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Thread: One of those days - string changing woes

  1. #1
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default One of those days - string changing woes

    On Wednesday decided to put some flatwounds on the Strad O Lin. Simple enough, right?

    Took the clamshell off without using tools. Jammed one of the tailpiece tines between the nail and finger on the right. Owie! Thankfully bleeding stopped quickly.

    Okay, then starting swapping strings. Oh, and the G and A start slipping. As the D'Addario don't have silk wraps, there is nothing to grip the soundpost. So have to do an over/under wrap to lock the string. Did I mention this SOL has very short tuner posts? It does. Like really short. Like one wrap above the post hole is at the very top of the post.

    Finally get that done. Then start on the A and E strings. No problem until the last E string. Pops out of the tailpiece tine a couple of times. No biggie. But by the time it's done a second time, the string has now been kinked near the tuner post. What? How did that happen? Seriously. Sigh. And I couldn't undo it. On top of it, it would be below the post so the string would break from the stress. Okay, to the spares and get another E.

    Sigh. So instead of something that should have taken about 20 minutes, wound up taking an hour.

    Just frustrating. And for those who want to say wrap around the post first then through the hole, nope. Not with flatwounds on this instrument. They will not hold the free end of the string enough to keep from slipping. Tried it. And If you can get it tightly wrapped above and below the hole before sending the string through, you're better at it than I am. It could be done. Just would take me too much time. (Not that this didn't).

  2. #2
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    Good luck to you on the rest of your Saturday

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    A sharp bend on both sides of the peg should prevent slippage. I never have to do above/below.
    I attach the string to tailpiece first, insert through peg with some slack (1-1.5") bend both sides, begin turning peg as I hold string down to ensure clean wrap. I keep all the wrap (2-3 turns) below the hole.

    Never have slippage on plain strings, or wound. Two bends are essential, and a couple of turns usually needed for reducing the pull at the hole. I like three turns for the plain strings.
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    I use the lock back technique, never slips and only really needs one wrap.
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    Registered User Frankie D's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    I'm guessing you can't use the Taylor Method to string a mando with regular (74's)? I never tried it, but wondering.
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  10. #6
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie D View Post
    I'm guessing you can't use the Taylor Method to string a mando with regular (74's)? I never tried it, but wondering.
    Have used a variation of the Taylor method on both guitar and mandolin since the 1980's.

    Have used the double bend method on plain strings for years. For some reason, this Strad O Lin still is picky with it. Have had more string slippage with these posts than any others I've tried. The very short posts don't help. Think about half the height sticking out than a regular set. Frustrating enough to make me consider swapping out to a modern set to make life easier.

    It was all user error to one degree or another. Everything adding up just made for a frustrating day.

    OTOH, it was worth it. The flatwounds are giving me the sound I wanted to hear from this instrument. At least for now.

  11. #7
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    It would be cool if you could find an older working set of tuners with longer posts to replace. I suspect a modern tuner swap may require enlarging the diameter of the holes as well. I don't understand why they would put such short post on, I've run into examples as well.
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    My ‘50s Strad-O-Lin has a slight taper to the peghead thickness, but the shortest posts protrude about 3/8” with the holes a bit more than 1/8 from the post tops. These are very plain, squarecut tuners, no bushings, fairly loose holes in the wood, worm-over. I do change strings every two or three decades, not that it has any effect I can hear except for replacing the broken ones. That helps.
    Certainly, if there is wear in the wood, oversized holes, having the string anchor (last turn) as low as possible reduces the leverage that presses the gear into the worm and helps reduce excessive friction, so I see that as a general reason for keeping posts short and winding close to the wood if there are no bushings. Worm under, opposite effect.

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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    I use a capo to hold the strings on the tailpiece.
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    My ‘50s Strad-O-Lin has a slight taper to the peghead thickness, but the shortest posts protrude about 3/8” with the holes a bit more than 1/8 from the post tops. These are very plain, squarecut tuners, no bushings, fairly loose holes in the wood, worm-over. I do change strings every two or three decades, not that it has any effect I can hear except for replacing the broken ones. That helps.
    Certainly, if there is wear in the wood, oversized holes, having the string anchor (last turn) as low as possible reduces the leverage that presses the gear into the worm and helps reduce excessive friction, so I see that as a general reason for keeping posts short and winding close to the wood if there are no bushings. Worm under, opposite effect.
    On this particular one, there is no headstock taper. The shafts are about 3/16" showing above the headstock. For comparison, a vintage set of Waverly tuners have the tuner holes above where these tuners stop. As I've said, very short posts.

    So basically what you have is what I would have if I switched out to vintage Waverly.

  16. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: One of those days - string changing woes

    Just be glad you weren't restringing an Autoharp.
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