View Full Version : Ball end nylon strings

09-19-2010, 12:54 AM
just a little hint, something we learned stringing eyeglass frames which use nylon line.

A knot is big and unsightly, so we would melt the end with a match and a ball forms on the end of the string. Try not to light the string, just melt it, and you usually get a nearly perfect ball.

Since taking up uke I have tried this with strings, and it works here, too. Fat strings that are hard to knot are easy to melt into a ball end. For fat strings you can just thread it through the bridge and the ball holds it.

For skinnier strings the ball may be too small, so these you still have to tie. But a ball on the end keeps the tie from pulling through like a knot, only without extra string sticking out.

09-19-2010, 01:15 AM
You can also go to a crafts store and buy a bag of small beads, which come in a gazzillion shapes and sizes for less than $5. You tie them onto the end of the string. There are hundreds in each bag.

09-19-2010, 02:03 AM
Another alternative is to use glass beads, available at any craft supply store.

Oops. Edit time. I just saw the post above me with the same comment. I have some notes on using glass beads on uke strings on my Web site. They can enhance the tone a bit, too.

09-19-2010, 02:20 AM
This causes me to be curious as to why only steel strings come with ball ends from the factory, and nylon strings are always tied, when ball ends would make life easier..
Is it due to tradition, or to save costs?

09-19-2010, 03:44 AM
I've never tried them but Fender makes some ball end nylon strings. (http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-130-ClearSilver-Classical-Nylon-Guitar-Strings-Ball-End-?sku=423227&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=461001884)

09-19-2010, 11:57 AM
When melting nylon strings to form a ball....

Don't hold the flame under the string, hold the string under the flame. Much easier to control the melting process, much less likely to burn yourself. Bring the string up under the flame and control the melting by varying the proximity....