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Guitar straps - how far would you go?


ksdaddy

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So leave it to me to come up with some hairbrained idea that nobody would think sensible. I don't make sense sometimes. It comes down more to 'what do you want to see happen and what's it worth to you?"

 

I have a Fender strap that came with my Tele. Over the years I've heard people complain they were too short. I never had that complaint. Except I guess maybe now there's a lot more of me than years ago so I see it now too. The strap is extended all the way and fits "okay" but I could stand to loosen it a little. I see on ebay there are leather extenders that look a lot like a leather belt with a buckle. They're only $10 or $12 so it's no biggie but I've also toyed with the idea of taking it to a shoe repair shop and having them actually sew a piece of leather directly on top of the leather ends, maybe 6" long or so, trimmed, rounded, all that. It won't look completely correct but it also won't look like something just tacked on there. I know, it's overkill. Welcome to my world.

 

I know it's only a strap but when I like something I will go to any length to keep it in service. I've got a dozen or more straps around here and it's easy for me to get all excited about the nice soft leather ones or ones with fancy designs and such, but comfor and utility trump fanciness and I'm happy with a run of the mill nylon web strap. They're foolproof and slide over my shoulder nice. $5 goes a long way!

 

But I may doctor that Fender strap up. I like it.

 

And to go about 27 steps further, I have an old Ace strap that I got when I was 7 I think. A pattern of red and black squares like the one Jimi used at Woodstock. I've repaired some of the stitching over the years. It's holding up well EXCEPT the backing. The back is light tan colored, almost suede like. It's getting stiffer all the time and has a 'memory'. It was folded up in a case for a few years and won't relax now. I looked at the other side of the 'suede' backing in an area where the stitching is gone along the edge and it's black vinyl. Yes, the horrific stuff that eats guitars.

 

I've researched softening old vinyl and aside from a few people claiming miracle cures, most say it's a lost cause. Once the plasticizers have outgassed over the years, it will be stiff and eventually brittle.

 

I don't want to toss it, nor do I want to put it in the sock drawer. I want to use it. I'm toying with the idea of chatting with the shoe repair guy and asking him if I were to remove the stitching and separate the cloth red/black 'patterned' part from the stiff vinyl, could he sew on a new back?

 

I can see this could be pricey. Don't care. I wonder what we might use for a backing though? Thin leather? Less toxic vinyl? Any ideas? It would probably take him all of 10 minutes on one of those old monster sewing machines but I just want to get stuff lined up.

 

I've also got to see an upholstery guy about re-doing the headliner in the Corvette's targa top this winter. Maybe he would be even better than the shoe guy?

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U only live once!

 

If it's something personal that will make U happy and it ain't illegal or immoral, friggin' go fer it!

 

I'll also bet what the shoe guy will charge U will end up being less than you think...

 

Talk to him first and if U R good with the price, then do what makes U happy!

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Me too. I commute to Houlton, 55 miles south of my home and basically at the end of Interstate 95. There's an old-school shoe store there. One of their specialties is catering to local factory workers and cops, so it's routine for them to special order shoes. I dropped $130 on a pair of black oxfords there, special order of course, due to my wide feet. They were a little loose in the heel so he removed the insole and strategically added a little pad. Not witchcraft but a lot more service than Walmart. I told him if those shoes work for me he will have a customer for life because I have weird shaped feet.

 

And while I was there I saw lots of antique monster machines in the back room. I was excited. I'm headed down there in a few minutes to hear what he has to say.

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Shoe repair shop? I thought all of those went out of business with Air Jordans.

 

i have a 20 yr old pair of cowboy / western boots that have been resoled 4 times over the years by this one Cobbler . he makes them look brand new everytime. it probably is a dying art. those boots are more comfortable than any sneakers Ive ever had.

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I got good news. After lengthy discussion we agreed I would remove the old stitching at my leisure and speed up the process of getting rid of the old vinyl backing. He will then glue and sew black seat belt material to the back of the "Jimi" cloth. He will likely have to remove the leather ends in the process and re-rivet and stitch them.

 

So my next step is to sit in front of the tv for a while with an X-Acto knife removing 50 year old stitching. When all is done, it will likely outlast anyone reading this.

 

Yes, I am crazy. Some things have irrational sentimental value and I will go to great lengths to keep them in my life. In a case like this, I weighed keeping it 'original' (as if that would matter) against being able to comfortably use it and the utility won. I actually was using it but the stiffness of the vinyl was making it bastardly uncomfortable.

 

I don't even want to think about what kind of foolishness I'd come up with if I had any money.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I would have done the same. There's a few weird sentimental items in my life, from a keyring to an old tobacco tin. The human state is largely insanity, with the occasional piece of logic thrown in for balance.

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Thanks for the thread ks, it got me thinking. I went digging around some old boxes and blow me down!....found an old ace strap from the early 70's that was on one of my first LP's.(lol) A real hippie's dream too! Find some of my old cheese cloth tops and it'll be a set.

 

Now all I have to do is figure out how to wash out all the old beer, blood and cig ash stains off it!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got sidetracked for a few weeks. Sometimes I get out of bed and wander off into the woods and they have to come looking for me. I'm not scared but they are for some reason. I keep telling them I'm fine but they give me pills and then I sleep for a while. Then I have Jell-O.

 

In any case, all the old stitching has been taken out to save the shoe repairman (magician) some time. I'll drop it off today. Fingers crossed.

 

wv8neo.jpg

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I don't have any guitar straps left from way back when. I gave them away or threw them away when they started showing signs of wear (bearing in mind those I had way back were cheap crappy ones to begin with). The more expensive my guitars got over the years the more money I dropped on fancy & even custom made leather straps which will easily out last me now. You got me thinking though - I'm not sure we even have any shoe repair places around here now - I'll have to look and see.

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Got sidetracked for a few weeks. Sometimes I get out of bed and wander off into the woods and they have to come looking for me. I'm not scared but they are for some reason. I keep telling them I'm fine but they give me pills and then I sleep for a while. Then I have Jell-O.

 

In any case, all the old stitching has been taken out to save the shoe repairman (magician) some time. I'll drop it off today. Fingers crossed.

 

wv8neo.jpg

I have the same strap around here some where , I'll look for it after I finish my Jell-O

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's back! Cost me $40 but it's built like a tank and will outlast us all. I feel like I could tow a car with it.

 

Note my hi-tech straplocks:

 

2afmyye.jpg

 

n2mozr.jpg

 

And here I am with it in 1970.....

 

2zptwxu.jpg

 

That's priceless as is that photo of you with it in 1970. This is a great feel good thread. Thanks for posting this! Made my day! [thumbup]

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