Author Topic: string instrument loop  (Read 4931 times)

dbertels

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string instrument loop
« on: October 26, 2012, 01:07:20 PM »
I am looking for the best way to tie a loop at the end of a string (for a string instrument such as a violin or banjo). Usually you can buy the string pre-looped, but it would be handy to create my own strings. The material is either nylon or steel string.

thanks,
Dirk

[Inkanyezi] gone

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Re: string instrument loop
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 02:06:20 PM »
For a violin it is a bit trickier than for instruments where you can attach the string directly to the bridge. When strings are attached to a guitar, it is usually something akin to the timber hitch, i.e. you pass the string through the hole, then you take it back and make a backhand turn around the string where it enters the hole and then you pass the end a few turns in a spiral around itself where it lies on top of the bridge. Best then is to pass the end under where the string makes its first turn from the hole over the bridge, which is the place with best nip.

So it is dependent on the fastening method.

For the violin, you usually want to have a "pearl" at the end of the string, to insert it through a fork-like hook where micro-adjustment can be done with a screw. Various stopper knots are suitable for this purpose, and I would prefer a barrel-like stopper. One easy way to achieve it is to double the end upon itself and wind a few turns back down to where it is turned back, then pass the end through the loop at the bottom and pull tight. You might want to stop the knot from unwinding, by making one half hitch where you start winding it back toward the end.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 02:54:54 PM by Inkanyezi »
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dfred

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Re: string instrument loop
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 02:07:33 PM »
It seems fixed loops are used for this purpose on the banjo.

For non-metal strings, a Perfection Loop (aka Angler's Loop, ABOK #1017) would probably work fine:

http://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/perfection-loop/

While the above knot can be tied in fine steel wire, it doesn't always draw up nicely and seems to significantly weaken the wire.  A little searching turned up this page showing how a loop can be formed on a banjo string:

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Strings/Loops/loops.html

While this looks like a nice little tool, I was able to form a similar loop with a small vice and a pencil to tension, twist, and hold open the resulting eye loop.  Depending on the jaws of your vice, you may want to pad them with some tape to avoid damaging the string.

dbertels

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Re: string instrument loop
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 09:12:01 PM »
Thanks for the info, especially on the perfection loop - which works ok, but fiddly for tying little loops at the end of stiff nylon strings. My loop needs to be for the gut  and silver-wound nylon strings of a zither banjo (gauge ranges from 0.02" to 0.03").

I also found this 'double knot' loop for the double bass string:
It is easy to tie though I'm not sure as to its integrity for smaller strings.

roo

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Re: string instrument loop
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 09:59:54 PM »
Thanks for the info, especially on the perfection loop - which works ok, but fiddly for tying little loops at the end of stiff nylon strings.
Try this method:
http://notableknotindex.webs.com/perfectionloop.png

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dbertels

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Re: string instrument loop
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 12:55:34 AM »
Just as a follow up, I ended up using the said 'double knot' as used by double bass players as can be viewed at
Tried many others, but the stiffness of the material and limited length (sellers only supply enough length so they can economise on gut string) proved too much of a handicap for the other knots.

The strings seem to hold their pitch well.