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Thread: Cheap Practical Strap Locks

  1. #1
    Senior Member elipsey's Avatar
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    Cheap Practical Strap Locks

    The straps fall off my guitar while I'm playing now and then, but so far I have always caught it, and have never broken one. I know that if I don't use strap locks I will drop a guitar and break it when the audience is finally large enough to be truly humiliating, and then I will end up in one of those youtube guitar fail videos. Still, I have never been satisfied with strap locks. They are expensive, mutually incompatible, gadgety, plastic-ey, feel weird like my guitar is mounted on thrust bearings, or some combination of these undesirable traits that I find off-putting.

    While I was browsing at the hardware store today, my mind turned once again toward alternatives. I have tried snap rings, hairpin cotter pins, and various other things, but what finally worked for me was: 3/8" fender washers. If you unscrew the strap pin, they slide over the narrow end, and then you can screw the pin back on with the strap underneath. 3/8” fit the Gibson strap pins, 7/16” for the Fenders. They cost 12 and 17 cents, respectively. When they didn't quite fit over the strap pin on one of my guitars, I almost had to spend an extra 12 cents for a bigger one, but then I drilled a bigger hole instead.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pros:
    Strap will not come off without a screwdriver or breaking something.
    Costs 12 cents.

    Cons:
    Strap will not come off without a screwdriver or breaking something.
    Looks like it cost 12 cents.

    I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but if it saves just one guitar it's worth boring the rest of you. Cheers!

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    Last edited by elipsey; 01-28-2016 at 03:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    In a pinch, you can do the same thing with guitar picks and a pocket knife.

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    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

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    Maybe try painting them the same color as the ends of your strap, then they will look like they cost 13 cents.

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  4. #4
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Is it even legal to use a "fender" washer on a Gibson?

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    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    The rubber washers from Grolsh bottles work pretty good.

    evh did it like this

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    Last edited by John_H; 01-28-2016 at 03:49 AM. Reason: fixed picture link

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_H View Post
    The rubber washers from Grolsh bottles work pretty good......
    Plus it gives you an excuse to have a fine lager.

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    I've used those flat hex head 1/4"-20 furniture bolts (you know, the ones that hold IKEA together) for the strap pins on the guitars I've built. You really have to torque your strap slot over them, and I even had to widen the strap slot on a couple to get em on. Not locked, but that 1/4" post and flat head don't let go easily, and they come in black.

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  8. #8
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    I just recently came across the Fender "strap blocks", and they worked very well. They are a stiff rubber, (probably similar to the Grolsch washers). Each pack has a black pair and a red pair for around $3 per pack.
    Fender Strap Blocks | Fender

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Bread bag clip.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    I use these - straplok

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    I took a chance on some Deal Extreme Schaller-type locks and they're pretty good. Just lucky, I guess. A tip when buying from DX - make sure you don't buy anything that you'd be upset about if you took it out of the package and threw it straight in the bin.

    Guitar Zinc Alloy Strap Locks - Silver (2 PCS) - Worldwide Free Shipping - DX

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Spend the $12 and buy shallers.

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  13. #13
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    Or Dunlops... I learned that the Dunlops allow another player to use a non-lock equipped strap to use your instrument. Schallers, if not used with the Schaller locks, the strap easily slides off the button.

    Justin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    another player .... use your instrument
    what does that even mean!?

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    Most Levy's traps have very sturdy leather ends. Put them on once and they're not coming off accidentally, especially with the oversize strap buttons that are common.

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    Okay. I use a fixed-adjustment leather strap on my Tele. If someone else wants to play my guitar with their non-Schaller equipped strap, because my one doesn't fit them (which happens often because I keep mine really high), the strap easily slides off the buttons. That doesn't happen with Dunlops, because the buttons are shaped more like conventional strap buttons.

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
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    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  17. #17
    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    since each of my guitars has a single strap I just permanently affix them
    Click image for larger version. 

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    of course this negates the "today's a rainy Monday so I feel like using my faux leopard skin strap..." type caprice but c'est la vie...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    Spend the $12 and buy shallers.
    I already has some Schallers. They're $17 equivalent in the UK - how come something made in Europe is cheaper in the US than the UK? I was interested to see what the DX ones were like for the price. I've also got Dunlops, which I prefer.

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    Senior Member elipsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    Bread bag clip.

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    I tried this, briefly, and was really quite amazed at how well it worked. I can't speak to the long term efficacy of this solution, but those little clips seem really tough, and they're free so it's even cheaper than my washers.

    You win the thread!

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    Last edited by elipsey; 02-09-2016 at 09:16 PM.

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    Senior Member ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    The cheapest and simplest solution, of course, is to put on a brand-new strap and learn how to put on and take off your guitar without ever undoing the strap. By doing that, I can sling the guitar over my back with no fear of the strap letting go. But what fun is that?

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  21. #21
    Senior Member elipsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    The cheapest and simplest solution, of course, is to put on a brand-new strap and learn how to put on and take off your guitar without ever undoing the strap. By doing that, I can sling the guitar over my back with no fear of the strap letting go. But what fun is that?
    This is a good point. I generally consider the strap part of the guitar and don't remove it, except to move it to a different guitar. But I kind of buy them as souveniers when I travel, like with the names of places or music stores on them, so I don't always want to get rid of them even if the leather is streched out; hence the strap locks.

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  22. #22
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elipsey View Post
    I generally consider the strap part of the guitar and don't remove it, except to move it to a different guitar.
    Similar here. In fact I'm about to replace an old shredded fabric strap with another NOS one, both EarthIII's and how long have they been out of business? Good outfit, I miss 'em.

    I've long used bass string-tree buttons as strap buttons, or put a big washer between strap & button top, even have a few funky old cam-holed plastic wafers (what the dickens were they called?)

    I suppose if you have a hat or big hair, a wig (!) or elaborate clothing/costume onstage you have to snap the strap off the guitar. Otherwise I vote to stick it on & leave it on for good.

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