Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Measuring string gauges...

McGrath of Harlow 15 Oct 13 - 07:24 PM
Leadfingers 15 Oct 13 - 07:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Oct 13 - 07:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Oct 13 - 08:05 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 13 - 08:12 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 13 - 09:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Oct 13 - 10:16 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 13 - 01:19 AM
Leadfingers 16 Oct 13 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Stan 16 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Oct 13 - 07:50 AM
cooperman 16 Oct 13 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Ray 16 Oct 13 - 01:33 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Measuring string gauges...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:24 PM

It'd be very useful sometimes to be able to specify precisely what gauge string I"m looking for, especially when it's a non-standard instrument, or one where I'm trying to replace a particular string the gauge of which I don't know.

I know there are wire gauge measurers electricians use, but I can't see them being precise enough. And then I suppose I might get hold of a micrometer...

Anyway, I'm sure it's a need other people have come up against, and I hope there's a simple and not too expensive solution.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:36 PM

Maplins do an Electronic Micrometer Kevin - I got one for a Tenner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 07:55 PM

That should suit me. One thing though - how are string gauges actually measured. I mean, are they in thousands of an inch, or are they metric these days, or have some other system of their own?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 08:05 PM

And another thing - I've just checked the Maplins site with a view to popping down there tomorrow, and it appears they don't stock it any more, and when I hunted round elsewhere the prices seemed to bottom out at about £50.

So any suggestions welcome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 08:12 PM

Some info here. String gauges in thousands of an inch.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_(music)

CC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 09:25 PM

Perhaps a combination of calipers and feeler gauges would work?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 10:16 PM

For thousands of an inch I'd doubtful about feeler gauges and callipers.

I was wondering if there might have been an ordinance that we all went metric...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:19 AM

Buy an old engineering micrometer. They work and are easy to use.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:05 AM

Just had a quick look on E Bay UK - They start at £6.45 mate


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM

OOps,
Second on the list under 'Digital calipers' here;

Ebay Digital calipers

Then you can have the fun of returning sets of strings that don't match The packaging.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM

A micrometer should work quite well, and there are a couple of styles available that would be suitable. The traditional "C-Clamp" that screws a plug down against the part to be measured, usually a 0 to 1" range, works quite well, although some people have a tendency to screw down too tightly and on a small wire it's possible to flatted the part you're trying to measure - and also damage the "mike."

The "Caliper" type that has parallel jaws, with one that slides in a slot in the other to change the gap should work quite well for measuring strings, and may be cheaper in most markets.

"Feeler gages," as the term is used in the US, are a selection of metal strips of various thicknesses, and are quite useful for measuring the gap between two things, but very difficult to use for an accurate measurement of thickness or outside diameter.

Either kind of micrometer can be accurate to within 0.001 inches with a decent quality one. The better "C-Clamp" shaped ones can get easily to 0.0001, but most such require that you read a "vernier scale" to interpolate between 0.001 markings on the barrel, or sometimes have a dial indicator (that usually needs re-zeroing for each use). Caliper types commonly have a "dial indicator" (sometimes a vernier) built in and may claim finer resolution than more basic models, but in the quality commonly offered for sale at reasonable prices their limits are somewhat suspect beyond 0.001 unless you've paid big bucks for them.

BARE STRINGS can be measured as accurately as you're likely to need, since the wire diameter is the gauge. For wound wires it's a little more problematic.

The wire diameter increases for a bare wire as the intended pitch goes down. Most instruments are designed to hold a fairly specific tension, pretty much the same for all the strings. As the strings get smaller, the tension gets lower, and for small (high pitched) strings that's not really a problem. The core wire, for the most common materials, needs to be above about 60% of yield strength, up to about 80%+, in order to "resonate" well in a plucked string like on a guitar; but this limit is less applicable for a bowed string - hence the ability to use "gut" strings more easily there.

The requirement for a fairly specific tension> in all the strings above a particular "weight" (below some pitch) dictates that all wound strings intended for a particular kind of instrument will have very similar core diameters.

ALL WOUND STRINGS have a core wire sufficient to cary the intended tension, and in many cases the core diameter is pretty much the same for all the the wound strings on a given instrument. The weight per unit lengt is adjusted by wrapping wire around the core to change the pitch. The "winding" theoretically should not affect the tension or flexibility of the string on the instrument for which it's intended.

Since different wound strings may use different materials for the winding, and diffent wire profiles, the outside diameter measured over the winding may not be really representative of the "effective gauge" of the string, although variations for similar strings intended for the same kind of instrument probably don't vary enough to make much difference. Various sellers may have slightly different meanings for their usage of the term "gauge."

For good sound, the most critical thing is that the sring must be absolutely constant in diameter and weight per unit length. A lumpy string never sounds good. For wound strings not purchased and used promptly, the lumps may be due to dirt and/or corrosion inside the winding where it's not easy to tell its there, so the "spares" that have been in the case for a few years may be a little disappointing when you have to put one on.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:50 AM

The previous post was previewed before I hit Submit, and looked fine. Somehow one of the /i> bits got dropped while in flight. ???

Reposted for legibility.

A micrometer should work quite well, and there are a couple of styles available that would be suitable. The traditional "C-Clamp" that screws a plug down against the part to be measured, usually a 0 to 1" range, works quite well, although some people have a tendency to screw down too tightly and on a small wire it's possible to flatted the part you're trying to measure - and also damage the "mike."

The "Caliper" type that has parallel jaws, with one that slides in a slot in the other to change the gap should work quite well for measuring strings, and may be cheaper in most markets.

"Feeler gages," as the term is used in the US, are a selection of metal strips of various thicknesses, and are quite useful for measuring the gap between two things, but very difficult to use for an accurate measurement of thickness or outside diameter.

Either kind of micrometer can be accurate to within 0.001 inches with a decent quality one. The better "C-Clamp" shaped ones can get easily to 0.0001, but most such require that you read a "vernier scale" to interpolate between 0.001 markings on the barrel, or sometimes have a dial indicator (that usually needs re-zeroing for each use). Caliper types commonly have a "dial indicator" (sometimes a vernier) built in and may claim finer resolution than more basic models, but in the quality commonly offered for sale at reasonable prices their limits are somewhat suspect beyond 0.001 unless you've paid big bucks for them.

BARE STRINGS can be measured as accurately as you're likely to need, since the wire diameter is the gauge. For wound wires it's a little more problematic.

The wire diameter increases for a bare wire as the intended pitch goes down. Most instruments are designed to hold a fairly specific tension, pretty much the same for all the strings. As the strings get smaller, the tension gets lower, and for small (high pitched) strings that's not really a problem. The core wire, for the most common materials, needs to be above about 60% of yield strength, up to about 80%+, in order to "resonate" well in a plucked string like on a guitar; but this limit is less applicable for a bowed string - hence the ability to use "gut" strings more easily there.

The requirement for a fairly specific tension in all the strings above a particular "weight" (below some pitch) dictates that all wound strings intended for a particular kind of instrument will have very similar core diameters.

ALL WOUND STRINGS have a core wire sufficient to cary the intended tension, and in many cases the core diameter is pretty much the same for all the the wound strings on a given instrument. The weight per unit lengt is adjusted by wrapping wire around the core to change the pitch. The "winding" theoretically should not affect the tension or flexibility of the string on the instrument for which it's intended.

Since different wound strings may use different materials for the winding, and diffent wire profiles, the outside diameter measured over the winding may not be really representative of the "effective gauge" of the string, although variations for similar strings intended for the same kind of instrument probably don't vary enough to make much difference. Various sellers may have slightly different meanings for their usage of the term "gauge."

For good sound, the most critical thing is that the sring must be absolutely constant in diameter and weight per unit length. A lumpy string never sounds good. For wound strings not purchased and used promptly, the lumps may be due to dirt and/or corrosion inside the winding where it's not easy to tell its there, so the "spares" that have been in the case for a few years may be a little disappointing when you have to put one on.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: cooperman
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 08:35 AM

I use an old micrometer. Just make sure it reads zero when it is closed and don't screw it onto the string too tightly (it should just slip off the string when you pull it away to read it). All the strings I have seen are in thousands of an inch. One turn of the barrel should be .025" (25 thou)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Measuring string gauges...
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 01:33 PM

The digital calipers turn up in Aldi every few months so you could pop down there and get them to throw them at you!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 October 9:17 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.