Using beads on slot bridge

Joyful Uke

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I think I recall a thread in the past on using beads when you have a cranky slot bridge and the knots just don't work well enough. Has anyone done this? Does it cause any damage to the bridge? Did I just dream this in hopes of an easier way to deal with my one cranky slot bridge ukulele?
 

merlin666

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I have some ukes with slot bridges and I like the clean design where the knots disappear below the slots. I can't imagine that beads would be small enough to fit below the slots, and if they stuck out behind the slots I assume it would not only look unpleasant but may also not keep the strings in place. But I have not tried this myself and am not familiar with bead sizes available.
 

Kenn2018

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I had one used slot bridge tenor where the slots had worn enough that the knots I tied in Living Waters strings kept pulling through the slot. No matter how big I made them or what kind of knots I used. Especially the A string, but sometimes the High-g. I had read something in the Forum about using beads to prevent pull-through. So I bought some various sized beads and found some very small ones that fit the space under the bridge just fine.

The slot bridge on a resonator I bought had holes with a slot in the metal of the reso face plate. The edges were sharp on two of the slots and it cut through the strings at night when the cooler air caused them to contract. There were some beads in there rattling around for quite a time before I unscrewed the plate and shook them out.
 

besley

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I have some ukes with slot bridges and I like the clean design where the knots disappear below the slots. I can't imagine that beads would be small enough to fit below the slots, and if they stuck out behind the slots I assume it would not only look unpleasant but may also not keep the strings in place. But I have not tried this myself and am not familiar with bead sizes available.

If you ever do find yourself needing help with a slotted bridge that won't hold a knot, you can find metal beads as small as 2.5 and 3 mm in diameter on eBay. I got a packet of each, and the 2.5 mm are TINY, and would probably fit under any slotted bridge.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/133241568943
 
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KohanMike

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Not that this is the same situation, my bridge has traditional holes, but I used beads because I like how they look in this configuration. They work very well, no wear or stress.

Aklot mine 800.jpg



This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

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Graham Greenbag

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I think I recall a thread in the past on using beads when you have a cranky slot bridge and the knots just don't work well enough. Has anyone done this? Does it cause any damage to the bridge? Did I just dream this in hopes of an easier way to deal with my one cranky slot bridge ukulele?

I also recall this but it might prove difficult to search for. Conversion to a string through bridge is a common solution; whilst they won’t work in all circumstances I like to use very small plain metal washers instead of beads.
 

Joyful Uke

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Tiny beads also work well with thin strings on ukes with classical-guitar-like pin bridges.

"I think I recall a thread in the past on using beads..."

Prolly this: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?129338-Beads-anyone&highlight=string+knot

That must be the thread I was thinking of, since I see that I asked the same question there. :)

So far, I just have to be patient and be willing to break into a nervous sweat to try the knots on the slotted bridge, and since I just did a string change, I'm set for a while. I have no problem with other slot bridges, but one uke is "too ukulelely", to borrow a term from the other thread cited here, (and use the term differently than was used in that thread.)

I like Bill's idea of the soft plastic. Seems like that would be less likely to cause damage, but I might try beads at some point, too. I prefer the look, as merlin666 said, of the design where the knots disappear, but when the strings keep popping out, I'll trade looks for functionality.

It's a great sounding/playing ukulele, but the string change is so annoying on that one uke that I have considered upgrading to a version with a tie bridge. The cost of doing that, however, is outrageous, so that will wait until I win a multi-million dollar lottery. I never play the lottery, so I guess that won't happen. LOL.
 

Peter Frary

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I've been using beads on both my classical guitars and 'ukuleles (pin, slot and string-thru) for many years. I buy them at a bead shop in Honolulu Chinatown (Kimmy's). It's a little hit or miss at first as some beads have sharp holes and cut the strings! But once I found compatible beads I've reused them for years. I prefer jade and ivory beads. Plastic beads tend to break under tension and glass is too sharp.

Hirade_TH8SS_bridge_3217sm.jpg
 

Joyful Uke

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I've been using beads on both my classical guitars and 'ukuleles (pin, slot and string-thru) for many years. I buy them at a bead shop in Honolulu Chinatown (Kimmy's). It's a little hit or miss at first as some beads have sharp holes and cut the strings! But once I found compatible beads I've reused them for years. I prefer jade and ivory beads. Plastic beads tend to break under tension and glass is too sharp. [/img]

Good to know about jade or ivory, (is ivory for sale legally these days?) vs. the possible problems with with plastic beads or glass beads.

Have you found that the beads cause any damage to the bridge? That's one concern I have about trying it.
 

Kenn2018

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Good to know about jade or ivory, (is ivory for sale legally these days?) vs. the possible problems with with plastic beads or glass beads.

Have you found that the beads cause any damage to the bridge? That's one concern I have about trying it.


Ivory: Elephant, Hippo and Walrus ivory have very strict regulations about it's sale and use.
Mammoth ivory (usually from the permafrost in Russia) can be bought and sold. But there are regulations concerning that as well. And the ivory is very expensive. I have seen the term "ivory" used for the tusks of Wild Boars.

Most likely the beads are made of a synthetic or faux ivory. Often a polymer mixed with minerals to closely mimic the characteristics of elephant ivory. But there are other formulas on the market as well.

Jade beads can also made from synthetic processes. Or poor quality stone that is dyed to enhance its color.
 
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