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Thread: Strap Pin - Universal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Strap Pin - Universal?

    So stupid me drove all the way to NYC to buy a new Ukulele and then drive the 1.5hrs back home and after opening it realizing I completely forgot to have them install pins.

    I Google and researched and nervous to do it but from what I read as long as I have a piece of wood inside at the back (which it does) I can install a back-pin that will stay.

    What I can't get a straight answer on and this includes Musiciansfriend is a pin in general will work or do I need a specific one(s) for ukulele?

    Not willing to call the store till Sunday when Jeff is in for the other people (owners) have such a strong accent we can barely understand each other.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016


    Any will work, but I try to find ones that are small. Sometimes those made for guitar can look way out of proportion on a tiny uke. Check the measurements, which are usually given. I'd definitely do it myself if it avoids three hours of city driving. Actually, I'd do it myself regardless.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Port Hueneme, CA


    It is an easy install. I try to use mandolin pins, they are smaller than guitar pins.
    Keep Strummin'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    To make it a bit easier you'd only have to install an end pin and then you could tie the strap to the headstock.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    There are several videos available on installing strap pins (aka: buttons).
    Measure twice, drill once. If installing on the side of the heel, make sure you drill perpendicular to the curve. Easy to go in at the wrong angle if you aren't watching. If your uke has a truss rod, make sure you are avoiding it and a neck attaching bolt if there is one. Some strap pin screws are HUGE. Made for solid guitars. Often the screws are made of cheap, softer metal and it's easy to damage the screw head slots.

    1. You can use a piece of painters tape to protect the finish and mark your drill spot.
    2. Use an awl or sharp nail to make a starter indent so the drill doesn't walk across the surface and mar your finish
    3. Put a piece of tape around the drill bit at the depth you want to go. You can go through the heel block.
    4. I find 5/64" dia bit is usually a good size. I like to drill a smaller pilot hole and then use the larger bit for the final one.
    5. Roll the screw threads on a bar of soap to make it easier to screw in.
    5. Use the right Philips screwdriver that fits the screw head.
    6. Don't over-tighten. Snug is fine. Just enough to keep the strap pin from rotating.

    This makes installation sound much more complicated than it really is. Just take your time. Go for it!
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 09-03-2019 at 09:10 AM.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

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  6. #6


    What I can't get a straight answer on and this includes Musiciansfriend is a pin in general will work or do I need a specific one(s) for ukulele?
    Pins generally work, regardless of what instrument they're labelled as for.

    Guitars, ukuleles, mandolins and banjos all use the same kind of basic strap pins.

    There's no chemical, physical or magical difference in something sold as a "ukulele pin" that makes it specific for ukuleles.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    The thing is - the pin has to match the strap, not the instrument. I've bought some straps designated for guitar and some for uke, and all the holes are the same - some okay and some a bit tight. The tight ones are easy enough to open up a bit with a knife or box cutter. I don't like applying too much pressure putting the strap on and off.

    I've bought all different kinds of pins, and I try to match them to the styling of the uke. Take your time and look on Amazon, eBay, and Stewart MacDonald.

    When it's time to drill the hole, put a piece of masking tape over the end of the bout and measure the center. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the screw. Be sure to use a felt washer under the pin, and don't over-tighten the screw. If the screw is hard to get into the uke, enlarge the hole slightly. There are lots of videos showing how to install the pins.

    You might also want to consider locking pins. You attach half to the strap and half to the uke, and they snap together. I have a bunch of them, but I haven't installed any yet.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

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