BY HEIDI SWEDBERG with PHOTOS STEVE SZILAGYI| FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF UKULELE
Ready for a strap? Some straps don’t require buttons, but most do. You can take your instrument to a respected shop and have strap buttons installed, but it’s not a difficult job to tackle at home if you have a few tools and some courage. Follow these instructions from Elderly Instrument’s head repair tech, Joe Konkoly:
A Here’s everything you need: strap, strap buttons with felt washers to protect the instrument, fine drill bit, Phillips head screw bit, and hand drill. (above)
B Take a look at the bottom of your instrument, known as the tailblock: That’s where the first button will go. Use a ruler to mark the midpoint of the center joint.
C Gently drill the pilot hole.
D Screw the button in.
E You will need another button on the neck heel, unless you opt to attach your strap to your headstock underneath the strings. For many, the choice between a strap on the neck heel or headstock is a question of balance and comfort. Lay your instrument upside down on a padded surface (a towel or carpet square) and locate and mark the location for the button on the treble side of the neck heel. Gently drill at an angle about 1/4-inch into the wood. (Note the solid “sweet spot” where the button goes in.)
F Screw in strap button.
G Put strap on buttons, adjust length to your liking. Voila! Go forth and conquer!