Grolsch beer bottle washers for strap locks

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Warpeg, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    It was explained to me that, before their were Schaller and other metal strap locks, there were the rubber washers that come on Grolsh beer bottles. So, I bought a 4-pack and tried them out. They work great! Plus, I get a bunch of beer out of the purchase. :smug:

    Anyone else have experience using these?
  2. Yep.

    They work better on some strap buttons than on others. I play guitars and keys, and when I sling my guitar behind my back for a keyboard song, it's gotta stay on the strap. With my Fender-style strap buttons that have a wide flange, the Grolsch washers work fine.

    With some of my other guitars and basses, I have to go full-on Dunlop or Schallers.

    You can buy these washers without the beer, but the beer is a nice bonus.
  3. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Yup! I have a bunch of Schaller strap locks sitting in a drawer and the red washers are prevailing.

    The Schallers suck if you have a bass with the strap button on the neck heel (most semi-hollow basses, Epi Jack Casady basses, classic EB-series Gibsons etc). The Schaller juts out as half an inch of pointy metal, straight into your abs. No good.

    Plus, the Schallers work 100% brilliantly, until they don't. I was worried by how loose the strap attachments worked themselves over time. Which means, in turn, that I need to take wrench to a gig, because if one is going to unscrew itself it will be on a gig. Plus, some users report that they explode occasionally, so your strap lock ends up in bits all over a dark stage (including a tiny spring), and the Schaller strap button is too small to expect a normal strap to grip onto. And a lot of straps need the holes reamed out for the Schaller lock unit to screw onto neatly. I've bought brand new Levy straps and immediately had to hog out the leather ends to get the Schaller thingy to screw onto it with more than a half turn of the nut thingy onto the threaded thingy.

    Plus, the stock mounting screw for the Schaller button is thin. I've machined the hole bigger in the buttons (though some screws have wide heads that won't fit within the button). So you buy a nice, foolproof strap lock system and you have to bust out the toothpicks, white glue etc, so that you can use thinner nastier screws to mount the buttons to your bass? No deal.

    I tried the Jim Dunlop (?) version of the same thing on a friend's guitar, and it was rattlier than the Schaller and had a janky black paintjob that was chipping quickly.

    I'm starting to think that if a bass falls, simply be there to catch it. The Grolsch washers prevent a bass from falling, though they aren't a failsafe design. However they are cheap, dispensible, flip on and off a bass easily and do somehow seem to work for me. The Schaller unit is a design masterpiece, but it means you have to hard code some straps to some instruments (if you have a Jack Casady, etc, then one straplock has to be reversed onto the strap, which makes it incompatible with Fender instruments henceforth as you have to twist the strap).
  4. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    I tried strap-locks years ago and found that if they were not checked all the time they would fail at exactly the wrong moment.
    Someone suggested the Grolsh bottle washers and they have worked without fail.
    mcnach and Major_Rager_4MF like this.
  5. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    yes, i've used these for years! always have a few spares in my gig bag too.

    what's not to like, it's low-cost, effective, tasty, refreshing, foamy...
  6. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I use them too - was lucky enough to find some that were blue instead of red. Fancy!

    Over here, we call the concept "Flens locks" - from the beer Flensburger Pilsener, which traditionally comes with those rubber washers. However, in recent years, some breweries have glued their washers onto the cap, so you can't take them off anymore.
    BurnOut, electracoyote and knumbskull like this.
  7. I go to my local hardware store and grab a few rubber washers and use those as strap locks. Works fine and are insanely cheap.
  8. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017

    I've been using Schallers almost as long as they've been on the market, and that hasn't been my experience...
    C_Becker likes this.
  9. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I use them as well. My dual Dunlops sit on the shelf. Grolsch is one of my favorite summertime beers. So, I have A LOT of those washers.
    knumbskull likes this.
  10. I’ve used these for a while. Nice and secure and I can use whatever strap with them and I have had the same two pairs for I don't know how many years. Just bought another pair for a guitar player I play with. He just got an Epi 335 and, first practice, the strap slid off of a button. Fortunately, he caught it and no damage. Last night, before practice, I came in and put them on his guitar while he was playing. I said, “ Because I hate doing headstock repairs.”

    Having said that, the Grolsch washers do sound more entertaining to obtain.
  11. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    my German friends brought over some Flensburger Pilsener last year - very tasty!
  12. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I'm a big fan of the Grolsch solution, I have those on most of my instruments.
  13. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I was just about to post on finding a reliable strap lock and found this. Fantastic!!!!!! Yep, the strap locks work until they don't, and I got tired of the metal parts.

    Can someone post a picture of what the washers look like installed?

    Background. Played a jam last night. First number was an uptempo blues, and about 30 seconds in, the strap came off the upper horn. I sank to the floor and played it on one knee like an upright without losing a beat. I thought it was totally cool, but the guitarist and the people out front had no idea what was going on. They thought I was doing some weird entertainment thingy or having a religious experience.

    In the video below, you can see Eric Clapton's strap twisted and popping off at 0:50.

  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    filwitheneff, Axstar and IamGroot like this.
  15. I like a honey mead/stout mix concoction (sometimes called a braggot). I found a great locally brewed mead called Redstone, and it has the red rubber washer and ceramic cork. So I bought a couple bottles, only to be disappointed that the washer is pretty firmly glued to the lip of the bottle. I'm pretty sure I'd ruin the washer trying to get it off of there, or maybe something worse. Oh well.

    I'll need to look for Flensburger, blue would be a nice change of pace and I'm always up for a new brew.
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  17. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show In Memoriam

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I use Schallers on the guitars, the crazy upper horns on most basses don't work so well with em.
    Our old drummer got into home brewing had a bunch of flip tops where we practiced. I grabbed a couple sets, very happy. Had them pick me up a bunch at the supply house.
    @Joe Nerve and everyone else, be careful with the bright orange ones, they failed bad on me. It's worth the extra .05¢ to buy the good ones. Gonna go find the blue ones mentioned above, blue suits me better than red.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  18. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    It has been mine.
    I used to have them on all my basses and I'm getting rid of Shallers little by little.
    They destroy the bottom of gigbags, get in the way if they're on the back, unscrew themselves over time, make static noise when you sit and yeah, tend to fail at the worst moment.
    Now I use oversized buttons with permanent straps. It's good.
  19. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Thanks....going to the hardware store tomorrow.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  20. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    To each their own, as always - point by point:

    I have had them damage the bottom of cheaper gig bags, but not on higher quality gig bags like Mono, Reunion Blues, etc... because those bags are constructed with this in mind...

    Getting in the way on the back hasn't been an issue for me with my Gibson T-bird or SG bass...

    If screwed and glued properly, I haven't had *mine* come unscrewed - and I gig A LOT, and throw my basses around pretty good while doing so...

    Noise while sitting hasn't been an issue *for me*, because if I'm sitting, I don't have a strap on typically, whereas gigs and rehearsals are almost always standing situations *for me*...

    Again, I haven't had any failures once I learned how to properly install them, and to use a spot of Locktite on the nut threads...

    Lastly - I don't use "permanent straps" for a couple reasons - first, it won't work with nearly all of my hard shell cases, and 2nd: I currently own 19 basses - having a strap for each and every one of them would be ridiculous... I probably have about 10 high quality straps - all fitted with Schallers, except the ones for my acoustic basses and guitars, that is...

    Again, to each their own...
    C_Becker and electracoyote like this.
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