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Banjo
02-24-2010, 01:35 PM
There was a post on here about a week ago that was a basic how-to on making a cheap strap with some nylon webbing. This inspired me to make a post of my own, it just takes my lazy butt a while to do things. The strap I made is of hemp and, at least in my hippie point of view, gives the uke a more earthy feel

I started out with 48 lb hemp string that I got from the local hobby store. The only other kind of hemp they had was 24 lb hemp and that would have been too thin. I cut three lengths of hemp, a little over two wingspans in length. Longer is better than shorter as braiding can cut down on the length by almost half. I then folded all three lengths in half ( the fold can be seen in pic 2647). I hooked the three strings around a hook on my door and began braiding. Because the strings are folded in half, there should be 6 strings you are braiding. Each braid line consisted of two pieces of hemp. I tested the length multiple times before I got to a point that I thought would be right for me. Once the braid was long enough i tied it off with a simple knot. There was a good amount of leftover free string on the other side of the knot. I chose two of these strings and wrapped them around the skinniest part of the body and tied them tight since I don't have a strap button (see pic 2649).

As I'm sure some of you smart folks have realized, yes its relatively permanent. I don't mind, but its not for everyone. At first the hemp was kinda rough on the neck, but the hemp softened up pretty quickly and is pretty comfortable now. I was not sure how much wear I would see on the body from the hemp, but after 2 weeks of heavy play, I don't see any. As for those of you who aren't familiar with hemp (yeah, keep pleading the fifth) it is amazing strong. This strap is probably strong enough to hold a guitar, but it sure wouldn't be comfy.

Question, Comments, Complaints and useless rambling all welcome

Thanks,
John

sukie
02-24-2010, 03:17 PM
That looks kind of cool. Very do-it-yourself but for some people that's got real appeal.

cashew
02-24-2010, 03:22 PM
thats pretty darn cool-- I've done something like that with a piece of string when i need to stand and play :)

kilaana
02-24-2010, 03:32 PM
Hey, great idea! I think I'll make myself one of those! Also, you can soften up the hemp by getting it wet (obviously before you attach it to the uke!).

Banjo
02-24-2010, 07:03 PM
Thanks for the kind words. I'll be getting a new ukulele tomorrow. I think I'll install a strap button on it and make a new strap.

Kilaana, if you make one, post some pics. It would be cool to see how it turns out.

Ron
02-24-2010, 08:09 PM
That's what we'd call a bush strap. As in bush carpentry o bush lawyer...;-)

experimentjon
02-24-2010, 08:56 PM
I bought a legit guitar hemp strap made by Levy. Sort of expensive at $35, but it looks sweet with my Tele.

Nice strap you made though! How comfortable is it, since it's so thin? And can you adjust the length?

Banjo
02-25-2010, 04:29 AM
Ron
I'm not sure what you mean by bush. I tried to google those terms and nothing useful came up.

Experimentjon
I just checked out those levy's hemp straps, they are pretty cool.
As for comfort, once the hemp began to soften it has been real comfortable. At first, the braiding was so stiff that the strap would "stand up" against gravity. Now it just lays limp. Becasue the uke is so light, such a thin strap doesn't bother me. My other instrument, a 12 lb banjo, has a 2 inch wide padded strap and it is still uncomfortable so pretty much anything else is as light as air to me.
It is sort of adjustable. I think I may like it to be about an inch or two shorter. To do this though I will have to untie a couple knots and unravel a bit of the braiding.

Ron
02-25-2010, 07:51 AM
Ron
I'm not sure what you mean by bush. I tried to google those terms and nothing useful came up..

Bush means rough but good enough. In "Bush carpentry" it's kinda a complement because the person has the skills to make a good enough job with whatever materials are available. "Bush lawyer" - some one who isn't a lawyer but knows all the rules (or thinks they do) and demands their rights. Not quite so complimentary. Bush lawyers most often have a beer in their hands.

Banjo
02-25-2010, 08:31 AM
Bush means rough but good enough. In "Bush carpentry" it's kinda a complement because the person has the skills to make a good enough job with whatever materials are available. "Bush lawyer" - some one who isn't a lawyer but knows all the rules (or thinks they do) and demands their rights. Not quite so complimentary. Bush lawyers most often have a beer in their hands.

Ah, thats what I thought you meant. I think bush would be a good adjective for a lot of my projects. I don't think the term will catch on over here in the states anytime soon. If it did, it'd probably mean something more like "a total screwup," after a recent president.

dnewton2
02-25-2010, 09:27 AM
When it is in use does the hemp over the uke body contact the soundboard? If it does, does it have affect the sound at all?

Pretty cool. I knew a kid in high school that made all kinds of hemp necklaces, leashes and stuff. There are come neat braiding patterns that could be used that wold look pretty cool too, add beads. Possibilities are endless.

Ron
02-25-2010, 09:36 AM
Ah, thats what I thought you meant. I think bush would be a good adjective for a lot of my projects. I don't think the term will catch on over here in the states anytime soon. If it did, it'd probably mean something more like "a total screwup," after a recent president.

haha. Bush is our word for forest. (actually I suspect the term "bush carpentry/lawyer" is is Australian but we've a fine history of claiming Aussie achievenments as our own - and visa versa. Crowded House, pavlova, Phar Lap, Russel Crowe).

Ukuleleblues
02-25-2010, 12:39 PM
Looks great!!! Makes me want to make one one with beads and flowers for my resonator uke. I like hand made things in this world of "look at what I bought" (Uck).

Banjo
02-25-2010, 01:13 PM
When it is in use does the hemp over the uke body contact the soundboard? If it does, does it have affect the sound at all?



Thanks for asking that question. Its something I've thought about before, but never really tested until now. The hemp mainly touches the very edge of the sound board, but if I pull the loop tight, it lightly touches the top of the soundboard. I THINK I can hear a slight dampening of the sound when it has more contact w/ the soundboard, but it is very slight. Its the kind of difference you wouldn't be able to hear when playing with other instruments or even just another person in the room making a little noise. However, the soundboard on that Ibanez is very thick. It doesn't vibrate very much at all. It looks like it might be more than twice as thick as the Kala solid mahogany concert uke I just got (it would be cool to get my hands on some calipers to check for sure). I think the hemp on the soundboard would have a lot bigger effect on the Kala. Thats why I plan on getting a strap button for that one.

I think I may look up some fancier braiding patterns for my next strap.