can too: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?80110-Installed-my-own-strap-button-!

I prefer to tie to the headstock for tenor and smaller so just the one at the base is all I need.

Phluffy the Destroyer
01-01-2016, 01:45 AM
If you plan on ever selling it, I wouldn't recommend doing anything to permanently alter it. Any alteration to an instrument can reduce it's value. In all likelihood it will void any warranty you may have, so you'll want to check on that if you're particularly uncoordinated and think you might be needing that.

However, I tend to look at it this way:

Say I bought a $500 ukulele. Since I play every day, if I were to keep it for 2 years and just throw it in the garbage, my happiness would be worth $0.68 per day. Personally, I feel my happiness is worth that, so I wouldn't hesitate to make a permanent alteration to an instrument I intended to play for a very long time. So, if you intend to keep that ukulele for a long time, then install the button. Hell, install a pick-up, paint it green, and cover it with Captain Planet stickers if it makes you happy.

Croaky Keith
01-01-2016, 02:01 AM
You could also attach a strap using velcro, (saw a video on Youtube somewhere).

Jim Hanks
01-01-2016, 06:14 AM
If you plan on ever selling it, I wouldn't recommend doing anything to permanently alter it. Any alteration to an instrument can reduce it's value.

In general I disagree with that, at least for functional changes like straps and pickups. They probably won't add value (unless it's a really nice pickup), but won't reduce value either as long as it isn't totally botched. Purely aesthetic changes like paint and stickers I agree would really hurt the resale potential.

Tudorp
01-01-2016, 06:59 AM
It wont devalue a common factory made uke. Unless it is a vintage Martin, Gibson or something like that, get ya one and screw it on. I wouldn't do glue. If the glue ever fails, it would do much more damage than a small screw hole would. Not to mention your uke hitting the floor when it does fail. If it isn't a vintage collector type of instrument, modify away. Even if it is, it's yours so do what you feel comfortable with.

janeray1940
01-01-2016, 07:55 AM
If you plan on ever selling it, I wouldn't recommend doing anything to permanently alter it. Any alteration to an instrument can reduce it's value.

FWIW, this has not been my experience. I put strap buttons on all of my ukes, and of the half-dozen or so I've re-homed, the only one I've lost money on was a custom (which is to be expected). The rest have been K-brands and I've either broken even, or made a small profit.

To the OP, I'm curious as to why the local shop couldn't/wouldn't install a button for you. I know that some ukes don't have a block like Brian1 mentioned above - you can use a small mirror to check inside, or maybe try contacting Mainland directly.

Rllink
01-01-2016, 10:14 AM
It is strange that your music shop wouldn't install a strap button. That is kind of lame, as it is so easy, and common, to do. I'm never going to buy a ukulele as an investment, so adding a strap button would not faze me in the least, and I agree with several people who have said that it is an easy thing to do yourself. However, I do have a friend who can not seem to figure out how to use a tire gauge, and if that is the case, better to have a handy friend come over and do it. I sure wouldn't pay someone. But, another thing you can do is put a pickup on it. I have a MiSi on my Mainland, and you get a strap button, and the ability to amp up, if you want to. You don't have to, you know.

Lori
01-01-2016, 10:53 AM
Try another music store. Any store that can add a strap button to a guitar, can do the same process on a uke. To me, it is worth the small charge, since they should have a nice padded workbench, and a good way of holding the uke steady while drilling the hole. Your Mainland should be fine. I ordered a concert one directly from Mike years ago, and had them install one for me before they shipped it. If you need a uke strap, I offer fully adjustable Uke Leash Guitar Style Straps with either standard button or the larger amp jack button combo. Each one is made by me with TLC in Los Angeles.
If you try and drill yourself, start out with a small pilot hole first. That will help keep the bit from wandering when you do the final hole. Make sure the bit size is slightly smaller than the threads, so that it will grip the wood. Don't go too small, or you might crack the wood.
Good Luck. A properly installed strap button is simple, only if you know the tricks.

–Lori

hendulele
01-01-2016, 01:37 PM
As mentioned earlier, Barry at GotAUkulele.com has an online tutorial for installing your own strap button that is spot-on. I did it on three of my ukes, including a Flea (installing near but not on the base, so it still stands up). Alternatively, there are Lori's Uke Leashes, the Mobius strap (which I also have and works better for some than others) or my latest acquisition, the Souldier Uke Strap, which has hooks on each end and slips into the sound hole, much like straps for classical guitars. I got the Souldier at a local shop, but you can check them out online (http://www.souldier.us).

kohanmike
01-01-2016, 03:42 PM
I install two strap buttons on everyone of my ukes and basses, even the customs I had made. Wouldn't play my instruments without them.

Irish Uke Tom
01-03-2016, 07:33 AM
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the replies. They really helped. Felt/ feel really nervous about drilling into my beautiful ukulele but I'm going to do it. It would just annoy me forever if I didn't. The only thing I'm worried about now is securing it while I drill. I don't want to have to buy myself a workshop (that would just open up a whole new world of possible obsessions haha!). So how would you secure a uke while you drill?

My local music shop is a bit rubbish - They just said they wouldn't do it on a ukulele. They only have pink plastic soprano ukes in stock,

Irish Uke Tom
01-03-2016, 07:36 AM
If you plan on ever selling it, I wouldn't recommend doing anything to permanently alter it. Any alteration to an instrument can reduce it's value. In all likelihood it will void any warranty you may have, so you'll want to check on that if you're particularly uncoordinated and think you might be needing that.

However, I tend to look at it this way:

Say I bought a $500 ukulele. Since I play every day, if I were to keep it for 2 years and just throw it in the garbage, my happiness would be worth $0.68 per day. Personally, I feel my happiness is worth that, so I wouldn't hesitate to make a permanent alteration to an instrument I intended to play for a very long time. So, if you intend to keep that ukulele for a long time, then install the button. Hell, install a pick-up, paint it green, and cover it with Captain Planet stickers if it makes you happy.



This is exactly the way I think. The hourly rate on my current uke would be pennies haha! And because it's my first i'll probably play it until it falls apart. Won't stop me buying something fancy at some stage though :)

kohanmike
01-03-2016, 08:00 AM
I just hold it under arm with the tail out. I use a very small bit first, then switch to one for the size of the screw.

whistleman123
01-04-2016, 08:38 AM
In the recent thead entitled "Ken Franklin Tenor" I asked about a strange strap mounting point. The thread author said he was using the suction cups off of a guitar thigh rest to attach the strap so the finish would not be damaged. Check it out. It might be just what you are looking for!

Tootler
01-04-2016, 12:44 PM
I just hold it under arm with the tail out. I use a very small bit first, then switch to one for the size of the screw.

I held mine with the waist between my knees. Leaves both hands free. If you're worried about cracking the wood, a piece of masking tape where you are going to drill will minimise any risk of damage. The strap buttons I bought came with a felt washer to protect the wood when you fit it.

Charley
01-04-2016, 03:53 PM
Even if the ukulele is thin there at the base, you can still install a button. McCabe's Guitars in Santa Monica put a strap button on the base of my Fluke, by first attaching a small wood block inside, and then drilling a hole and attaching the button. No problems at all with it. I'd think any decent luthier or shop could easily do it for you.