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clayton56
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.

SweetWaterBlue
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.

ichadwick
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.

kissing
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?

Nuprin
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)

mailman
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....

OpAwesome
07-01-2019, 04:32 PM
I'm so glad I saw this. I, too, am an optician- and thought I'd be genius to treat the ends of the strings the same way we do some semi-rimless frames!

UkerDanno
07-01-2019, 05:04 PM
Wow, cool tip! :D:shaka:

kohanmike
07-01-2019, 08:19 PM
Good idea I'm, going to do it.

This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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Swamp Yankee
07-02-2019, 01:07 AM
I always do this to the tag end when I’m tying stopper knots. It makes a nice tidy finish and adds security to the knot. I’m not sure, however, that I would have thought to trust the melted ball to hold a string in a bridge on its own without a stopper knot... but if you say it works.

Lacole
07-02-2019, 04:30 AM
Ernie Ball makes a ball end string for ukulele.

Swamp Yankee
07-03-2019, 01:49 AM
Ernie Ball makes a ball end string for ukulele.

I have a set on a concert uke. It has taken a while for me to warm to them but they are sounding pretty nice now...warm and mellow. They feel nice under the fingers as well.
They’re really just strings with tied stopper knots slipped through plastic “beads”. They are really long, too, possibly long enough for two sopranos if strung carefully.

CommonCurt
07-03-2019, 05:42 PM
I have a set on a concert uke. It has taken a while for me to warm to them but they are sounding pretty nice now...warm and mellow. They feel nice under the fingers as well.
They’re really just strings with tied stopper knots slipped through plastic “beads”. They are really long, too, possibly long enough for two sopranos if strung carefully.

Which of your concerts do you have them on? I have been thinking about trying them myself.

Kenn2018
07-03-2019, 08:28 PM
I have had both plastic and glass beads break on me on my tenors. (I think they had flaws.) Never had it happen with the metal beads I bought at Walmart for $1.24.

Swamp Yankee
07-04-2019, 01:14 AM
Which of your concerts do you have them on? I have been thinking about trying them myself.

I put a set on my Kiwaya KTC-1..... not that it needed to be warmer or more mellow in tone, but I wanted to try them and the KTC-1 needed new strings.
It took a few days for them to settle in, but I kinda like them now.

Jerryc41
07-04-2019, 01:28 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.

Clever! I can imagine a bit of trial and error to get that blob the right size, and that could use up some string.

Jerryc41
07-04-2019, 01:30 AM
Ernie Ball makes a ball end string for ukulele.

Here's his site, but I didn't see the balls.

https://www.ernieball.com/

Swamp Yankee
07-04-2019, 03:23 AM
Here they are... the local Guitar Center has them.

119572

119571

119573

Jerryc41
07-04-2019, 04:08 AM
Here they are... the local Guitar Center has them.

Thanks for that.

Lacole
07-04-2019, 04:18 AM
Here's his site, but I didn't see the balls.

https://www.ernieball.com/

You can find them under Strings, Speciality strings, then Ukulele.

bratsche
07-04-2019, 08:21 AM
I did not know there were eyeglass frames that used nylon line. (Learn something new every day!)

I would imagine a company named Ernie Ball would be remiss if they didn't carry ball-end strings. :)

I'm currently using beads that are neither plastic, nor glass, nor metal on my Tiny Tenor. I found some in my collection from years gone by of mineral beads that were the right size and had holes just the right diameter. I think they're all in the quartz family, so I'm hoping they're pretty durable.

bratsche

CommonCurt
07-04-2019, 08:47 PM
I put a set on my Kiwaya KTC-1..... not that it needed to be warmer or more mellow in tone, but I wanted to try them and the KTC-1 needed new strings.
It took a few days for them to settle in, but I kinda like them now.

So you didn't have any intonation problems on the KTC-1 switching to the thicker nylon gauge, or did you adjust the nut for them?

Swamp Yankee
07-05-2019, 01:20 AM
So you didn't have any intonation problems on the KTC-1 switching to the thicker nylon gauge, or did you adjust the nut for them?

Nothing more than the typical... C string off a hair when fretted at 12th, but it sounds fine

Swamp Yankee
07-05-2019, 02:42 AM
... and nothing was done to the nut to accommodate the wider strings - they fit right into the existing slots.