November 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm #147031catherine-rogersParticipant
For me the most difficult are the first octave, as I find it easiest to put the string in from the top of the soundboard and then make the knot. It’s hard to get that thin nylon to hold the knot taut until tension is put on it, so I put the loops of the knot around the string anchor so they hold it in place long enough to reach the back of the soundboard. When they tighten, they do make extra loops around the anchor and I have found the string is also less likely to break as you wind it up to pitch.November 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm #147032
While on the subjet of knots, I’m wondering how many people “patch” broken strings. I do it all the time, mainly in the 5th octave where the strings are so expensive, but also sometimes in the 4th. I have patched strings on my own harp that have been there for several years(with the patch). So it works really well and greatly extends the useable life of the string.November 17, 2011 at 3:10 am #147033eliza-morrisonMember
I’ve heard them referred to as anchors, splines, toggles, and slugs!November 17, 2011 at 3:14 am #147034unknown-userParticipant
I’ve never patched a string myself, but the concept intrigues me. Could you explain exactly how it’s done? Also, did you include this in your book? I can always look there too.
~SamNovember 17, 2011 at 3:42 am #147035catherine-rogersParticipant
I used to patch strings in college but no longer. With rising costs, though, I may do it again!
There is a diagram on pages 40 and 41 of the Lawrence/Salzedo Method for the Harp. You can only do it between the adjustable nut and the tuning pin. Try to use strings that are as near as possible to the same diameter. It looks similar to when you grip your forearms with the opposite hands.
The strings lie parallel. Each ties once around the other. When tension is applied, the knots pull against each other. Clip any excess lengths coming from the knots so they don’t buzz against the string. Wind onto the tuning pin as usual.November 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm #147036
That’s a good explanation Catherine. There has to be enough string so that when you tie the patch, the knot is above the adjustable or stationary nut. So the string you are patching has to have broken at the very bottom, near the knot, or the very top, near the tuning pin. To get some extra length out of the string to be patched, I use a figure 8 knot at the bottom instead of the usual knot which uses more string length. If you don’t know how to tie one, google figure 8 knot. Patched strings work just fine and sound completely normal. And what-the-heck, if you can add a year or more to a strings life, that’s a good thing.November 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm #147037
It occurred to me after posting this that the knot that you use to patch the string is also a figure 8 knot. So you use that for the two knots to patch the string and also for the knot at the bottom if you need more length.
A figure 8 knot is just an overhand knot with a twist, literally. With a simple overhand knot you make a loop by crossing the end of the string over itself and then push the end through the loop. With a figure 8 knot you do the same thing initially. But once you have made the loop and before you push the string end through it, you twist(or rotate) the loop a half turn and then push the string end through the loop. Practice on a piece of rope a few times until you get the hang of it.
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