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Rise of the Well-Hung StrapLab

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by TVvoodoo, May 17, 2019.

  1. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Strat-Talker Vendor Member

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    Hello Strat-Talk brothers and sisters.

    My real name is Brad, and I am fairly new to this forum. One of the reasons I joined is I lurked a bit and liked the culture here, it's similar to one I've been a member of for over a decade. I am a member of several forums, and Strat-Talk is just the latest for me to join. Of course I already know a number of members here, there is a certain amount of cross-pollination between guitar and gear communities.
    As you may know I've already shared some original music, plenty of guitar pics and refinishing advice.

    Another reason I joined is to see if I could promote my little strap-making venture here. I've been designing and building straps for about nine years now. I first started after I jumped out of a truck box like a 20 year old, and blew out my left rotator cuff, basically rendering my left arm useless for about 7 months, and after that I couldn't play without padding under my strap for another year or so. At that time, I learned to sew and started making my own guitar straps to match with my guitar refinishes, folks started asking... and I started supplying. The reviews were overwhelming. Nobody could believe that what a difference a padded comfy strap makes to the overall playing experience. People would play longer, and better, and favour only the guitars my straps were on. Over time, I bought heavier duty sewing equipment, etc... and it slowly grew from there.

    Late last year I saw that my media selling job was about to be outsourced or AI'd, so I ditched and decided to give strapcraft almost my full attention, I also do a little graphic design on the side.
    My wife thinks I'm absolutely bat**** crazy. So, I'm practically just like the rest of you. LOL!

    [​IMG]

    https://reverb.com/ca/shop/well-hung-guitar-accessories

    I build a better guitar strap. A lot of energy has gone into pickups, guitar design, woods, amps, pedals etc... over the past sixty years, not much new thought into guitar straps. Because of my exploratative nature, I call my shop "The StrapLab" where I try lots of stuff, had some fails but also many successes over the years. A strap made by someone who plays guitar, not a factory line worker, is a better one.

    My main points I believe I have successfully addressed are:

    1. A comfortably padded guitar strap, that does not look orthopedic or rest-homey.
    2. Good, TRUSTY leather ends, and inner materials to kill neck dive dead. Not much an issue with strats.
    3. Interesting concepts, many one-of-a-kind designs at less than you would expect. Custom work too.

    Being a member here for a short time, I am familiar with another well-loved community strap guy here, who does beautiful tooling/paint work. I dabble in tooling too. What I can offer this community is an alternative and that most customers find being Well-Hung a giant step forward in comfort, along with interesting designs and cool materials. And, longer too. I suffered for years with various factory straps on the last rung of adjustment, like many of you here may still do, (and still too short) and I said "NO MORE!"

    I hope you will visit my humble little shop, look around and see something you might like. Don't buy right yet, unless you absolutely need... in a days or two I am putting together a little offer... a buy one, get one sort of deal for my first three Strat-Talk customers.

    Now I'm not big on SECRET SALES, or 2for1 deals etc like some other outfits. Customers tell me often my straps are worth more than what I ask, so I don't normally have to give away straps to sell a strap, but I want to have a bit of a splash here on Strat-talk, so that's how I'm going to do it.

    Here a taste of some slings I have made recently, some were custom orders, some in my store now.

    Well-Hung Shock & Awe 3" wide Korean War surplus cotton webbing with military badges, double D ring adjust. Individually numbered in series. This strap style has been stolen twice at jams, the guitar left behind. :D

    [​IMG]

    Riffing on the Peace/Dove, padded, rolled edges with custom-made embroidered patches (no silk screening, or upside-down icons).

    [​IMG]

    The Devils Triangle, simple tooling, with creative cherryburst staining, also lined and padded.

    [​IMG]

    A recent strap "Legion" from my No Prisoners Series

    [​IMG]

    Allman straplicas

    [​IMG]

    Just got this pic in today from a customer, extremely pleased with his Hendrix/Gilmour that I call
    Excess of Ex's

    [​IMG]

    I also craft something I call the Old School Leather Strap lock, something guys my age and beyond will remember fondly, but which are like unobtanium to find these days. That is, unless you go Well-Hung. Some guys buy these up five sets at a time to outfit the whole stable. They also add about 4 inches to your chain, so they can make those shorty straps useable again. Bass players really dig them

    [​IMG]

    Since I make straps, you'd understand guitar security is of utmost importance to me. I've put a LOT of thought and work into it. Besides making a better strap, I have addressed what i believe is the MOST suspect link in the security chain with my own design Well-Hung Pro-Pins, jumbo oversize strap buttons
    with serious hardware. Once you try, a total game changer. These are on-tour, ordered and installed by savvy professional guitar techs sick of popping rubber washers and sketchy mechanical lock systems. Guys pull these buttons before selling the guitar LOL!
    [​IMG]
    Anyway, I have a few other things, please wander into my store to find out more. Plus, if you do one thing while there, please check my feedbacks, it's a rollicking read... For some reason there are few "A+ seller" posts. The Well-Hung Tribe seems to be motivated enough to actually take the time to really say something about my products and services which speaks volumes, and for that I'm grateful

    Over coming weeks, I will use this thread to detail what I am making as I make it, and other stuff going on in my life, just to keep things interesting - YMMV.

    Oh, and off the Well-Hung Straplab bench today? Godzilla, and Night Surfer!

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, hope to get to know your strapping needs soon!

    Brad, up in the wildlands of northwest Canada
     
  2. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Do the straps come with a matching codpiece?
     
  3. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Your stuff looks good :thumb:
     
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  4. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Strat-Talker Vendor Member

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    abnormaltoy, sam_in_cali and circles like this.
  5. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Given the name, I would think it would have been an obvious add on.
     
  6. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Strat-O-Master

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    Location:
    BC, Canada
    My wife bought me one of Brad’s straps two years ago for my birthday. It gets used every day for practice and once a week live at a bar jam. It has stood up very well, never a problem with it. It is by far the most comfortable strap I’ve ever used. I can easily play a ten lb. guitar for an hour set, take a break, then play another hour. It also stops neck dive dead. I have an SG and a Thunderbird bass that have some pretty bad neck dive. No problem for my Well Hung strap. Brad recommends his own strap lock system but mine has had Schaller strap locks on it since it was new.

    EC0D2BE9-05C4-4A9F-9487-6E9E445F8C1F.jpeg
     
  7. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My house.
    What is US CAD exchange?
     
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  8. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Strat-Talker Vendor Member

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  9. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Burnin some Nitro....
    Great looking straps. I personally don't use them but I would own a few of these. if I did.
     
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  10. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have seriously considered adding "tail weight" to my SG, and when "Burt" the geologist played an SG with Howard and Raj on Big Bang Theory, the strap was hung like an acoustic from the headstock.
    The straps that I absolutely hate are those made from seatbelt material, and it's really put the pinch on buying mass-produced "generic" straps online.
    I've NEVER had a Strat with a neck dive problem until I put one of those straps on one.
     
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  11. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster

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    Souldier make all their stuff from seatbelts and they’re great straps... I’ve got a few and they give me no trouble at all,

    not a fan of leather straps personally but I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship on display here.
     
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  12. nomadh

    nomadh Strat-Talker

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    San Diego CA
    I own 4 of these straps now and they are all form meets function. Art makes love to engineering. These straps should be osha required on heavy guitars but even on my med weight and hollow guitars they are still helpful and they just look awesome.
     
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  13. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have one seatbelt strap (Levy's maybe?) and it may as well be made from greased pig.
     
  14. nomadh

    nomadh Strat-Talker

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    San Diego CA
    I started with his leather straps but he has much more imaginative materials than that. Take a look.
     
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  15. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m all the way down in little old New Zealand so it’s a bit far... the straps all look great though I’m sure they’re gonna do well...
     
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  16. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Strat-Talker Vendor Member

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    Location:
    Canada
    Thank you all for the warm vendor welcome!

    Ok I went through some backstock here, decided on my introductory freebie offerings, might help push a few off the fence towards a new life of being comfortably hung.

    [​IMG]

    I found four! Left to right...

    1. Linebacker... Real football leather
    2. Rancher (hair-on cowhide/ conchos)
    3. Sum Yung Hung Guy, soft goldy yellow Chinese dragon silk
    4. No Prisoners "Brute"

    All padded, most approx. 3" wide (dragon silk is about 2.5", Rancher is about 3.5") go between approx 47" -56". The football strap and the brute can hit 58". Good leather ends, all.

    First three Strat-talk member/customers can claim any one, (as available), as a bonus with a full price purchase of any other strap from my reverb store and message me "Booyah!" Will also include some special unmentionable surprise Well-Hung bonuses with the first three.

    PLEASE NOTE IN THIS THREAD BELOW A CLAIM IN CASE CONFUSION ARISES! First come, first deserved!

    Standing offer, no time limit.
    Have a great Saturday!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  17. nomadh

    nomadh Strat-Talker

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    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Brad, I had a question. I think all your straps have padding engineered in and usually extra length but I don't need either of those features many times. But I love the style and looks. Will you be making any straps that skip those features and would it save much money so I can afford to buy more straps? :)
    Or would that be a custom order like a radio delete option on a Z06 corvette?
     
  18. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Strat-Talker Vendor Member

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    Location:
    Canada
    But then it would not be a well-hung strap! LOL!

    Nomad, I am open to any possibilities, but I don't have plans to make straps same as the other guys, because comfort and length are key to my USP (jargon for what i do different). Shorter you won't save much for me. The big factories can save big dollars on making a run of a thousand straps four inches too short - they get thirty or thirty five extra straps as PURE PROFIT! Me? I can't play that game. I can't make a half that many in a year. As much as people may want to compare my strap to a factory strap, sure they'll slay me on pure price. Personally, honestly? I really cannot even wear much for factory straps anymore, I still have a few around, gathering dust. And, almost every one I see in shops below the 30 dollar price point? Either they are covered in advertising for a brand, a band, police line, whatever. OR, they fully remind me of a fellow I once saw at a bus depot using a pair of garbage bags as luggage. That said, maybe he didn't know any different, maybe he was on hard times. He didn't seem too happy, and surely couldn't give a flying fig what I or anyone else thought, that's for sure. I figure that guy will probably never be my customer and we're both A-ok with that.

    Am I open to any custom builds specifically for you, and yes you could save a little money? Not so sure. I mean it's hard to compete on price with companies who get container loads shipped over from Jina or outright lie and/or mislead you on whether its "real" leather or not. Maybe with tarrifs in place coming will help level the playing field- but even then I'm not keen to racing to the bottom pricewise, I'd rather see them try to build up to my standards, not me build down to theirs. Will I be making a whole bunch of straps that are basically trying to be similar to other ones out there, and hope to sell them at a competing price? probably not.

    If anything, I'm fully reactive to what paying customers are seeking particularly those who are repeats and wish to build a relationship with a boutiquey supplier. My customers want something off the beaten path... more robust, more handmade, less factory. So in such cases, you willing to pay, I am pretty much open to anything. I mean, one time I actually did build a plain black strap - he wanted an angus young strap (built with the ladder adj. on the front). But I also padded it out too LOL! Note: I have a slight aversion to plain black straps, because they fair bore me to death.

    But with me, you can be guaranteed this: you can certainly have a specific strap style/design, material, just for you that's hasn't been repeated a thousand times. It will have most usually sport real good lifetime genuine leather where it really counts, not bi-cast fake leather shadizzle. It will be sewn with LOVE, by a fellow guitar player, who thinks about slinging YOUR guitar, your playing experience and gear journey, not straining under a daily production quota.

    If you see something you like in my shop, and would like to see if a modified version is possible, just message me, it very well might be, if I still have the same materials. Or sometimes folks show me a photo of a guitar, and then I can make some suggestions.

    Standing opening Well-Hung Strat-Talk introductory offer Still Open... Free strap with purchase from my store, first three in get to pick from the four shown above! Those bonus slings are all worth at least $60 each, but you'll have to sling one to believe that.
     
  19. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Strat-Talker Vendor Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 2, 2019
    Location:
    Canada
    It's been a busy weekend, normally I get a couple done and into the store, but we had some major patio/deck fixing to do, because in-laws are incoming. And, spring. Up here in Canucka, summers are way too short, so for four months we practically try to live outside almost. Soak up enough free vitamin D to last us the other eight months.

    Anyway, over the past few days I have been starting work on shoring up stock in one of my few lines I maintain and repeat straps in. The Well-Hung Matrika line was based years ago on some Hindu mother/goddesses who were total badasses. The reason is I was able to source some amazing pakistani Sari trim ribbon, 3" wide, embroidered with big cream peonies, (I think?), and has a bit of shmexy metallic silver in it as well as black and one basic primary colour. Just beautiful stuff.

    [​IMG]

    I had several colours custom made, these are two of them, a surfy blue and softened red. Also coming soon will be a few straps in grey and black, and Goldtop gold and black. These straps are ladder adjusters, not hootenanny. Go from about 46" to 57" or so. Working on a new set of eight.

    3" wide, ultra-padded with 1" medium density foam in the shoulder with thick 8/9 oz harness leather front and back where it grabs on your guitars. Heavy duty comfort, with exotic visual appeal that pops and will really dress up a black or white shirt. Medium density foam compresses the perfect amount under guitar weight, so the strap doesn't look all poofy. Plus with the lining I use and this sort of foam, strap wander and neck dive are solved.

    I was mentioning above about big brand importers who's prices seem so good, maybe too good to be true. It's a buyer beware world out there folks. I work with leather almost every day, and sometimes in a store even I get fooled. They look so appealing, conchos and fancy stitching, grommets, graphics or lacing or other elements added to distract you from what it actually is. Then they are finished in ways you can't really tell what's inside unless you gut it. You certainly can not go by the label.


    [​IMG]

    Have you ever had one of these? The only leather is maybe a paper thin lining, OR, perhaps they are talking about the ground up chipboard leather that was mixed with glue then heat pressed and finished with a gloss coating to seem like leather. then they wrap some sort of fibrous crud with it, and call it Genuine Leather. But nosir, as far as I'm concerned, that ain't leather. When you buy on low price, this is becoming more than a risk, it's more and more pretty much your guarantee. I honestly wonder how they get away with it, so many do, every day.

    It's real hard to compete with this junk while consumers remain in the dark on it and don't know what they are getting. I had a bicast "leather" sofa once. Totally got took, felt rather embarrassed when it started flaking and falling apart. Human nature is to crow about what a great deal we got in the honeymoon period, shush it down a number of years later realizing we got conned. Real leather is far better and will last way way longer. But it's pricey, believe me, I know!
     
  20. nungesser

    nungesser When I became of age my momma sat me down Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Location:
    Ireland
    Cool!
    I like your reliced military strap , it reminded me my Uncle gave me his old woven canvas belt from when he was in the Royal Navy and I thought it might make a cool guitar strap has the family name stenciled on it too!
     
    TVvoodoo likes this.
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