Stuck harp knot

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    unknown-user on #160022

    The tiny stick dropped out of my knot as I was replacing the string, and the knot went up the hole and got stuck! I can’t remove it anymore. What should I do?

    unknown-user on #160023

    Hi Anne,

    I would try these three things –

    1) If it appears that the knot could be pulled through, gently do so, but don’t do much more than a gentle tug.

    2) Do the same from the back if it looks like the knot could come out that way – just grab the string (on the front_ and push on it.

    3) You can always try needle nose pliers in the back – but be careful not to bang the harp or do any other damage

    Do any of this gently

    FYI the “tiny stick” is called an anchor. 🙂


    barbara-brundage on #160024

    Get a nail a little smaller than the hole and push back out from the front side of the soundboard.

    tony-morosco on #160025

    Last time that happened to me I was able to push it back out with a tapestry needle.

    Sid Humphreys on #160026

    The needle is a good way to get it out. Just be sure to cut the string first to release all the tention.

    patricia-jaeger on #160027

    A medium-size safety pin can work well, with some bending so that the non-pointed part becomes a handle for you to hold onto. Push from the outside of the harp, toward the back.

    unknown-user on #160028

    i’ve tried everything that’s been suggested on the page but the knot is still very firmly stuck! does anyone else know any other way?

    carl-swanson on #160029

    Which string is it? Pedal or lever harp?

    unknown-user on #160030

    pedal harp, 5th octave D string.

    carl-swanson on #160031

    In that case, I would just drill the string out. Here’s how to go about it. You’re going to have to unstring a lot of the strings below D5 so that you can position the drill correctly. Unwind each of the wire strings until they are slack. Then, without straightening the string out, remove the string from the tuning pin using needle nose pliers. When it’s time to reinstall those strings, make sure you wind the string on the same way, so that the loops and curves of the string end are positioned on the tuning pin the way they were before. If you do that, the string won’t break when you pull it up to pitch.

    When you have enough strings out of the way to position an electric drill at the D5 hole, remove the C5 string completely and find a drill bit that slides easily into that string hole. Cut the D5 string flush with the eyelet. Now put the bit into the drill and run the drill down through the eyelet. Run the drill very slowly at first to grind up the visible string end and find the center of the string eyelet. Once the drill bit is securely in the hole in the eyelet, just run it all the way down the hole until it comes out on the underside of the soundboard. That will clear the hole.

    All of this makes me wonder what kind of knot you made in the string. For a D5 string you don’t need any cross piece. And the hole in the eyelet and soundboard should be just barely bigger than the diameter of the string. I can’t imagine how a 5th octave string knot was able to pull up into the hole.
    Before you put another string in there make sure you are tying the knot correctly.

    carl-swanson on #160032

    One more question. Where are you(and the harp)?

    unknown-user on #160033

    no where near a harp technician, there aren’t any in singapore..

    unknown-user on #160034

    thanks for the advice, i will try it later and hope i don’t mess up.

    it’s a camac harp and the hole is pretty big. there was a cross piece but i lost that anchor to the string so i used a 5th octave G string instead. Somehow the anchor fell out and i guess the knot wasn’t secure in the first place. unfortunately i only found out that it happened today, when i was about to replace the string.

    carl-swanson on #160035

    If the hole is that big then maybe you can just push or hammer something smaller than the hole through and push the knot back out the back.

    andy-b on #160036

    You can email Camac directly for advice as well, if you’d like. They have an email link on their website, and I’ve found them to be very helpful in the past.


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