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Strap button

Dear Sir,
I would think by now someone would offer a curved strap button. Currently the flat-bottomed ones will gap on one side or the other. Getting the guitar of my dreams soon and hopefully someone makes one. Your professional opinion please.
Thank you, Chuck

It used to be that all strap buttons had an approximately 1/4" diameter contact with the heel. With a carefully drilled hole, perpendicular to the heel, these made a nice closed contact with even the curviest heels. The most commonly available pins now have an approximately 1/2" flat plate, on the bottom of the pin, that makes for a much more stable contact, with a flat surface of the heel. The wide base keeps the stress of the strap from rocking and loosening the pin, especially in mahogany which is relatively soft. The old style pins are still available, although they are hard to find. There are also wool washers that can fill any unsightly gap (although they disarm the support advantage of the wide bottom). The shape of the heel is part of a maker's trade mark, so I presume that you have already chosen your brand and know the heel to be very curvy in the place where you want to put your heel pin. On any guitar with a sharp heel (Martin, Taylor) I prefer, for my own use, to put the pin on the heel cap. That way the strap lays flat on my chest and the pin buttons into the top side of the strap. I have never liked the esthetics of the strap wrapping around the heel to the bottom side, although I have never set up a guitar, for my own use, that way and taken the time to get used to it. I am also a man who needs maximum length out of a guitar strap and the wrap around wastes an inch and a half or so. If you use the heel cap placement, and stick both arms up in the air, the top edge of the guitar will tip forward about two inches. This has never bothered me at all, not being an arms in the air kind of performer, but it freaks some people out.

And while we're talking, let me testify about straps. I have a leather worker cut me a 3" wide strip of leather. I then use a soup can and an Exacto Knife to round one end. At the center of the soup can circle I drill a hole just slightly smaller than the narrowest point of the butt pin. Start your hole by twirling your Exacto. The drill bit will want to wander on the leather. I then use the Exacto to cut an episiotomy just long enough that the hole will go over the pin. Using an adjustable strap to find the perfect length for me, I transfer that measurement to my piece of leather. With the can and Exacto I treat the heel end with the only difference being the size of the drill hole. Especially if you have a butt pin jack for a pickup, the holes will be of different sizes. Lastly, I use my letter stamp set to strike "BUTT" in the butt end of the strap, so that I don't stretch out the heel end by confusing the two. A locksmith would be glad to strike your strap for you, or you could mark it in your own creative
way. The leather can be dyed or tooled to your taste. This gives you a strap with no lumpy adjustment mechanism to try to fit into your case. How often do you adjust your strap anyway? If you share your strap with a smaller person, just cut them another butt pin hole. If you share with someone bigger, fit the strap to them and cut the second hole for yourself. Avoid excessively stiff or flimsy leather.

Steve Mason