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Installing Strap Buttons
© Frank Ford, 3/13/98; Photos by FF 3/13/98

Lots of us stand up to play music, yet most acoustic instruments are not made with that in mind. Most are fitted with an end pin at the factory, but few have a strap mounting at the other end. Here's a traditional end pin, which is a tapered peg tightly rammed into a matching tapered hole in the end block of the instrument:

These things can pull out, so make sure yours is tight. If you don't have an end pin, you can always install a screw-in type button.

This isn't a "how-to article," it's more about "where-to." Installing a screw type strap button is a simple piece of woodworking, but instruments are sensitive and it should be left to someone with confidence and experience. Installing a screw requires the drilling the proper pilot hole first.

By the way, you can always hang your strap this way:

IT DOES ABSOLUTELY NO HARM TO THE NECK OF YOUR INSTRUMENT TO TIE THE STRAP ON THE PEGHEAD. It's just an old husband's tale that you can warp your neck by using a strap in this way.

Same goes for hanging a guitar on the wall. You can't warp the neck that way. If you really want to warp your neck, you're going to have to leave your instrument in a hot car.

OK, 'nuff of that.

The folks who make electric guitars typically install strap buttons at both ends of the body: This Les Paul has a strap button conveniently located where the guitar will balance well and the strap will be out of the way:

I like this attitude. It relieves us of the stress of trying to decide where to drill a hole in our precious guitar!

Some acoustic makers are getting the idea, too. Take this Tacoma guitar for example:

Michael Lewis makes a fine mandolin and installs the strap button so we don't have stress:

Good man.

Some Mandolins have built-in strap holders:

Some guys find creative ways around the problem:

Banjos have 24 strap hangers already built in:

That's cheating!

Let's get to the real issue, where to install a strap button in an acoustic guitar. . .



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