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Ball end to loop tips

GUEST,Rewster 10 Nov 16 - 06:33 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Nov 16 - 06:49 AM
Gozz 10 Nov 16 - 08:21 AM
Will Fly 10 Nov 16 - 08:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 16 - 08:48 AM
Backwoodsman 10 Nov 16 - 09:01 AM
Stanron 10 Nov 16 - 09:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 16 - 10:07 AM
GUEST 10 Nov 16 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 10 Nov 16 - 01:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 16 - 02:19 PM
leeneia 10 Nov 16 - 02:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 16 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,rewster 10 Nov 16 - 06:50 PM
Jack Campin 10 Nov 16 - 07:17 PM
Bill D 10 Nov 16 - 08:04 PM
punkfolkrocker 10 Nov 16 - 08:11 PM
michaelr 11 Nov 16 - 01:00 AM
Stanron 11 Nov 16 - 04:17 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 16 - 10:17 PM
leeneia 12 Nov 16 - 12:33 AM
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Subject: Ball end to loop tips
From: GUEST,Rewster
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 06:33 AM

I bought ball end banjo strings in error. Any tips on getting rid of the balls so I can use them as loops? Twisting just breaks the string.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 06:49 AM

I carefully crushed / nipped one end of with pliers.. very fiddly job...

But it was a good decade or so ago...
I leant my lesson well not to buy wrong strings again...


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Gozz
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 08:21 AM

Sell the ball end set on ebay and go to http://www.newtonestrings.com/ for some top quality replacements tailormade to the guages you require.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 08:43 AM

If you're very careful and use two pairs of fine-nosed pliers, you can": (a) grip the twisted thread at the base of the loop with one pair (b) grip the ball with the other pair and (c) slowly and gently twist so that the ball just pops out.

I've done it in the past but, if you're wary of risking it, then sell 'em as suggested and just buy a new, correct set.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 08:48 AM

I saw a simple enough little device once for putting a loop on a plain string. Held the folded end of the string neatly in place, and you turned a little handle and it neatly twisted the string without breaking it, so you ended up with a loop of the right size.

But I've idea where such a thing could be found. Maybe someone here might have an idea.

Doing it the other way would be tricky with steel strings, though of course it's easy putting a ball on a nylon string - just hold the end in a flame for a few seconds.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 09:01 AM

Strings are cheap. Don't waste your valuable life faffing around, bin the 'wrong' ones and buy the 'right' ones.

IMHO, YMMV.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Stanron
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 09:13 AM

There should be enough length of string for you to cut off the ball ends and rewind loops in the strings if they break. The loops are formed with a simple, even and tight twist of the wire. I used to repair broken strings this way if they broke at the saddle, and they usually did break there. I did this with two pairs of coins. One pair to hold the loop and the other pair to do the twisting. Pliers would be easier. Plain strings are the simplest. With wound strings it would be a good idea to twist the new loop before cutting off the old end. Otherwise the string windings could unravel.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 10:07 AM

That sounds handy - easier to find coins than pliars in a hurry, if a broken string meant you have to do an emergency job, though I'd imagine it might be tricky with heavier wound strings, though they don't break too often.

I googled "steel stringwinder", and up came this neat little thing
this, a Waldzither loopwinder

" The one disadvantage about the waldzither is that the strings have a loop at each end. These can be bought commercially in few places, but they tend to cater for just a couple of standard scale lengths, and there is a wide variety of scales, and so string lengths, within the waldzither family. The best solution is to wind your own.
   To this end I have produced a fairly simple and cheap jig on which to wind string loops. I have also found this extremely useful when buying strings for bouzoukis and citterns. Again there are a great variety of string lengths and gauges needed, and one is often forced to buy guitar strings to get the correct gauge. Unfortunately these are usually ball-end strings, and the loops tend to be very small. Now I tend to cut them off and rewind my own loop."

Sounds like what is wanted to do the job. Only £10 plus postage too.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 10:20 AM

If it is a brass ball it can be easily crushed in a vice leaving a nice loop. Wrap ball in thin cloth or paper and crush round part into centre hole.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 01:37 PM

Once you've crushed the ball end, find a mate with a bin wagon and crush the rest if it.

And don't go telling anyone I am a secret banjo player..


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 02:19 PM

I've always found when I.ve tried that, guest, that the loop is just the wrong size or the loop is damaged.

I've never got in the habit of buying strings excep when driven to it. They come quite pricey, too pricey to waste.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 02:23 PM

If the balls are white plastic, I believe they can be crushed with a pair of pliers. Put the ball way back in the pliers, not near the tip.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 04:42 PM

I found this youtube showing a neat little loop maker for use with a portuguese guitar - but the website doesn't seem to include the actual winder as an available item.
But maybe they do sell them

And Here,s a link showing how to do it without any clever gizmo


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: GUEST,rewster
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 06:50 PM

Ta for all the advice :)


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 07:17 PM

If it is a brass ball it can be easily crushed in a vice leaving a nice loop.

You want to time that string break to coincide with failing to sing a high note. Then you can exit the stage saying truthfully "I'm going home to crush my balls in a vice".


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 08:04 PM

On an autoharp, I have threaded the wire back thru the loop and attached the string as if it were a loop. That doesn't mean it will work on all instruments.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Nov 16 - 08:11 PM

Jack - thanks for reducing the thread to that level,
because to anyone with close up eyesight as bad as mine,
at first quick glance the thread title looks like it reads...

"Ball end to lubed tip".... 😜


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: michaelr
Date: 11 Nov 16 - 01:00 AM

I have the opposite problem - bought mandola strings online. The sites don't tell you which sort of end they have.

Any idea where I can acquire some balls?


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: Stanron
Date: 11 Nov 16 - 04:17 AM

michaelr wrote: Any idea where I can acquire some balls?

Off your old set of strings?


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 16 - 10:17 PM

I might try bending them into a loose knot, and then clamping the end in a vice, and tightening the knot into a ball size by heaving on the other end. Might not work.

Or you you thread a small bead on to the string, and work out how to stop it coming off the end. Solder might do the trick.

But the sites I've used to buy strings from do seem to say whether the strings are loop or ball. Try looking around more sites.


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Subject: RE: Ball end to loop tips
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Nov 16 - 12:33 AM

Hello, McGrath. Thanks for your link to a clear and helpful video on how to make a loop that will hold.


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