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Apr 18, 2024 - 2:05:33 PM
354 posts since 2/22/2019

The banjo strap (Neotech) that I am using on my Nechville is laying against the resonator when I have it on. Will this cause damage to the resonator? Is this standard for most straps? Any alternatives?

Thanks!

Apr 18, 2024 - 2:08:43 PM
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beegee

USA

23254 posts since 7/6/2005

I use only leather straps. I don't find any advantage to synthetic straps or ones with metal buckle or slides.

Apr 18, 2024 - 2:13:25 PM

354 posts since 2/22/2019

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

I use only leather straps. I don't find any advantage to synthetic straps or ones with metal buckle or slides.


I prefer leather without any metal.  Any suggestions?  

Edited by - HighLonesomeF5 on 04/18/2024 14:14:01

Apr 18, 2024 - 2:15:33 PM

3365 posts since 5/2/2012

I have a Neotech strap and don't see any damage on my (vintage) banjo. But if I had a Nechville I might err on the side of caution. Mine has the removable parts/buckles so if I wanted I could take the big/long strap off, coil it up and put in the space in the case under the heel of the neck or in the compartment used for picks, capos, etc.  

Edited by - thisoldman on 04/18/2024 14:25:04

Apr 18, 2024 - 2:17:14 PM
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15228 posts since 6/2/2008

It depends on whether the part touching the resonator is hard enough to scratch or chip the resonator or if it's soft. And if it's soft, is it a material that's safe for contact with the Nechville's finish. For example, I believe some vinyls are deadly to lacquer.

I don't know enough about your strap or Nechville banjos to say whether it's safe to use or should be avoided.

I think 100% leather straps with lace closures or leather tabs with Chicago screws are generally safe. But some leather finishing chemicals are not good for some instrument finishes.

Apr 18, 2024 - 3:06:42 PM
Players Union Member

DRL777

USA

304 posts since 12/12/2021

quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

I use only leather straps. I don't find any advantage to synthetic straps or ones with metal buckle or slides.


I prefer leather without any metal.  Any suggestions?  


Depends on what quality you really are looking for.

Top quality is Tom Bennett @TABCustoms or facebook.com/TABCustom here on the forum. Nothing to scratch your banjo when you tell him you'd like sewn ends instead of the janky clips and barrel nuts others use.

I have a post with mine in it here somewhere. Tom is great to deal with and I'd expect nothing but excellence from him. If you're looking for a nice generic leather strap, there's many out there. Lakota leathers makes a very soft buffalo leather strap, but I only use those on my travel banjos.

Found my post... https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/393062

No idea why these are 'archived' so soon however.

Apr 18, 2024 - 3:27:39 PM

354 posts since 2/22/2019

I do not believe I can use sown ends on a Nechville.

Apr 18, 2024 - 6:07:12 PM
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1022 posts since 2/11/2019

Apr 18, 2024 - 6:39:55 PM

199 posts since 10/5/2019

I have a Neotech strap on one of my banjos. Unfortunately it removed the finish on the part where the plastic buckle comes in contact with the resonator. I wish I hadn’t let that happen but it’s already done so I still use it. I see that Noam has a Neotech with some kind of leather end probably to protect his banjo.
As far as a metal free strap I’ve always been a big fan of the Lakota cradle straps. The only metal is the Chicago screws which aren’t near any wood on the instrument depending on which way you face it.
Also the best I’ve seen as far as no metal is the TAB custom strap I just got last week. It has sewn ends and no metal at all which is nice. Definitely lots of options!

Apr 18, 2024 - 9:10:06 PM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

I do not believe I can use sown ends on a Nechville.


Not sure what this means.

You can use the type of strap with narrow ends at both ends. The narrow parts wrap around hooks and are tied closed with either leather laces or conventional boot or shoe laces. Alternatively, "cradle" straps are longer and their very long narrow ends pass behind the hooks on the first string side of the pot, where they overlap and get tied together. Cradle straps provide balanced support for the banjo.

Nechville sells the "Rusty Knuckles" strap ($80) that wraps around the hooks, with the ends closed with Chicago screws.

$35 seems to be the starting point for leather banjo straps in general. You can find Levy's leather straps for that much. No need for me to do Google's work and mention all the leather straps.

Have fun shopping.

Apr 19, 2024 - 12:47:39 AM

354 posts since 2/22/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

I do not believe I can use sown ends on a Nechville.


Not sure what this means.

You can use the type of strap with narrow ends at both ends. The narrow parts wrap around hooks and are tied closed with either leather laces or conventional boot or shoe laces. Alternatively, "cradle" straps are longer and their very long narrow ends pass behind the hooks on the first string side of the pot, where they overlap and get tied together. Cradle straps provide balanced support for the banjo.

Nechville sells the "Rusty Knuckles" strap ($80) that wraps around the hooks, with the ends closed with Chicago screws.

$35 seems to be the starting point for leather banjo straps in general. You can find Levy's leather straps for that much. No need for me to do Google's work and mention all the leather straps.

Have fun shopping.


Based on the description above, I assumed sown ends were similar to the Huber strap with the closed/sown loop.

Apr 19, 2024 - 4:20:52 AM

beegee

USA

23254 posts since 7/6/2005

I used to be a harness-maker at a racetrack and  tooled leather and made my own of whatever length and width I needed. I have 8 banjos, and it can be costly to buy or make custom straps. Now, I just buy men's belts of comfortable width and length I need and  use rawhide thongs to tie them to the brackets or make small tabs with Chicago screws to attach them. On my Sullivan Festival,  I have Levy's strap, no metal. On my Granada, I use a strap I made 45 years ago. 
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

I use only leather straps. I don't find any advantage to synthetic straps or ones with metal buckle or slides.


I prefer leather without any metal.  Any suggestions?  


Apr 19, 2024 - 5:01:55 AM
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62089 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

I use only leather straps. I don't find any advantage to synthetic straps or ones with metal buckle or slides.


I prefer leather without any metal.  Any suggestions?  


 

Yes. Thank you for asking.

In times gone by, I have purchased genuine leather belts (stamped as such) from rummage sales or thrift shops, removed the buckle, and tied them on with leather boot laces.

Apr 19, 2024 - 8:21:56 AM

5728 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by beegee
I used to be a harness-maker at a racetrack and  tooled leather and made my own of whatever length and width I needed. I have 8 banjos, and it can be costly to buy or make custom straps. Now, I just buy men's belts of comfortable width and length I need and  use rawhide thongs to tie them to the brackets or make small tabs with Chicago screws to attach them. On my Sullivan Festival,  I have Levy's strap, no metal. On my Granada, I use a strap I made 45 years ago. 
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5
quote:
Originally posted by beegee

I use only leather straps. I don't find any advantage to synthetic straps or ones with metal buckle or slides.


I prefer leather without any metal.  Any suggestions?  


 


The most durable strap I have ever owned is made from a harness trace. Forty years old and still going strong.

I put little tabs on the ends and fastened them with screw posts(what most people on here call Chicago screws).

Edited by - Culloden on 04/19/2024 08:23:55

Apr 19, 2024 - 9:27:25 AM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5
Based on the description above, I assumed sown ends were similar to the Huber strap with the closed/sown loop.

Aha! I didn't realize the loops on Huber straps were permanently sewn closed. So installation requires removing hooks, which the Nechville doesn't have.

You need straps that open and close.

Clariying this largely for any followers who may be unaware that on a Nechville, the parts where other banjos have hooks are non-removable posts.

Apr 19, 2024 - 12:45:10 PM

3365 posts since 5/2/2012

HighLonesomeF5 Apologize...I didn't read the original post well, and I was thinking the strap was against the resonator while it was in the case. For me, when I store the banjo in it's case, the "buckles" do lay against the binding of the resonator. But there is no movement, so I'm not worried about wear.
I took out the banjo I have the Neotech on and the loop does lay on the heel of the neck, as well as the (upper) binding on the resonator (both sides) when I am playing. I have not noticed any wear in those spots. The "buckles" do not rub on any part of the banjo.

Apr 19, 2024 - 1:17:36 PM

banjoT1

Canada

76 posts since 7/18/2019

....not so fast Mike Gregory !

I, as with beegee, regularly visit thrift stores in search of leather belts for repurposing. However Mike, you may know, all 'leather' is not created equally.

The leather industry is hoodwinking the buying public to believe that the 'genuine leather' designation is synonymous with 'Top Grain' leather.

'Top Grain' leather, for belts in particular as we speak, refers to 'real', and 'honest to God' split cowhide. Split, 'Top Grain' cowhide leather commands top prices and the stamping on the back side of such a 'Top Grain' belt also [usually] appears with the small logo of a raw leather hide [it looks similar to a shield].

'Genuine' leather is actually ground up leather offcuts and leather scraps then mixed with polyurethane and other binders to 'mimic' the appearance and tactile qualities of 'Top Grain' split cowhide - belts, bags, garments - you name it.

Why is it important to know this garble ? Because of polymer off-gassing while your 'genuine leather' strapped banjo is anywhere in contact with the banjo finish and hardware - but particularly due to the containment of and permeation of the gasses into the case materials [think padding] when the case is closed. Think also of, for some folks, banjos that are locked up for weeks, months, even years without ventilation.

As we're well aware of binding deterioration/crumbling from 'bad batches' of binding glue used some 50 years ago, the question remains whether now or sometime in the future the potential of off-gassing damage will be answered and become apparent.

Although I'm not privy to proprietary leather processing recipes, I do shop for 'Top Grain' materials that are usually 'vegetable 'tanned' and pretty safe historically.

(The next matter would be to ask the case makers about the polymer materials and off-gassing relevant to their own products. My guess is that they're hoping to remain under the radar about this.)

Apr 20, 2024 - 3:01:29 AM

Bill H

USA

2297 posts since 11/7/2010

I use NeoTech straps on both of my Nechville banjos and have noticed no damage. I like them because I can remove them easily to so that the banjos fit in the case. I have had trouble finding a leather strap that is narrow enough to fit inside the case, so the Neotech seems like a good solution.

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