String Cutters

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    eliza-morrison on #188246

    What tool do you use to cut and trim gut strings? Do you use a different cutter for wire strings, or the same one? I’ve bought some tools recently which have proved to be a disappointment. Anyone have specific brands to recommend?

    Gretchen Cover on #188247

    I use mini-wire cutters. They are available at craft stores, fabric stores, and hardware stores for under $10.00. Mine have rubber coated handles for good gripping and a bright color to find them easily. I don’t think a brand matters as long as the cutter is sharp. One harpist I know uses toenail clippers. I must confess I am too lazy to change the wire strings and leave that to the harp tech. You would need larger wire cutters for the very low strings but mini cutters would work for the thinner wire strings.

    Donna O on #188248

    Eliza, I use rubber handled wire cutters I purchased at the hardware store. They are full sized and will cut anything from nylon to gut to your largest wires. I concur with Gretchen, brand doesn’t matter as long as they are sharp.

    emma-graham on #188249

    Nail clippers here! I have wire cutters for the wires. They were my Dads and he gave them to me when I first had a wire break. They do the job easily. I’ve never really thought about them! I too have the wires changed by the tech. but every now and then one breaks and I have to do it myself.

    Tacye on #188250

    Definitely nail clippers for gut and nylon and wirecutters for wires.

    patricia-jaeger on #188251

    When Henning Christiansen(Danish-American) was President of Lyon and Healy, in the early 1970’s, a number of us signed up for bringing our harps to a facility in my town. He had us put our pedal harps on tables there, with the top of the column fully cushioned, the removable base part protruding over the edge, and the harmonic curve vertically in the air with the kneeblock at the highest point, where we secured the stability of the harp in this position with strong tape that tied the harp firmly to the table. The purpose of this learning session was to learn how to replace felts on our harps. The charge included a plastic roll-up kit($35.made by WACO Products Co.and likely used for small tools in other trades, also) that included this strong tape, a screwdriver in removable sections with different metal ends for different -sized screws; 7 replacement felts; a razor blade for removing old pedal felt a special broad-nosed pliers with a wire-cutting slot on its side made by Sargent & Co., New Haven, Connecticut; a needle-nosed pliers; and several other small tools useful for pedal harpists.There are 15 sections in the roll-up kit and over the years I have added items I thought to be useful. Leaving the roll-up kit at home, I only need with me on playing engagements that broad-nosed pliers plus a C tuning fork, and a complete set of extra strings (with string-anchors and a pair of tiny fold-up scissors (available from fabric stores). He could demonstrate each step of changing felts on one of the harps and walk to each of us to judge our work. That experience has been well worth it over the years.

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