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Thread: Kanile'a/Islander Bridge Pin Slots Face Backwards?

  1. #1
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    Default Kanile'a/Islander Bridge Pin Slots Face Backwards?

    I looked through a few threads but I couldn't find an answer to this question.

    I dimly recall someone saying the slot/groove in the pin is supposed to face "backwards" away from the headstock. Is this correct? I just got a GL6, and as I was trying to tune, the string popped out (but the pin didn't fly out). The slot/groove in the pin (which seems really big) was facing towards the headstock. I thought making the knot bigger would solve the problem, but then I vaguely remembered the slots should be turned backwards, unlike steel string guitars. Is this correct? And is it true for all Kanile'a/Islander bridge pins, such as on my guilele?

    Despite experiencing near death experiences, nothing gives me PTSD like snapping strings and bridge pins flying out.

  2. #2
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    On guitar, the slots face forward (towards headstock). The string flies off if the knot fails or is too small.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by clear View Post
    On guitar, the slots face forward (towards headstock). The string flies off if the knot fails or is too small.
    Right, which is why turning them backwards feels weird. I don't understand why they even have slots if they're supposed to face backwards.

  4. #4
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    Slot does indeed face away from the headstock as Joe explains here:


  5. #5
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    Check out Joe's video on how to change strings for your Kanile'a ukulele.

    https://youtu.be/TeZ6S8Pp1ww

    I use a small bead on the end of the a and high-g strings after the very thin fluorocarbon strings I was using pulled through no matter how big I tied the knots.

    You beat me to it Pmorey!
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmorey View Post
    Slot does indeed face away from the headstock as Joe explains here:
    Thanks for the video. As much as I love Joe and Kanile'a, the pinned bridge is the one feature that I don't like. Of course one can also buy different bridge pins without slots.

  7. #7
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    Backwards or forwards, I think the main thing is that the knot (or bead) is against the side of the pin so that it's wedged into the hole, and not below the end of the pin which tends to pull it up and out of the hole.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  8. #8
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    Thanks all. My GL6 is an Islander. I don't know if this means the bridge construction is different from the Kanile'a, but I peered into a couple holes and didn't see any groove for the string. So when I turn the pin "backwards" (it came to me facing "forward"), there's no space to fit together with the string into the hole. It's already a tight fit as it is. I don't think I can get the string and pin in together without facing the pin slot forward.

    I'm still perplexed about why the slot/groove on the pin is so large and why it's even there at all if the pin is supposed to be turned around.

    I might just pick up some new pins with smaller slots. Anyone know if Kanile'a/Islander pins are the same size as guitar pins?


    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    I use a small bead on the end of the a and high-g strings after the very thin fluorocarbon strings I was using pulled through no matter how big I tied the knots.
    Thanks for the tip, it was the 1st string that popped out. Apparently, there was already a sort of bead at the end, and when I tried to tighten the string, the knot squeezed through the bead's hole and through the pin slot (the pin didn't move) and popped out. The bead is more like a really flimsy cap, and it didn't hold the knot. Can I ask where you found beads for this, that can fit through the pin hole?

  9. #9
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    The regular "steel string guitar" way of using bridge pin bridges is that the string has a ball end on it which gets trapped/captured under the bridge and then the slot in the PIN, allows the string to pass through while the ball end is held under the bridge.

    The Kanile'a way is that there is a slot on the headstock side of the bridge pin hole, and its this slot section that you use to hold a knotted string under because ukulele strings don't normally have ball ends.
    What Kanile'a have done is create an under saddle slotted bridge. Because the string is held in the slotted section, the bridge PIN can be turned around with the pin slot facing the other way which more securly captures the string.

    In reality what you should do is make sure that the knot in the string is firmly captured in the slot and then the pin is nothing more than decoration. I guess that this is also a little fiddly to do so inserting the bridge pin with the slot facing backwards helps to ensure that the string is properly captured in the slot.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    The Kanile'a way is that there is a slot on the headstock side of the bridge pin hole, and its this slot section that you use to hold a knotted string under because ukulele strings don't normally have ball ends.
    What Kanile'a have done is create an under saddle slotted bridge. Because the string is held in the slotted section, the bridge PIN can be turned around with the pin slot facing the other way which more securly captures the string.
    After the video and advice, I started unwinding the strings to check if the pins are all facing forwards or backwards. But I stopped after the first two pins, because there didn't seem to be any grooves or channels in the holes for the strings. I understand there's a slot down under for the knot, but from what I can tell, there's nothing along the side of the hole. The pins fits rather tightly, and I have to give it a good push to get in (or pull it out). I don't think it would fit with a string between the pin and hole unless there was some groove or channel for the string to go in. I don't know if just the Kanile'as have the groove/channel in the holes and maybe the Islanders don't. The videos and advice I've seen always demonstrate or refer to Kanile'a models and not Islanders.

    I've taken advice I found on other threads and tried to tension the string slightly without the pin so make sure the string is seated, before pushing the pin in, but the little bead/cap on the knots are domed, and seem to slip out of the slot underneath. The wide channel along the pin means the knot can more easily pop out.

    I think the solution is the get better beads. I'm thinking about replacing the pins too, even though this is the cheaper GL6.

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