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View Full Version : Adding Strap Buttons to a Metal Body



Jerryc41
07-19-2018, 01:41 AM
I have a Gold Tone ResoUke - which is a bit on the heavy side compared with wooden ukuleles. I was wondering about adding some kind of strap button(s). I've added standard screw-buttons to wooden ukes, but I have my doubts about putting a screw into that thin metal.

Any ideas? How about the Mobius strap? From Barry Maz, "...the makers advise that ukes like resonators may be too bottom heavy to hold too."
https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/goldtone/instruments/resouke

Tootler
07-19-2018, 03:47 AM
I saw Del Ray in the Netherlands a few years ago and she was using a sound hole strap which afaicr she clipped into an f-hole on her Reso.

Depends on how thick the body is but would a self-tapping screw into a pilot hole work?

Swamp Yankee
07-19-2018, 03:52 AM
is there any way you could finaigle a small wooden block in to glue it where the end block would be on a wooden uke? If the resonator assembly is removable, I'd think it should be pretty simple.

bariukish
07-19-2018, 04:00 AM
If you can get your hand, fingers, or needle nose pliers in the sound hole, why not use a small dia bolt, washer and nut instead of a screw?

Swamp Yankee
07-19-2018, 07:04 AM
The only worry I'd have about a screw with nut and washer would be the nut loosening over time. As far as sheet metal screws, I'd worry about such an attachment not being able to hold up to the sheer force when the weight of the uke pulls sideways on the screw. A rivet might be more secure but much more difficult to remove if the button itself became damaged.

besley
07-19-2018, 07:28 AM
No problem. You'll have to remove the resonator cone to get access to the inside of the heel. After that just use a machine screw with a fender washer and Nyloc nut. That's what I've done on carbon fiber guitars, and it works just fine.

Tim Mullins
07-20-2018, 06:11 AM
I have an National Resophonic steel-bodied concert ukulele. My Mobius Strap did not work with it as the metal body is too heavy for it to balance securely. Since this wasn't a vintage instrument, I didn't mind modifying it and I find a strap really frees up my playing!

National supplied me with a set of strap buttons and a block of wood with a radius to match the curve of the inside of the butt of the body. I drilled a pilot hole and pre-threaded the screw into the block, then removed the screw and assembled the block and button to the uke. I installed the other strap button at the heel. Here are some pics:

Here the wood block is visible past the end of the dowel stick.

110580

Butt button installed.

110581

Heel button installed.

110582

And it's done!

110583

Jerryc41
07-20-2018, 09:03 AM
...would a self-tapping screw into a pilot hole work?

That's the problem. I have to drill a hole to find out. : )

I ordered a Mobius strap. That can't do any damage. I think I'll bring that uke to a three-hour street performance with nine other people, and I'd hate to have to hold that for two or three hours. It weight 2.5 pounds.

Jerryc41
07-20-2018, 09:06 AM
I have an National Resophonic steel-bodied concert ukulele. My Mobius Strap did not work with it as the metal body is too heavy for it to balance securely. Since this wasn't a vintage instrument, I didn't mind modifying it and I find a strap really frees up my playing!

National supplied me with a set of strap buttons and a block of wood with a radius to match the curve of the inside of the butt of the body. I drilled a pilot hole and pre-threaded the screw into the block, then removed the screw and assembled the block and button to the uke. I installed the other strap button at the heel.



If it doesn't balance well with the Mobius, I might open it up and put a block of wood in there. I'd rather not do that, though. I'll be able to use the Mobius with other ukes that I don't want to drill.

Do you use a regular strap and tie that rawhide to the hole in the strap?

Jerryc41
07-20-2018, 09:10 AM
Investigate the world of fasteners. I think there are fasteners (screws or rivets) which are made to hold tight in on steel sheet metal. The goldtone specs show that the body is made out of steel, which is strong and will hold onto the right sort of fastener.
Here is a page for a selection of strap pins from a site called "Resophonic Outfitters"
http://www.resophonicoutfitters.com/category/022.html

Thanks for the link. I don't like the idea of putting a sheet metal screw in there and expecting it to hold. If I have to open it up, I'll use a piece of wood - as if that end of the uke isn't already heavy enough. : )

Jerryc41
07-20-2018, 09:14 AM
The only worry I'd have about a screw with nut and washer would be the nut loosening over time. As far as sheet metal screws, I'd worry about such an attachment not being able to hold up to the sheer force when the weight of the uke pulls sideways on the screw. A rivet might be more secure but much more difficult to remove if the button itself became damaged.

A thread-lock liquid would keep a nut from loosening, but I don't like the idea of the weight of the ukulele on a screw in the sheet metal. In my opinion, they should include strap buttons as standard, considering the weight of the instrument. I have a KLOS carbon fiber tenor coming next month, and I ordered it with strap buttons.

Tim Mullins
07-26-2018, 05:50 PM
If it doesn't balance well with the Mobius, I might open it up and put a block of wood in there. I'd rather not do that, though. I'll be able to use the Mobius with other ukes that I don't want to drill.

Do you use a regular strap and tie that rawhide to the hole in the strap?

I was just using a long strip of rawhide I got at Jedlicka's Saddlery for $1.98. It worked well and my brother used one like it on his mandolin for years. I've since gotten a nice-looking one-inch wide leather strap that is also a bit more comfortable.

And thanks for your purchase!

Jerryc41
07-27-2018, 02:45 AM
My Mobius Strap did not work with it...

I tried the Mobius, and it works, but I have to keep a firm grip on it. It does provide support, though. Just not hands-free.