PDA

View Full Version : Broke the same string again after a very short time of play. Any help?



Dane
09-02-2008, 01:38 PM
MGM was kind enough to send me a replacement string when my A string broke. I just got it today and after 2 hours of fingerpicking and some very light chords... it snaps again in the same location (I believe right at the nut, or at least close)

I put in an email to MGM asking him this same question. But do you guys know why it might be breaking? I thought it could be from an edge in the nut that's too sharp.

deach
09-02-2008, 01:39 PM
Are you sure you're not tuning it an octave higher than you should?

Dane
09-02-2008, 01:45 PM
I make sure that I'm not, I check tune the entire time that I'm tightening the string up after putting it on. I'm very scared of overtightening. And it feels just as taut as the other strings when I get it finally in tune. when I try to look down the nut from the fretboard it does look like there might be a very slight bit sticking out. But I'm afraid of attempting to sand the notch until I know exactly what's wrong. I also don't know what kind of sandpaper I'd need to use.

SuperSecretBETA
09-02-2008, 01:59 PM
If it snaps at the nut, it most likely has to do with the nut. Post some pictures.

Dane
09-02-2008, 02:05 PM
I don't have a macro lens with me, so you really wouldn't be able to see anything. Should the end of the notches be rounded down? If you know what I mean.

Dane
09-02-2008, 03:37 PM
the real question i should be asking is should the groove shape exactly to the string? Because it's kind of V-shaped. But it is with the others, and G is doing fine. I just don't get it. I'd rather not have to resort to putting some spitball in the nut.

uluapoundr
09-02-2008, 05:02 PM
Try using a piece of the broken "A" string and run it through the nut, if it frays or gouges the string, you got a sharp edge. I've read welding tip cleaners work well at cleaning up the nut of sharp edges. Perhaps a local guitar shop can do it for you.

Dane
09-02-2008, 05:12 PM
Try using a piece of the broken "A" string and run it through the nut, if it frays or gouges the string, you got a sharp edge. I've read welding tip cleaners work well at cleaning up the nut of sharp edges. Perhaps a local guitar shop can do it for you.

That's a good idea thanks! And I read about the welding cleaner things (http://chiyostrings.blogspot.com/2007/05/amateur-lutherie-on-cheap-nut-groove.html)

I'm always afraid of taking my uke to a guitar shop, am I just being silly? I'm starting to think more and more that I am..

Dane
09-03-2008, 02:14 PM
You most likely have a sharp edge on the nut either at the front (most likely) or ta the back. Take off the strings and get a magnifying glass and look at the string slot. Get somehting hard small and pointy (toothpick) and slide it down the string slot and see if it catches on the lip wither in the front or back. If it catches you will have to sand down the lip, be careful to keep the string slot at a right ange to the edge. You only want to get rid of the sharp bump up. You want a clean 90 degree edge with no burrs. If you have the string slot slope downwards and end up with a greater than 90 degree edge you can get bad buzzing and no sustain on an open string.


Use 400 or 600 grit sandpaper very lightly or if it is a large lip and you are careful, you can shave off the lip with a straightrazor and dress it smooth with the sandpaper. Just go easy and check it often with the mangifying glass and toothpick. Clean everything well so you don't leave any grit.

You ought to check the other stings around the vicinity of where they exit the nut to see if they are nicked. You might have a smaller problem there also.

A trick I learned is to take a sharpened pencil and rub it on the bottom of the string slot to lubricate the strings and help not to damage them when youi reinstall.

Just remember to keep the edge square and work slowly, while checking often. GOOD Luck

My god now I really don't want to do it! haha

rayan
09-03-2008, 02:19 PM
You guys are really fast at answering questions! When your strings break, make sure to make a note of where they snap. If they appear to be breaking near the headstock and if you stretch the broken string and it lines up with the nut, then you probably have a sharp edge.

Dane
09-03-2008, 02:26 PM
They're aquilas, so it almost reached the nut, and there was a bit of string left over on the peg. So if it wasn't at the nut, then it was very close, and I don't know where else would have snapped it. It's not coming out of the nut at a harsh angle or anything.

deach
09-03-2008, 02:27 PM
Are you using a steak knife to strum?

rayan
09-03-2008, 02:30 PM
They're aquilas, so it almost reached the nut, and there was a bit of string left over on the peg. So if it wasn't at the nut, then it was very close, and I don't know where else would have snapped it. It's not coming out of the nut at a harsh angle or anything.

That sounds like a sharp edge in the groove in the nut. My Taylor guitar had the same problem. Strings are constantly running over those grooves in the nut and if there's a sharp irregularity, it weakens the string at that point like something taking a dull knife to some rope. Try and take a light file and try and smooth out that groove. Don't go too hard though because it might mess up the action.

Dane
09-03-2008, 02:30 PM
Only for twinkle twinkle little star. The rest of the time I use a meat cleaver.

Dane
09-03-2008, 02:50 PM
It looks like there is a very small bit that sticks up, MAYBE, on the fretboard edge. But I don't have any sanpaper of 320 grit or higher.

Dane
09-04-2008, 04:48 PM
Well I got the sanpaper! But I thought the strings were coming today. Hopefully tomorrow!! I had no idea how bad my uke sounded for the longest time, I always thought it was my playing, I can't wait to try different strings on my new uke.

Dino
09-04-2008, 09:15 PM
dane, also make sure that your string has enough play to run through the nut. If the groove is too small, if the string cannot move easily forward or back then you are going to snap the string.

Dane
09-05-2008, 05:27 AM
If it's too slotted? Ah ok, thanks :)

Dane
09-05-2008, 11:20 AM
It's doesn't matter the type of pencil does it? (Thanks btw I would have forgotten)

haole
09-05-2008, 02:02 PM
I had the same problem with my old Telecaster. I would shred high E strings like crazy, until I filed down the nut. Unfortunately I went too deep and ruined the action. The string pretty much just plunked against the frets until I replaced the nut with a Tusq. Hopefully you don't run into something like that. Be sure to let us know how it works once you restring it.

Dane
09-05-2008, 05:31 PM
Yeah the strings should be here any day. I ordered em Sunday, but that was a weekend, and then monday was a holiday. So I'm really hoping tomorrow. I'm sorta going crazy, having it, but not being able to play it. (except for the songs that I made on it, but that's because I only had 3 strings to work with) I can easily just spitball the notch, and it won't cut for sure, but that really doesn't look nice, maybe I can do it more subtle-like though.

Dino
09-06-2008, 12:24 AM
If it's too slotted? Ah ok, thanks :)


What I actually meant to say was if the string doesnt easily fall into the groove and you have to kind of force it in there, the groove is too small and the string wont have any play when tuning or stretching which will probably snap it.

jkevinwolfe
09-06-2008, 01:58 AM
The V shaped slot should be fine. I had read V-slots are bad but then talked to a uke luthier who told me he did all V-slots and never had a problem. I recently had to deepen the nut slots on my uke and used a v-shaped needle file. The sound is fine and no strings broken since.

SuperSecretBETA
09-06-2008, 01:54 PM
My A string just broke above the nut at the head while resting in my case!!! What in the world happened?! These were new Ko'olau gold strings.

Dane
09-06-2008, 03:13 PM
It could have been nicked before? And just now it finally popped... maybe.

I just got my strings today, I put on the Worth clears to try out first, they sound great on my mahogany tenor, really really nice.

SuperSecretBETA
09-06-2008, 08:31 PM
I shot Michael a message, and he decided to send me a new one. Once again, MGM pulls through.

SuperSecretBETA
09-12-2008, 02:14 PM
What the... I just got the replacements strings (he sent two). I placed my ukulele back in my case after replacing the string, and then I felt a sharp pain on my hand. Sure enough, the replacement string whipped me. The first one snapped in the exact same spot about a centimeter above the nut within 15 minutes. Should I even try the other string?

Dane
09-12-2008, 05:01 PM
run the broken pieces of string through the nut, and if its smooth enough they should slide through without getting scuffed up at all, run it through a few times and put good amount of pressure on it (Like if the string were strung on it) and then pinch it between your fingers and slide your your hand down it, feeling if it messed up the string at all.

SuperSecretBETA
09-15-2008, 05:26 PM
It wasn't the nut. It was the tuner all along.

SuperSecretBETA
09-23-2008, 10:13 AM
Sharp edge on the tuner hole?

Yeah, the repair shop guy said it probably had a microscopic bur in it. He just used a metal file and some sand paper. I had him lower the action at the nut as well since it was kinda high.

grappler
09-25-2008, 07:15 AM
crap!! im also experiencing this. It happened to me twice!! 2nd time i used the same string, but now that its broken i dont have a spare set of strings! spewin bad! now i cant play the ukulele for a week..
i had the D'addarios but i've just ordered the worths clear!
lets hope time off the uke wont get my all rusty!!

i hope this doesnt happen to me again =]

tuscadero
06-13-2009, 05:01 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to reply to thank UU once again. I have been snapping A strings on my Fender like mad. The last one snapped in less than a day. I searched the Forum, took a real close look at my tuner peg and I'm pretty sure that I've got a rough edge rubbing those strings raw. Big props to UU. I'm off to buy a metal file tomorrow.

Pippin
06-13-2009, 05:06 PM
You guys are really fast at answering questions! When your strings break, make sure to make a note of where they snap. If they appear to be breaking near the headstock and if you stretch the broken string and it lines up with the nut, then you probably have a sharp edge.

+1000 on that. Absolutely. I'd suspect that it is the nut. Either you have a sharp edge or a bad angle somewhere there.

Pippin
06-13-2009, 05:07 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to reply to thank UU once again. I have been snapping A strings on my Fender like mad. The last one snapped in less than a day. I searched the Forum, took a real close look at my tuner peg and I'm pretty sure that I've got a rough edge rubbing those strings raw. Big props to UU. I'm off to buy a metal file tomorrow.

Do you have a drill? If so, I'd skip the file and go for a rotary nylox wheel. It is a deburring and polishing tool. A file might make the problem worse.

ichadwick
06-14-2009, 01:50 AM
You can also buy a set of "hobbyist" files at most hardware or tool stores, and even in some craft stores. These are small files for delicate work, usually good for metal as well as wood. I've picked them up at prices from $8 to $20 CAD for a set of four-six files.

There are some other small files sets sold in auto supply stores for cleaning spark plugs and other small engines items.

I keep a couple of flat flies from these sets in a ukulele kit bag to smoothe rough fret edges and nut grooves.

tuscadero
06-14-2009, 11:53 AM
Just a quick follow up. I went to my local Daddy's Junky Music to pick up a replacement set of strings. I mentioned to the sales guy that I was snapping A strings at the tuner peg and asked if he had any experience with that. A customer interjected and suggested that I use a wound string as a file. Basically, you "floss" the hole with the wound string and it files down any rough spots. I've given it a try and restrung the uke with some D'addarios and so far so good. I'll let you know if anything changes, (or snaps).