Urgent stringing question

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    Audrey Nickel on #160046

    Hey all,

    I broke one of the high B strings on my Ravenna last night.

    Briggsie B. Peawiggle on #160047

    I would undo it, run it back through the soundboard hole, take a string end and stick it through the knot, pull the knot as tightly as I could around the string end, and then push it back up and wind it back on the peg. It’s not going to be in tune for a couple of weeks most likely anyway.


    Audrey Nickel on #160048

    I should add, one reason I’m panicking a little is I don’t know if there could be damage to the soundboard, should the string decide to pull the knot through the hole.

    Audrey Nickel on #160049

    Thanks, Briggs…I may try that tonight.

    Tacye on #160050

    Can you find a bead or washer which will not fit through the hole in the soundboard, but is small enough that the knot you tied will not pull through?

    Karen Johns on #160051

    Hi Audrey,

    One of the people at Robinson’s Harp Shop (I think it was

    Audrey Nickel on #160052

    Well, this ended up being an interesting day!

    I got ahold of my harp teacher during our lunch break (the choir retreat was great, by the way…we really worked our tails off, but the sound is gorgeous!).

    barbara-low on #160053

    That knot can be difficult to keep knotted around the string tie.

    Here’s a few tips to make it easier next time:
    Before tying your knot, put the string through the eyelet from the top of the soundboard to the back. (This will only work if you have a pretty good amount of length to the replacement string.) Grab the loose end and tie an overhand knot
    and before closing it off, slip the string tie in.
    Tighten the knot.
    Then make a loop and slip it over the string tie so that it lies next to your first knot. Snug it up. I like to repeat this when the strings get to about .036″ and smaller.
    Look at Figure 7 at the bottom of this article:

    Put some tension on your knot with your right hand and pull the string up to the tuning pin with your left. Let go of the knot when you get to the back of the soundboard. Maintain some tension while you negotiate levers/disks, anchor your string at the tuning pin and bring it up to pitch.

    All done.

    jennifer-buehler on #160054

    Another way of doing it http://www.thorharp.com/pages/string_tying.htm

    Liam M on #160055

    Hi Audrey

    When I was playing with nylon I did a lot of weight testing on the knots and also the cinching pattern on the tuning pin.

    tony-morosco on #160056

    I’m sorry to hear about your knot troubles. I can barely get the knots done correctly after two decades of practice so don’t feel bad.

    But I do want to give you 100 extra harpy points for using the term ‘spline’. Most people don’t even know that is. Well done ;^)

    Tacye on #160057

    I use the same method as Barbara usually- an overhand knot and a half hitch.

    barbara-low on #160058

    I agree with Tacye that as long as the knot holds the kind of knot doesn’t matter. Just don’t have long string ends sticking out everywhere – they can buzz.

    I use Jennifer’s referenced knot for 4th and 5th octave strings, and then the other one for third octave on up. Lost less string ties that way.

    patricia-jaeger on #160059

    One useful tool for forcing a stuck knot out of the soundboard hole, is a large safety pin. Keep one with your other harp tools, just in case. You bend the pin apart so the closure part is in line with the point, so that you have a kind of a handle to hold onto. Put the point of the safety pin trom the front of the soundboard, into the hole; when it stops, that is where the knot has stuck. Push gently but firmly. You haven’t damaged your harp or the string “shoe” on the sounboard string strip

    Briggsie B. Peawiggle on #160060

    Audrey, here’s another little trick so you won’t need two sets of hands. Get some clothespins….the kind with the spring….good strong wooden ones. After you pull the string through the hole, pull it taut and then put a clothespin on it right at the soundboard to hold it tight until you can thread it through the pin at the top.


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