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DIY Leather Bass Straps

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ryanowens, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. ryanowens

    ryanowens Commercial User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Trickfish Amplificaton
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Nice straps.

    DYI? Do yourself it? Yoda lives!
  3. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Nice Ryan; looks very good.
    Did you sew the edges or just cut the material?
    Where can you buy this material?
  4. To it, you beat me.
  5. ryanowens

    ryanowens Commercial User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Trickfish Amplificaton
    Ha! my bad :bag:

    I bought just a large double shoulder of leather and used a straight edge to first create a straight line cut to work with. Then you can use a strap cutter where you adjust the width of the strap you want (or belt etc...) and pull it along the straight edge and it gives you a long straight piece. Then you can cut the length and round the edges or do whatever shape you want on the end of the straps.

    Then you use a beveling tool to bevel the edges of the strap so they are not rough, after beveling you burnish the edges to make them smooth.

    It was a pretty fun process to learn how to do.

  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    That brown strap is beautiful, and I like the thought of a cut-to-length strap. But, tell us about that bass!
  7. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
  8. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs

    those are really cool!

    let me know the next time you are in CHitown area....still want to see you guys live!
  9. BigOkie


    Nov 28, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    Very nice! Nice looking bass, too!

    I have been thinking of making my own strap. Back in the late 70's I had a strap called a Fretsling--best strap I've ever had. They went out of business a long time ago.

    Thanks for reminding me about making a strap.
  10. Gecko 5

    Gecko 5 Supporting Member

    I've been wanting to learn this for YEARS.
    I'm going to look at some "skin" this week.

    Ryan, did you follow the vidoes, their processes?
    The sewing scares me :eek:
  11. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've made quite a few leather straps. They aren't perfect like high end sewed ones with padding or other high end features but work really well.

    Some I made were like the OP. Just went to Tandy leather and they have long leather strips in various widths. Pick one (some) out and make a strap. Nice. Wide. Serviceable. Usually I dye it black or some color (use a tiny sprayer works with airbrush compressor). Good for basic strap. A couple have the several hole thing for adjustments but mostly they have single non-slitted holds I mount the straplock mechanism in and it's set to fit only me.

    Variation II
    If you want something fancier or to "make a statement" I find that either Tandy or other places (State Fair booth) have mens wide leather belts. You know, the Western kind that take huge buckles. You don't buy the buckle just the finished but uncut belt. These are great for fancy as you can get tooled ones, or colored ones or ones with nifty words on them (I love my "Budweiser" strap!) You just need to be sure you get a LONG enough belt. Best are the uncut ones that are designed to be cut and finished for you.

    Variation III
    A while back Tandy Leather had a sale. On sale were these "guitar" strap kits. They are raw tan leather designed for tooling. Well I"m not into tooled leather, but the price was right so I bought a big pile of them. And one by one I've been making them into finished straps. All you need to do is dye them (spray) and then rub them down and buff with shoe polish in the appropriate color. They look and work great. They are adjustable, although they have a wide piece in the middle and thinner straps going to the guitar. I'm not sure if I like that as well as the straps that are wide from one end to other yet. But they do look and work great. Especially if you dye them a color to match the guitars.

    All my other straps are just cheapo nylon belting things I picked up here and there for a song, but the leather ones are really the ones I use on the main axes.
  12. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    I make my own from leather belt blanks! If I want an adjustable one I put a belt buckle on it, punch some extra holes and BAM, adjustable length strap. They're thicker and much cheaper than store bought ones too!! I tooled one, but it's just a basket weave pattern over the entire thing.

    I also make my own wallets and belts:p. leather working is a good hobby! When tooling you can get rid of a lot of stress by just pounding away with a mallet while making your pattern.

    I also did one strap out of a pre made belt! It says "I <3 BOOBIES" on it:D
  13. BigOkie


    Nov 28, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    Great idea! I live in Oklahoma City. Lots of tooled leather belt blanks at the fairgrounds.
  14. william curl

    william curl

    Feb 13, 2012
    Mt Vernon Ga
    a guitar player i played with years ago made one out of leather and like inlaid it with the skin of a timber rattler.i dont know how well it held up but it sure was nice. ive wanted one ever since.
  15. ryanowens

    ryanowens Commercial User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Trickfish Amplificaton
    If you search for Brookwood leather on youtube you can see the video series that I used to learn how to make the straps.

    No sewing was involved in the straps I made.

    Just needed to have strap cutter, beveling scraper, hole punch and burnishing tool for the sides.

    About $50 in tools and a hide of leather. I still have enough leather to make 2 or 3 more straps so t was way cheaper than ordering a nice Italia or similar strap.... of course I can't quite make them as perfect as they can, but I love having something I made myself.
  16. Gecko 5

    Gecko 5 Supporting Member

    The Brookwood videos are good. I emailed Bob a question. He was very nice in answering.
    Heres my attempt I will finish today.






    Ryan, thanks for starting this thread. I've been wanting to try this for a long time. I never would have found the Brookwood videos without you starting this.
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yeah, I haven't used store bought straps in years - I have a friend who is a leather worker that is local to me, and he makes really nice leather straps for me for around $25 - which is probably less than half what they would cost elsewhere, considering the quality of his end product... I think I have 9 of his straps - one for each bass I actively use...

    - georgestrings
  18. Gecko 5

    Gecko 5 Supporting Member

    Heres my second attempt.

    85% done. Coming out just as I envisioned.





  19. ryanowens

    ryanowens Commercial User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Trickfish Amplificaton
    Awesome job. Its a fun project to do.

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