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Thread: Strings Breaking - Thinking Required

  1. #1
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    Default Strings Breaking - Thinking Required

    I converted an Enya tenor into a resonator, and it sounds fine, but it has a problem. The strings tend to break where they contact the cover plate. It's not especially sharp, but I've had several strings break at that point. I'm going to have to think of a way to protect the strings from the edge of that metal cover.

    008.jpg 008A.jpg
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  2. #2
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    First off, that looks really cool!

    Now about your problem....If I'm looking at this correctly, I see how that'd be a problem/stress point for sure. Have you tried taking a small round file, or maybe even folder up sandpaper and running it over that edge and smoothing where the string comes out? That would be my first step.
    My first thought, before seeing it was fitting in a small piece of leather or even felt to cushion it, but not sure how you'd get those to stay in the holes. Hm...Simple hot glue might even work, but I know you don't want to ruin the look either.

  3. #3
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    Another approach could be to add a wood "string stop" bar (or whatever it's called), as is used on the Beltona resonators. Then you'd just have a stopper knot up against a hole in the wood.

    Last edited by besley; 01-20-2020 at 04:58 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jer View Post
    First off, that looks really cool!

    Now about your problem....If I'm looking at this correctly, I see how that'd be a problem/stress point for sure. Have you tried taking a small round file, or maybe even folder up sandpaper and running it over that edge and smoothing where the string comes out? That would be my first step.
    My first thought, before seeing it was fitting in a small piece of leather or even felt to cushion it, but not sure how you'd get those to stay in the holes. Hm...Simple hot glue might even work, but I know you don't want to ruin the look either.
    I think it's the thinness of the metal that's the problem, more than the rough edges.

    I was thinking of what material I could put in there to protect the strings, and as I was removing the strings, I got an idea: strings. I could glue small pieces of uke string into each slot so that the actual strings would be resting against string fragments.

    I also considered the approach that besley mentioned, since I had seen that on other resonators. I have some mahogany I could use. If I do that, I'll have to remove the cover plate. Another concern is the angle of the strings from the saddle to the cover plate. If the strings aren't at enough of an angle, there won't be enough tension on the saddle. I suppose I could have the strings run right into the bottom of that wooden retainer.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I converted an Enya tenor into a resonator, and it sounds fine, but it has a problem. The strings tend to break where they contact the cover plate. It's not especially sharp, but I've had several strings break at that point. I'm going to have to think of a way to protect the strings from the edge of that metal cover.

    008.jpg 008A.jpg
    I've had that problem on two occasions (different resonators with similar string attachment). First one was fixed by using emery paper in the hole on the edge. Never had another snap. The second one that didn't work. The way I fixed it was to tie the knot in the string then wrapped a thin sliver of packing tape around the end just above the knot and enough to cover the string at the point it engages with the metal work. First go, didn't work. Extra wrap of tape DID work!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmaz View Post
    I've had that problem on two occasions (different resonators with similar string attachment). First one was fixed by using emery paper in the hole on the edge. Never had another snap. The second one that didn't work. The way I fixed it was to tie the knot in the string then wrapped a thin sliver of packing tape around the end just above the knot and enough to cover the string at the point it engages with the metal work. First go, didn't work. Extra wrap of tape DID work!
    Thanks! I like that wrapping idea. I have some duct tape lying around somewhere.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 01-20-2020 at 06:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Thanks! I like that wrapping idea. I have some duct tape lying around somewhere.
    i figured it was essentially the same as the cotton wraps you get around the ball end of some guitar strings and lots of bass strings!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmaz View Post
    i figured it was essentially the same as the cotton wraps you get around the ball end of some guitar strings and lots of bass strings!
    Looking at images online - and my other three resonators, that wooden strip seems to be standard.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    .....I also considered the approach that besley mentioned, since I had seen that on other resonators. I have some mahogany I could use. If I do that, I'll have to remove the cover plate. Another concern is the angle of the strings from the saddle to the cover plate. If the strings aren't at enough of an angle, there won't be enough tension on the saddle.....
    I've wondered about that too, but I think the need for a sharp downward angle on the bridge is way overstated. I've looked at a few National resonators in the shops and been amazed at how shallow the break angle was, and they sounded fine. In the guitar world I've seen a minimum angle of 15° mentioned, and that isn't very much.
    Last edited by besley; 01-20-2020 at 07:22 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Could you duct tape the metal instead of the strings? Discreetly and out of sight.

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