LOTS OF FOLKS LIKE A STRAP FOR THEIR UKE. I guess I am included in that number. I have decided to put a strap on #37, the lovely "blonde" uke that is rapidily becoming my favorite. I have a Mexican woven belt with the perfect colors for this uke and so have made the decision to add a strap button to the instrument. I was about out of buttons so this afternoon I turned another ten. I thought you might enjoy seeing how it is done. Incidently, it would be a lot simpler to just buy one of those metal, shiny buttons and acrew it in, but I refuse to mess up a uke with them. I make mine from rosewood mostly, sometimes ebony.
It starts by chucking a previously turned round piece of rosewood into the wood lathe and chucking it up really tight. Rosewood is very dense, very hard, and not prone to splitting, plus it looks classy on almost any uke.
1. first you rough out the shape with a small gouge. after a few tries you learn to take it down to pretty close to the final shape, the head of the button is completed with the gouge. 2. you must carefully use your calipers because you want all of the button stems to fit closely in the hole you will drill into the butt plate of your uke. 3. the final paring down of the stem is done with the square cutting surface of the cut off tool.
4. now the button is completed, I sand it wiith a wooden block with 120 grit paper on one side and 400 on the other. A couple touchs with the paper and the button is ready. 5. simply saw off the base of the stem with a fine Exacto saw and Voila, 6. for an hours labor on the lathe, ten new buttons ready to grace your ukes and hold your straps.