My Martin OMC-16E guitar has a big strap button to accommodate the 1/4″ jack for its electronics (a Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend pickup)–too big for the holes in most guitar straps. I’d been wanting to buy myself a nice strap for this guitar but the big strap button was holding me up. My wife and I were planning to visit the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, PA as part of an upcoming vacation. Knowing that they had a gift shop and I might be able to buy a strap there, I decided to hold off until our visit.
The day of our visit to Martin came and we took the factory tour before hitting the gift shop. Alas, nothing in their shop was made to fit my guitar’s big strap button. Nevertheless, I found a really nice leather strap while I was there, and I bought it knowing I’d have to find a way to make the hole bigger.
Once I got home, a little research told me I’d need a leather drive punch to make the right-sized hole in the strap. I used my caliper to determine that the hole needed to be 7/16″ in diameter, and I found a suitable drive punch at eLeather Supply. The punch set me back about $15 after shipping and handling.
With drive punch in hand, the moment of truth was at hand. Any time I endeavor to modify an otherwise fine piece of workmanship, I do so with some trepidation. Thankfully, I had a cheap suede leather strap on which to test the punch before I committed to punching holes in my nice new strap. I determined that the best technique was actually to lay the strap on the concrete floor and whack the punch with a hammer. The trial with the cheap strap was a success, and the fit on the big strap button was excellent. So, I proceeded to punch the hole in my new strap and achieved the same success.
I share this here only so that others faced with the same problem might also use this solution. Now all I have to do is figure out how to play a guitar standing up!