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Checkerboard Strap anyone?


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I’ve got a bunch of the old classic Hamer checkerboard straps, most of which I bought back in the early/mid-1980s.  After my last order in 1986, Frank U. said they had depleted the stock and couldn’t source any more - keep in mind, they were a whopping $10 at the time, so I stocked up.

Fast forward to the 2000s, and I all but retired my classic checkerboards.  They were becoming way too valuable and I didn’t want anything to happen to them.  In the late ‘90s, there were a couple strap options that were close, but not as nice as the old Hamer straps - right fabric, but they lacked the non-slip backing and/or just weren’t that well made.

 I had switched to Couch Guitar Straps around that time, because, well, they’re the best out there.  They don’t offer a checkerboard option, unfortunately.  I’ve picked up a silly amount of those over the last couple of decades and am an avowed fanboi.
 

About 15-16 years ago, I came across some nearly exact checkerboard material from a 70s-era inventory of a closing fabric store very randomly online, and in a bleary-eyed late night stupor, I bought it.   It sat, neatly folded in a box for pretty much that entire time, even going missing for a while at one point.  
 

A month or so ago while doing some late spring cleaning and looking for some Hamer parts, I found the fabric and reached out to Matt at Couch to see if he could work with it.  As always, he got back to me within minutes and asked me to send it out to CA.  I did, and a few days ago, he let me know that he had enough to make 3 straps if I wanted ‘em.  Fire away!

Today, along with the tracking number, I was alerted to this Instagram post from Couch:  https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgAJZpoNuJC/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

If you aren’t on IG, here are a few pic grabs:

At any rate, it’s geeky and may only be fun and interesting to ME, but I’m pretty psyched.

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I love the look. Unfortunately, my aging shoulders like well padded and wider straps.

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2 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

Three straps.  You can only use one at a time.  So, you wanna let go of the other two?  Dibs?  What? 

Yeah maan, don't be bogarting the straps... spread a little checkered love ❤️ 

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Wow......was browsing through my recently purchased Ultimate book and saw the Hamer straps in chapter five and thought  "Those would look cool on a Checkerboard Special,  if I had one. "   Nice job Chris !

Edited by tweed
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7 minutes ago, topekatj said:

@cmatthes: Any chance you’d auction/raffle one (1) strap for charity?

Right now, there's one for me and one for each of my sons.  I'd consider that if there was enough fabric left over though!

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2 hours ago, cmatthes said:

Right now, there's one for me and one for each of my sons.  I'd consider that if there was enough fabric left over though!

Thanks, Fair enough, family 1st!

At least ask (beg) your insider at Couch to source something for a LTD HFC only run?

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5 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

Someone out there has to have a machine that can weave cloth just like the original straps were made from.  

No, lots of companies have tried but the pattern causes vertigo,  increasing workers comp insurance 🤣

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9 hours ago, topekatj said:

Thanks, Fair enough, family 1st!

At least ask (beg) your insider at Couch to source something for a LTD HFC only run?

It took me years to find what little of this fabric that I did actually track down.  Ted and I tried to have a run of HFC Checkerboard straps done sometime around ‘99-‘02, and in addition to turning up dead ends on the correct size checkerboarded fabric, nobody was willing to do a strap for us (we wanted to have the logo embossed in silver on the tab end). 
I’ve got one of the Souldier Bobby Lee straps, and although they got the checkerboard fabric right, they’re honestly very cheaply made/flimsy, slippery, and way too short for anybody over 6’ tall.

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Chris, that story is amazing and the straps tuned out great. I am rocking a couple Couch straps now along with my Jeri Harts. I visited their little shop about 5 years ago when on biz travel to LA. It was cool. I picked up a strap and there were guitars and amps strewn about the area. Good peeps.

 

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