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Thread: Ball end nylon strings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Ball end nylon strings

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Smyrna, Georgia


    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Collingwood, ON Canada


    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.
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
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  4. #4


    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?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    I've never tried them but Fender makes some ball end nylon strings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    near Rochester, NY


    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....
    Things get better with age. I'm approaching magnificent....

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Minneapolis, MN


    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!
    Your friendly neighborhood optician

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    Wow, cool tip!
    Just Play

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.


    Good idea I'm, going to do it.

    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    SE Connecticut, USA


    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.
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