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Strumaround
07-14-2018, 01:00 AM
I've got a through the bridge uke and wondered if people here just use a knot in the string, or use a glass bead?

I have some 4mm glass beads, but I wondered if using beads inside the body of the uke might potentially cause any damage, or change in tone? Or indeed, are beads better and more likely to hold the tuning, than simply knotting the strings?

robinboyd
07-14-2018, 01:06 AM
I've got a through the bridge uke and wondered if people here just use a knot in the string, or use a glass bead?

I have some 4mm glass beads, but I wondered if using beads inside the body of the uke might potentially cause any damage, or change in tone? Or indeed, are beads better and more likely to hold the tuning, than simply knotting the strings?

The string-through uke that I own came with beads, so that's what I use. If it didn't then I would just use knots. I don't think it really makes a difference.

DownUpDave
07-14-2018, 01:41 AM
I have a few ukes with string through bridges. I have used both beads and knots alone in the strings with equally good results. I think beads are probably better because it will distrubute the pressure evenly from string to strings. They prevent the possiblity of pull through on the thin A string

Jerryc41
07-14-2018, 01:57 AM
I've got a through the bridge uke and wondered if people here just use a knot in the string, or use a glass bead?

I have some 4mm glass beads, but I wondered if using beads inside the body of the uke might potentially cause any damage, or change in tone? Or indeed, are beads better and more likely to hold the tuning, than simply knotting the strings?

I don't like the strings being held in place by just a knot. That's my one objection to bridges that Martin and many others use. I have older ukes with worn bridges, and I need large knots. I like through-the-top strings, and I like having beads, rather than knots.

stevejfc
07-14-2018, 02:29 AM
Beads are a bit more work than just knots, but I believe they offer more stability.

Lapyang
07-14-2018, 03:25 AM
I don't like the strings being held in place by just a knot. That's my one objection to bridges that Martin and many others use. I have older ukes with worn bridges, and I need large knots. I like through-the-top strings, and I like having beads, rather than knots.

I think the same as Jerry, I dislike strings just being held by a knot. It feels unsecured especially on the A string. I cringed when I needed to tune it up during the break it period.

bsfloyd
07-14-2018, 05:15 AM
Not to venture too far off the topic, but what size and where are you beads users using and purchasing from? Is 4mm about the standard? Do these fit in the soprano Martin style slotted bridges or only string through style? Thanks.

M3Ukulele
07-14-2018, 05:24 AM
On my Tiny Tenor I’ve tied both knots and beads. They both work fine. I agree with Dave, the beads I think are more stable and I have had a A string pull thru. I also use the string tie block on other tenors and may pick up a set for the TT. They are so simple with a few loops and bam, You are done. I like the idea of distributing the pressure.

BradKlein
07-14-2018, 05:27 AM
Forgive my inexperience. I've only seen what I'll a call the Martin style bridge with a groove at the rear edge, and the much rarer, pin bridge used on high end Washburns (functions like a steel string guitar with pins through the bridge and top). Is there a third (fourth? fifth?) type?

bratsche
07-14-2018, 09:20 AM
I save the ball ends from my used viola strings to use as "beads" with my Tiny Tenor.

bratsche

besley
07-14-2018, 02:39 PM
The Enya I purchased last year came with metal ball ends (as found on steel strings), but I thought I'd try just using knots instead. Big mistake, as the knots got stuck in the holes, and were a real pain to get out. After that experience I would only use a bead or ball end.

Lapyang
07-14-2018, 03:00 PM
Not to venture too far off the topic, but what size and where are you beads users using and purchasing from? Is 4mm about the standard? Do these fit in the soprano Martin style slotted bridges or only string through style? Thanks.

I buy my beads at crafts stores like Micheal's. A string of beads (about 50 counts) costs about 2-3 dollars.

ripock
07-14-2018, 04:54 PM
If I ever got one of those ukuleles, I would just use an ashley/stopper knot. My current ukuleles have the hole through the bridge (although not the hole down into the sound board) and I suppose I could use a stopper knot for them but I just use the regular figure-eight knot such as is demonstrated from around 3:25 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWXzUTXx80s

Strumaround
07-14-2018, 04:59 PM
Not to venture too far off the topic, but what size and where are you beads users using and purchasing from? Is 4mm about the standard? Do these fit in the soprano Martin style slotted bridges or only string through style? Thanks.

I use 4mm on my slotted Maton, because they fit nicely in the 'groove'. But I'm thinking that that may be too small for a through the bridge?

Also, is something flatter/disc shaped, rather than round a better option for sitting flat up against the inside soundboard of the body of the uke?

besley
07-14-2018, 05:45 PM
If I ever got one of those ukuleles, I would just use an ashley/stopper knot. My current ukuleles have the hole through the bridge (although not the hole down into the sound board) and I suppose I could use a stopper knot for them but I just use the regular figure-eight knot such as is demonstrated from around 3:25 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWXzUTXx80s

Being a sailor myself, the Ashley Stopper knot is of course the knot I tried, but the bridge plate was so soft that the knots still got caught. I can't see any downside to using a bead, so why not use one?

https://www.animatedknots.com/ashleystopper/

ripock
07-14-2018, 07:09 PM
Being a sailor myself, the Ashley Stopper knot is of course the knot I tried, but the bridge plate was so soft that the knots still got caught. I can't see any downside to using a bead, so why not use one?

https://www.animatedknots.com/ashleystopper/

No reason whatsoever. And if a bead doesn't work, try a washer or a flange; do whatever you need to.

Strumaround
07-14-2018, 07:54 PM
What I did find, is that small wooden beads often shattered when the strings were tightened. I'm wondering if plastic/silicon/other artificial material might be best?

TopDog
07-14-2018, 10:00 PM
Beads for me on my one string-through instrument. It came that
way and I have kept to the set up it had on completion! It is a
hand built sopranino made by a talented friend of mine, and what
he decided works, worked for me too!

bsfloyd
07-15-2018, 12:48 AM
I buy my beads at crafts stores like Micheal's. A string of beads (about 50 counts) costs about 2-3 dollars.


I use 4mm on my slotted Maton, because they fit nicely in the 'groove'. But I'm thinking that that may be too small for a through the bridge?

Also, is something flatter/disc shaped, rather than round a better option for sitting flat up against the inside soundboard of the body of the uke?

Thanks for the tips!!

Ukecaster
07-15-2018, 04:26 AM
Needed this on a uke, didn't have any beads handy, but did have a big jar of assorted buttons, so I used 4 small buttons, with large knots. Not sure if they are sitting flat against the top, but works for me.

ripock
07-15-2018, 04:53 AM
just for clarification: are we talking about tie-bar bridges? I made my previous comment assuming we were talking about bridges with pins. However, my comment still remains unchanged: all you need is a knot, but use a bead if that makes you happy, or use some other thing like a button or a washer. I personally use knots only because it is simpler and, I must admit, I rather like the little tails that stick out beneath (or is it above since it is further from the nut?) the bridge.

Kenn2018
07-15-2018, 06:32 AM
I use small metal beads purchased from Walmart. About $2.00 for about 20 beads. They have flat ends with round bodies and work great for my ukuleles with pin bridges as well as through-the-body.

On the through-the-bridge/body, the beads also make it easier to retrieve the string ends at the sound hole.
For the pin bridge, my A-string had worn the hole in the bridge a bit and was pulling through no matter how big I made the knot. The smallest sizes metal bead worked perfectly. So, I used them on all of the strings.

rrieth
07-15-2018, 07:00 AM
I assume you mean the stringing method where the string goes vertically through a hole in the bridge and instead of being secured with bridge pins, and is tied inside of the body of the instrument.

I will share my experience restringing my sister's Kmise uke which has this type of bridge. One of her strings broke and she was unable to feed it back through the soundhole to remove it. It turned out that all 4 strings were tied together under the bridge in one big overhand knot at the factory and needed to be removed as a unit.

The holes through the bridge are large enough that I would have to tie a massive stopper knot in each individual string to keep from pulling it through the bridge when brought to tension, so with great trepidation I went by the factory template and tied all 4 string ends together in a humongous figure 8 knot and restrung the uke.

I am not a luthier, engineer, or have credentials to be considered an expert.

Initially this method seemed just one of those production shortcuts that high volume manufacturers use to cut costs. On further reflection i seems to me that this method would distribute the string tension under the bridge over a larger area than individual knots and have the added benefit of preventing strings popping through the bridge from a slightly undersize stopper knot as happened on my banjo uke several times.

I have never seen this method recommended. The only downside I've seen so far is that it's not possible to remove and replace an individual string without disturbing the other strings. I'm hoping more experienced members will chime in. On a gut level it just seems so wrong.

Nickie
07-15-2018, 11:59 AM
My Cocobolo Ukulele has through the body stringing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It seems to be the most reliable method of bridging.
It came with nice thick Aquila strings, and i changed them to thinner Worth strings.
I don't know where to get ball ends, or how to use them, so I tied a short piece of the old C string into the ends of the A and G strings, so they wouldn't pull through, and it worked just fine.

UkerDanno
07-15-2018, 01:03 PM
When I restrung my 8-string with string-through bridge, it already had beads, but if it didn't I would have used them. I dropped one and couldn't find it, so I tied 2 together. I just tied the knot around the bead. Next time I change strings, I'll have to get more beads probably from Michael's. My Islander and Kanilea with pin bridges also use small beads, just a little more security. Get beads with a hole just big enough for the C string or G string, if you use low G.

robinboyd
07-15-2018, 01:09 PM
just for clarification: are we talking about tie-bar bridges? I made my previous comment assuming we were talking about bridges with pins. However, my comment still remains unchanged: all you need is a knot, but use a bead if that makes you happy, or use some other thing like a button or a washer. I personally use knots only because it is simpler and, I must admit, I rather like the little tails that stick out beneath (or is it above since it is further from the nut?) the bridge.

Neither. We are talking about string-through bridges. They are a different beast altogether.

Nickie
07-15-2018, 02:15 PM
String-through bridge image :D I recently converted this one from a traditional tie bridge.

I would LOVE to know just exactly how you did that!
(If it's not a secret)

Jeffelele
07-15-2018, 03:29 PM
Also, is something flatter/disc shaped, rather than round a better option for sitting flat up against the inside soundboard of the body of the uke?

I’ve been using popsicle sticks. Cut them into 4 pieces sized to be a bit too small for them to touch each other
by checking them on top of the bridge. Used dremel to cut. Then drilled (Dremel) smallest hole to fit string through and knotted it.

Took a few tries to make without cracking but at $.88 per hundred I still have enough left for several future lives.

After several string changes I haven’t had one crack with use. It’s only theoretical but I like the wood to wood connection spread on largest surface possible.

If you have the cutting and drilling down to no losses you can use the dry end of a popsicle stick and get a free ice cream with your purchase of a ukulele accessory! This may be the best deal ever!

robinboyd
07-15-2018, 03:34 PM
If you have the cutting and drilling down to no losses you can use the dry end of a popsicle stick and get a free ice cream with your purchase of a ukulele accessory! This may be the best deal ever!

I like your thinking!

Swamp Yankee
07-16-2018, 12:57 AM
I’ve been using popsicle sticks. Cut them into 4 pieces sized to be a bit too small for them to touch each other
by checking them on top of the bridge. Used dremel to cut. Then drilled (Dremel) smallest hole to fit string through and knotted it.

Took a few tries to make without cracking but at $.88 per hundred I still have enough left for several future lives.

After several string changes I haven’t had one crack with use. It’s only theoretical but I like the wood to wood connection spread on largest surface possible.

If you have the cutting and drilling down to no losses you can use the dry end of a popsicle stick and get a free ice cream with your purchase of a ukulele accessory! This may be the best deal ever!

I envisioned a similar solution when someone in another thread suggested converting a tie bridge to a string through bridge... but my idea was to use an old piece of piano key ivory, as I have quite a pile of that stuff.

Swamp Yankee
07-16-2018, 01:10 AM
But as to beads, I like the glass beads as they are highly polished and are thus less likely to have sharp burrs in the edges of the holes which can slice through a string pretty quickly. Also, the wooden beads I've tried have not been hard enough.. the G and A strings eventually cut through them. I've taken to using 8mm glass beads in tie bridges.

On my pin bridge Kanilea Islander, I use the ferrules from discarded guitar strings. The ones they use on Elixirs, in particular, are nicely machined and have no burrs.

UkerDanno
07-16-2018, 07:29 AM
On my pin bridge Kanilea Islander, I use the ferrules from discarded guitar strings. The ones they use on Elixirs, in particular, are nicely machined and have no burrs.


Isn't that what they come strung with? (Not necessarily the ones used on Elixirs, just that type of ferrule.)

Yeah, I think so, I'll have to ask my guitar player friends to save their string ends.

Was looking for beads on the web and thought these were interesting!
http://www.michaels.com/john-bead-superduo-two-hole-czech-glass-beads/M10549064.html?dwvar_M10549064_color=Lava&dwvar_M10549064_size=24%20g#start=11

UkerDanno
07-16-2018, 02:39 PM
Please take a cautious approach when purchasing beads, you might end up catching BAS :D

:biglaugh::uhoh:

Melusine
07-18-2018, 07:53 AM
My Cocobolo Ukulele has through the body stringing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It seems to be the most reliable method of bridging.
It came with nice thick Aquila strings, and i changed them to thinner Worth strings.
I don't know where to get ball ends, or how to use them, so I tied a short piece of the old C string into the ends of the A and G strings, so they wouldn't pull through, and it worked just fine.

Read this with interest as I've just acquired my first through-body strung uke. I'm also a harper and we use small segments of thicker strings to brace knots inside the harp soundbox - the only thing that can be tricky is preventing the segment sliding out of the knot before the string gets up to tension: strings can be very slippery! I might go for beads on my uke just because they seem an easier option (on a harp you can see what you're doing & reach inside much more easily).

Joyful Uke
07-18-2018, 08:04 AM
Looks like 4 mm beads are what people here are generally using. They seem to come with different hole sizes, though. Any suggestions on that?

captain-janeway
07-18-2018, 09:11 AM
String-through bridge image :D I recently converted this one from a traditional tie bridge.

Is this a special bridge or what? All the ukes I have seem to have ties on them. I'm guessing I'm confused here. I just restrung one of mine and copied the old knot that was on it. thanks
110536

Swamp Yankee
07-18-2018, 09:38 AM
Is this a special bridge or what? All the ukes I have seem to have ties on them. I'm guessing I'm confused here. I just restrung one of mine and copied the old knot that was on it. thanks
110536

here's a tie bridge with beads 110537

captain-janeway
07-18-2018, 09:52 AM
here's a tie bridge with beads 110537

Thanks. So just a little knot on a bead. Learning to match the knot was kind of fun. Actually I had a harder time getting the string to thread the headstock properly so it ran flat

Swamp Yankee
07-18-2018, 11:40 AM
Thanks. So just a little knot on a bead. Learning to match the knot was kind of fun. Actually I had a harder time getting the string to thread the headstock properly so it ran flat

I tie a figure 8 knot as a stopper and that suffices for the C string. The other, thinner strings, I tie the figure 8 and then thread the free end through the bead once more so the knot won't pull through the bead.

captain-janeway
07-18-2018, 11:56 AM
I tie a figure 8 knot as a stopper and that suffices for the C string. The other, thinner strings, I tie the figure 8 and then thread the free end through the bead once more so the knot won't pull through the bead.

Thanks. Maybe I'll try that next time. I kind of like the way the twisted knots look. I think I can see that long term the knots may wear on the wooden holes because they're so tight

Kenn2018
07-19-2018, 10:10 AM
Looks like 4 mm beads are what people here are generally using. They seem to come with different hole sizes, though. Any suggestions on that?

Smallest hole that will accommodate your thickest string.

Swamp Yankee
07-19-2018, 03:06 PM
Has anyone tried using overhand loops as stopper knots in the thin strings when using the blasted ferrules that usually come with pin or through-string bridges? I'm looking for something even bulkier than Ashley stopper knots, so I don't have to tie the strings to the ferrules (or go hit-and-miss shopping for beads). I tied a spare string of the thinnest gauge I use into an overhand loop, and it appears the knot would be bulky enough, but my ferrules are all in use and I'm not ready to change strings again, so I haven't run a test...

With the thin strings, I just tie a figure 8 stopper, slip the ferrule on and then feed the free end back through the ferrule twice and cinch it tight. The result is three widths of string all jammed into the hole in the ferrule and it holds tight.

Oh.. and for added security, I also light a candle and carefully melt a "mushroom" on the tag end after tying the stopper....that way the stopper knot is less likely to slip....essentially I'm melting a stopper knot for my stopper knot

DPO
07-20-2018, 01:05 PM
Here's another method from Ken Timms :D


http://youtu.be/I-rBcbXqql0

Ken's a fisherman.☺