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Jim Hanks
04-27-2013, 12:24 PM
I almost put this in the luthier's section, but decided not to. :biglaugh:

Just wanted to share. I installed a strap button on my Ohana TKS-15E. :cool: You can see pictures below. I used a a Fender strap button - $4.99 from Sam Ash. I also picked up a $6 guitar strap which is way too wide but they didn't have anything slimmer.

The screw required a 1/8" diameter drill bit. I tested this and the 9/64" bit on a scrap piece of wood first and the 9/64" was exactly the size of the screw so I backed down a size to give the screw something to bite into, but not so much as to split. It screwed in with a hand screwdriver with just a little pressure so I think I got the right size. The only minor boo-boo was that I marked the bit with tape for the proper depth, but the bit actually went through the tail block just before I hit the tape. Oops. Seems OK though.

Hands-and-elbow-free is *SO* much nicer. Feeling much more secure. :nana:

Jim

523765237752378

Loudster
04-27-2013, 12:42 PM
Looks good! It's scary drilling into an instrument, especially if it's the first time you've done it. Congratulations on taking the plunge :P Hah, there's something very self-satisfying about being able to do little things like this for yourself, even if it is "basic". It still feels good.

I ordered a small lot of nice-looking buffalo horn strap buttons a little while ago that I'm just waiting eagerly on to arrive so I can check them out and set them up on my ukes. I've tried tying a strap to the headstock before and I even bought one of those Martin leather headstock strap-button loop things, but nothing feels quite as free to me as having a 2nd strap button at the base of the neck as well.

vanflynn
04-27-2013, 12:49 PM
Congrats. Taking a power tool to your uke can raise one's blood pressure

Jim Hanks
04-27-2013, 02:04 PM
I've tried tying a strap to the headstock before and I even bought one of those Martin leather headstock strap-button loop things, but nothing feels quite as free to me as having a 2nd strap button at the base of the neck as well.
I wasn't sure about that either but for now I'm going to stick with the headstock (just using the shoelace that came with the cheap strap). The body of the uke just seems too small to put the strap there. Having a wider "base of support" from the tail to the headstock feels better so far.

airmanfoote
04-27-2013, 02:39 PM
Awesome. I wish I was brave enough...maybe now I will be. Great job!

Jim Hanks
04-27-2013, 04:19 PM
Really not that much to be afraid of, airmanfoote. Measure twice, drill once. :) Now if I was drilling on a Kamaka.... ;)

UkeKiddinMe
04-27-2013, 04:41 PM
Good job.

:cool:

itsme
04-27-2013, 05:02 PM
Good on you for having the cajones to do it yourself. :)

pootsie
04-27-2013, 05:04 PM
Awesome. I wish I was brave enough...maybe now I will be. Great job!

Super easy. Just breathe. And read this thread:
http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/forum/how-to-install-a-strap-button-don-t-be-afraid-t450.html

cantsing
04-27-2013, 05:25 PM
Jim, I know how you feel. I am not especially handy, but I installed a strap button on my first uke, a Kala KA-T. I was cautious, all went well, and I was thrilled. However, now I kind of wonder how I ever got up the nerve to do it!

And pootsie, nice thread!

airmanfoote
04-27-2013, 05:43 PM
Super easy. Just breathe. And read this thread:
http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/forum/how-to-install-a-strap-button-don-t-be-afraid-t450.html

Yea pootsie! Thanks for that post! One question....do these same steps/rule apply with adding a button on the neck? Like Aldrine's? I'm at work and sped read the thread, so I hope I didnt miss my answer.... Thanks again!

pootsie
04-27-2013, 05:51 PM
Yea pootsie! Thanks for that post! One question....do these same steps/rule apply with adding a button on the neck? Like Aldrine's? I'm at work and sped read the thread, so I hope I didnt miss my answer.... Thanks again!

Pretty much the same thing. Choose your spot carefully, then make sure it's the right spot, then look again to be certain. tape it, mark it, drill carefully, etc.

airmanfoote
04-27-2013, 05:57 PM
Thank you. Appreciate it!

Katz-in-Boots
04-27-2013, 11:43 PM
Pretty much the same thing. Choose your spot carefully, then make sure it's the right spot, then look again to be certain. tape it, mark it, drill carefully, etc.

I am toying with installing a strap button on my Kanilea concert. I've heard it may reduce resale value, but I bought this thing to play, not as an investment. Having said that, I don't recall seeing an end block. How do you recommend proceeding if there isn't one?

Jim Hanks
04-28-2013, 04:51 AM
If there is no end block, I think you are limited to buttonless options - Uke Leash, Möbius, sound hole hook, etc. but check again with a flashlight. You might also want to ask Kanilea directly - info@kanileaukulele.com

pootsie
04-28-2013, 06:04 AM
I am toying with installing a strap button on my Kanilea concert. I've heard it may reduce resale value, but I bought this thing to play, not as an investment. Having said that, I don't recall seeing an end block. How do you recommend proceeding if there isn't one?

I would be very surprised if it does not have one. What model do you have?

vanflynn
04-28-2013, 06:28 AM
If your uke doesn't have a tail block (such as a dolphin) you can glue a wood disc inside the body to anchor the screw

BIGDB
04-28-2013, 08:04 AM
That looks great id be so scared to do that are you planning on putting another one?

Jim Hanks
04-28-2013, 10:54 AM
I do not plan to install the other button although Ohana even agreed there should be adequate space at the neck heel to do it. I like how it works tied to the headstock. The uke stays put while playing and it is the perfect length for me so that I don't even have to loosen it - just put on over my head and play.

Katz-in-Boots
05-01-2013, 06:20 PM
If there is no end block, I think you are limited to buttonless options - Uke Leash, Möbius, sound hole hook, etc. but check again with a flashlight. You might also want to ask Kanilea directly - info@kanileaukulele.com

Thanks for suggesting emailing them. I always figure the makers are so busy I don't like asking them. I guess that like any business they make time for customer relations though, because they answered:

"We install strap buttons and strap jacks often. Our 'ukulele are designed to accommodate them. There is a tail block at the base of the inside of your 'ukulele. Not too worry about drilling the hole. The issue to worry about is doing it correctly. You do not want to crack the seam of the bottom. We recommend having a local luthier do the install if this is your first attempt."

Now I just have to get a button worthy of my uke. Saw some nice bone ones somewhere, though ebony might be nice...

PBandChelly
05-01-2013, 07:38 PM
Awesome! I had a strap button put on my pineapple, and I'm loving it. If you ever want to try a different strap, Uke Leash makes a guitar-style strap (http://shop.ukeleash.com/04-Guitar-Style-Strap-by-Uke-Leash_c7.htm) that works excellently.

coolkayaker1
05-01-2013, 07:42 PM
I agree with everything pootsie wrote in this thread about going for it, and end blocks in ukes.

Hey, I have installed strap buttons on about three ukes now, including high end Koaloha. It;s no big deal... there's always the moment when you feel like you're going to crack the crap out of the thing, but hey, that's what keeps it fun. And, in the end, if it cracks, there's always the bonfire--the glossy ones burn best.

I like strap buttons, and I install them every chance I get.:cool:

Jim Hanks
05-01-2013, 07:42 PM
Now I just have to get a button worthy of my uke.
See that's the great thing about laminate. My $4.99 chrome button is plenty worthy. ;)

pootsie
05-02-2013, 04:51 AM
the glossy ones burn best.



NOOOOOOOooooooooo!

Loudster
05-02-2013, 02:06 PM
Now I just have to get a button worthy of my uke. Saw some nice bone ones somewhere, though ebony might be nice...

I know _exactly_ what you mean. A month or two ago I was looking at getting a strap button to install and I just couldn't get excited enough about the standard shiny $5 metal ones. The other ones are so ridiculously expensive though, like $20-40+ each for some of the nicer looking ones like buffalo horn, bone, etc.

I looked for various wood ones as well, but even if you do find them they don't necessarily match the wood your uke is made of and they're still expensive. Then I found this set in ebony: http://iluak.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=59_60&product_id=52 which at about $25 looks nice and was the best deal I could find, but that's still outside of what I was willing to spend.

After literally hours scouring the internet in my spare time I finally pulled the trigger on a small lot of buffalo horn ones that looked identical to that ebony set (albeit not as sheer black as the ebony of course) as well as other buffalo horn sets. Give me a minute and I'll take a couple pictures and post them. They came in today and I'm really impressed. Now I just need to get some black felt washers before I install them :)

Loudster
05-02-2013, 03:14 PM
5254552546

Here they are. Not too shabby eh? I'm actually pretty excited to install these, stinks that I won't have any time to do so for a week at least... Anyway, I included the standard fender chrome one for comparison. I told you guys, just haven't been able to like it well enough to want to install it on mine even though I bought a pair of them.

If nothing else, they're unique. They look really nice. Feel nice too, sturdy, not plastic-y, which is what I've been worrying about while I was waiting for them to come in. Shoot, I was worried they'd actually be plastic and I'd been swindled. Thankfully, not the case.

Since I had to buy them in a small lot to get a reasonable price on them, I've got a "couple" extra :P . My plan is to get some felt washers and throw the rest of them up for sale (washer + button) on the marketplace. That might be a week or two out though, depending on when I can get around to getting the washers and listing them all. Best part - they'll actually be reasonably priced :) not $20-40 a piece. We'll see when the time comes how much they ended up costing me overall and how cheaply I can ship them out.

Jim Hanks
05-02-2013, 03:53 PM
Looks good! As I said, I don't mind the chrome on mine as it has other silvery bits on it anyway - the pickup jack and the tuners.

Shastastan
05-03-2013, 07:26 AM
This is sort of embarrassing. I'm a woodworker and I just was too much of a wimp to try it. I took it to the guitar shop where I know the owner who has been in the business for a lot of years. He charged me $8. I watched him do it with complete confidence in him. My wife didn't want a button on her tenor so we got a mobi strap. No holes to drill on that one.

pootsie
05-03-2013, 07:47 AM
5254552546


Those look nice. Definitely more interesting than the reading material behind them ;)

Loudster
05-03-2013, 12:16 PM
Those look nice. Definitely more interesting than the reading material behind them ;)

Hah, I know right. I researched what I could about them beforehand and that digs up some interesting reads. In large part they're why it took me a little while to muster the confidence to even give these a shot :D, so I eventually did so with low expectations. Now that I have some in hand though I'm really impressed (and a little relieved ;)). They're definitely a lot nicer than anticipated.

Katz-in-Boots
05-04-2013, 07:33 PM
I know _exactly_ what you mean. A month or two ago I was looking at getting a strap button to install and I just couldn't get excited enough about the standard shiny $5 metal ones. The other ones are so ridiculously expensive though, like $20-40+ each for some of the nicer looking ones like buffalo horn, bone, etc.

I looked for various wood ones as well, but even if you do find them they don't necessarily match the wood your uke is made of and they're still expensive. Then I found this set in ebony: http://iluak.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=59_60&product_id=52 which at about $25 looks nice and was the best deal I could find, but that's still outside of what I was willing to spend.

After literally hours scouring the internet in my spare time I finally pulled the trigger on a small lot of buffalo horn ones that looked identical to that ebony set (albeit not as sheer black as the ebony of course) as well as other buffalo horn sets. Give me a minute and I'll take a couple pictures and post them. They came in today and I'm really impressed. Now I just need to get some black felt washers before I install them :)



5254552546

Here they are. Not too shabby eh? I'm actually pretty excited to install these, stinks that I won't have any time to do so for a week at least... Anyway, I included the standard fender chrome one for comparison. I told you guys, just haven't been able to like it well enough to want to install it on mine even though I bought a pair of them.

If nothing else, they're unique. They look really nice. Feel nice too, sturdy, not plastic-y, which is what I've been worrying about while I was waiting for them to come in. Shoot, I was worried they'd actually be plastic and I'd been swindled. Thankfully, not the case.

Since I had to buy them in a small lot to get a reasonable price on them, I've got a "couple" extra :P . My plan is to get some felt washers and throw the rest of them up for sale (washer + button) on the marketplace. That might be a week or two out though, depending on when I can get around to getting the washers and listing them all. Best part - they'll actually be reasonably priced :) not $20-40 a piece. We'll see when the time comes how much they ended up costing me overall and how cheaply I can ship them out.

Puts hand up! Those are the sort I was thinking of. It has to be nice looking & classy but understated for my very plain looking (But terrific sounding) Kanilea.

Katz-in-Boots
05-21-2013, 11:54 PM
oooh, update: I did it! Installed a strap button on my Kanilea K1.

I bought a nice ebony strap button with abalone dot - which fits in well with the abalone dots on my fretboard and the black bridge pins (wish they had abalone dots now).

Used a bamboo skewer to make a slight indent where I wanted to drill, worked it so it was deep enough to feel. Stuck masking tape firmly over hole, then drilled with a hand drill; 3 times. I prefer a hand drill to a power tool on such small, delicate jobs on expensive items. So; Pilot hole, bigger pilot then bigger. Screwed button in.
Need hubby to give the button a couple more twists to really seat it in, then I should be good to go.

It was scary to begin with, but I did it!

No excuses, if I can do it....

Loudster
05-22-2013, 04:43 AM
Congrats! It's scary, but it's gratifying once it's done.

Edward Ronald
05-23-2013, 12:55 AM
Jim, I know how you feel. I am not especially handy, but I installed a strap button on my first uke, a Kala KA-T. I was cautious, all went well, and I was thrilled. However, now I kind of wonder how I ever got up the nerve to do it!

You did good job with your confidence. I appreciates to your interest and courage.

UkeKiddinMe
05-23-2013, 04:00 PM
I have strap buttons in hand, and I haven't had the time yet to take the plunge.

AllStrungOut
05-31-2013, 04:40 PM
Has anyone tried a classical guitar strap? The kind that hooks to the bottom of the sound hole and up the back and goes around the neck basically like a ukulele necklace?
I have one at home in the states and I would try it and post but since I'm Down Under...

Just wondering if I want to get a strap button since it's being set up right now??? I hate to put a hole in something with such small surface area :rolleyes: silly? I'm picking it up in a couple hours...

Thanks for any input!

Cheers!

Sandy-ASO

UkeKiddinMe
05-31-2013, 04:54 PM
Tomorrow, I will finally get around to putting strap buttons on the heel and bottom of my uke.
No fear.

These other straps are great, but there's no substitute for a basic strap connected with two buttons.
Going for it. Not looking back.

AllStrungOut
05-31-2013, 10:01 PM
Tomorrow, I will finally get around to putting strap buttons on the heel and bottom of my uke.
No fear.

These other straps are great, but there's no substitute for a basic strap connected with two buttons.
Going for it. Not looking back.

I went for it too! Well... I told the set up guy to peg it! Great decision! Plus Mick at Music Express in Mt Gravett, Australia made the strap buttons a freebie! I got home put the guitar strap on it and I'll tell you what, it made the first of playing much easier! :music:

Sandy

stmace
09-06-2013, 01:49 PM
Getting ready to Drill. My thoughts: If I screw it up, I'll just take it to my luthier and have him install a pickup. Either way, I win.

No pickup for me - the job was too simple.

ncbackwoods
09-06-2013, 03:14 PM
I havent even bought a banjolele but this is one of the things that came to mind when I learned that the little suckers weighed 5 pounds. for sit-down playing, I am getting used to having the uke lower in my lap, but for standing up, I am trying to lean away from supporting it with my forearm since I want to form a style that incorporates more picking and "advanced" (6-10 finger/flamenco) strumming so supporting that weight would simply hinder the overall technique. yes I am a n00b and can only play a handful of basic chords... but I am trying to think ahead and think out of the "traditional" box since a small barrier at the beginning can result in a bigger barrier later on (i.e. re-learning basic arm and hand motion/placement).

also, I am not too fearful about modifying things since I have done a good bit of amateur gunsmithing... all you have to do is figure out what it is that you are working with, what you are trying to do with it, and be overly-patient while working on it. in my case (with a banjolele) I am going to want to install 2 buttons (1 at the base and 1 on the heel of the neck) and about the only thing that I need to be aware of is the compensator rod.

be ballsy with what youre doing... ballsy but EXTREMELY patient

Flyinby
09-07-2013, 04:56 PM
A resonator banjolele with no strap is really awkward to play when standing...you pretty much have to sit, or install a strap. I had already bought the buttons for my Lanikai concert banjolele, when I noticed that the screw heads that hold the resonator on were about the same diameter as the buttons. So I took the UkeCrazy (Kala) strap I was going to use, and just slipped the leather ends over two of the screws, just to see how I liked it with a strap.

Several months later, it's still the same...the screws work just fine, it doesn't seem to be in any real danger of accidentally coming off with that particular strap, and the balance seems OK. I still may put buttons on it (or not), and of course if you take off the resonator, you no longer have a place for the strap, but I leave it on anyway, so no matter.

I fought the idea of straps for a while...the center hole ones are useless to me, but after putting buttons on a few of my tenors, I wouldn't hesitate to do it unless it was a sit-down-only uke. They just make moving around the fretboard so much easier. And with the weight of a resonator banjolele, the difference is much more extreme.

flailingfingers
09-07-2013, 05:30 PM
I did the strap buttons ( heel and bottom) myself on my Kala KA-SSTU-TEP. All went easily. I used a Dremel tool rather than a regular electric. Gave me control due to its light weight and small size. I love the full heel/bottom strap. Use a regular soft leather guitar strap. When I bought my Collings UT3-K I had Elderley Instruments install the buttons. They did it for free, no charge for the buttons. Gold color. Looks fine.

southpawmark
10-14-2013, 11:38 AM
Check out couch guitar straps. They are 100% vegan and made from repurposed car upholstery and seat belts. They have some amazing straps and probably will have something that you like.

http://www.couchguitarstraps.com

bunnyf
10-14-2013, 05:39 PM
I must be the only one who had trouble. Drilling the hole was not a problem but the head of the screw stripped before the button was fully tightened down, so there's a bit of a gap. I am not going to try to drill out the screw or whatever it would take to remove it and redo. Thankfully the gap is small and the button is secure and does the job. I'm guessing that whatever brand the button was may not have used good quality screw or perhaps my pilot hole was a tad small in diameter, causing too much force on screw head. Whatever happened, I'm just glad it was on my beater uke not a good one.