How To Strap Button On Archtop Guitar

Ready to build an archtop guitar (electric or acoustic) and need to know how to add a strap button to an archtop guitar?

  1. Prepare the guitar body. Make sure that the body is clean and free of dirt and dust. Guitar polish is usually a great help. If you're building from the ground up, it's usually best to make sure that the major parts have been installed before adding touches like strap buttons.
  2. Install the bottom strap button. You will need to measure to ensure that the pin is centered both in width and depth. It is fairly easy to measure width using the saddles of the guitar bridge. Find the spot between the third and fourth saddle and trace a straight line down to the bottom of the body. This should be a central line. For depth, simply measure the thickness of the guitar and cut it in half, then mark the halfway spot with a pencil.
  3. Drill a pilot hole to a depth of about 3/8 of an inch. You will want to use a narrow drill bit that is slightly thinner than the screws you are using. Make sure it is not too small, as the pressure of a too-large screw can put stress on the wood and cause a crack in your archtop guitar.
  4. Push the screw through the strap button with the widest part of the button upright. Then, place the end of the screw into the pilot hole. Using a Phillips screwdriver which is tight-fitting, slowly tighten the screw until the strap button is flush and the screw is tight.
  5. Install the top guitar button. If your archtop guitar has a bolt-on neck, you can use almost the same procedure as used for the bottom strap button. Calculate the depth as described above. For width, measure the neck pocket and use the halfway mark. Make sure that the screw does not obstruct any of the bolt heads on the neck.
  6. If your archtop has a set neck, you will need to install the button at the base of the neck heel, which will be on the back of the guitar instead of the side. Measure the width at the base of the neck, and at a spot near the bottom of the neck heel, drill the pilot hole and install as above.

Your archtop guitar is now ready for its neck, or, if all else is done, a guitar strap. Tune up and enjoy!

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