Where can I find the wooden pegs that Elizabeth Jaxon uses in her Youtube video on how to tie strings. I have the the hardest time with the larger gut strings when trying to tie the knot with string ends.They look to be easier to use.
Sonya, those are pre-cut hardwood dowels, which you can probably find in any hardware store; in the video they appear to be 1 1/2″x 3/8″ birch. That groove in the center is made by gently squeezing the dowel; needle nose pliers work well for this. If expense is no object, ask your string supplier for ready made ones.
I prefer something less fancy (except on my wire harp). For nylon or gut I like a short length of leather boot lace. The knot on thin strings will compress that leather somewhat more than it would a dowel, but up in the treble you don’t have a lot of room for dowels, and in general I consider the latter to be “buzz potential.”
Incidentally if you have to thread the string in from the back it is worth your while to get a pair of long-nose “alligator” forceps. Here is one example:
For the thicker strings you can also help matters along with a very small dab of “Krazy glue” before pulling the knot tight. If those thick strings are greater than 0.040″/1.02mm you don’t really need a spline but if it would make you feel more secure, slip a leather washer onto the string before tying the knot. You can get those also from most string suppliers…or again, make your own from a heavy leather belt.
My teacher uses the small cotton dental pack they use in your mouth when they are working on your teeth. Maybe those would buzz less than the wooden dowels in her video? My dentist gives them to me free. But I did enjoy watching the video. She does a nice job explaining and good close ups. Best of luck to you.
I don’t think anything that absorbs sound, like cotton, is good to put at the end of the string. They dull the sound of the harp. I also would not use glue, ever, because sometimes you have to re-tie or untie the knot. I think that is why we use that strange loop knot, because it can be undone and retied.
I use string anchors made from the thickest diameter pedal harp NYLON string, 5th-octave A. Cut them into one-inch long pieces with diagonal pliers. To me, these are easier to deal with than the gut anchors, and is longer lasting. I have used the same ones over and over again when I have restrung my harps over the years. They are thick and hold up very well.
Happy Spring, everyone!
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