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String end injuries

Postby Kev Adams » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:12 am

My missus picked up my acoustic yesterday to move it, and pronged herself on the end of one of the strings. She complained volubly. I explained that you have to be careful putting your hands anywhere near a guitar headstock. So: two things...

1 She suggested the manufacture and marketing of little 'string end safety covers' to prevent similar terrible injuries. I pointed out as many of the drawbacks to this idea as I could think of, principlally though the fact that there are so many different gauges out there. She is adamant it's a good idea so I said I'd see what you guys think.

2: Over the years I've tried various ways to render the string ends harmless- folding them over neatly against themselves, cutting them very short, leaving them a bit longer and thus flexible. They always get you in the end. Anyone got any top tips?
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Re: String end injuries

Postby Music Wolf » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:37 am

Kev Adams wrote:My missus picked up my acoustic yesterday to move it

Sounds as though they did their job. Maybe in future she'll learn how to hoover around it.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby Kev Adams » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:56 am

Music Wolf wrote:Sounds as though they did their job. Maybe in future she'll learn how to hoover around it.
Lucky for you she laughed when I read that out to her...
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Re: String end injuries

Postby ef37a » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:03 pm

My last boss was the neatest bloke I ever saw. All his guitars had the strings jee'ust cut back so they did not stick out and prang you!

I am your typical untidy 'tronics tech (the breed is noted for it!) and my bench use to make him ill!

You would have though that the wit of man could have come up with a machine head that had a repository for the errant ends?

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Re: String end injuries

Postby Dynamic Mike » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:54 pm

Steinberger?
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And of course there must be something wrong. In wanting to silence any song.


Re: String end injuries

Postby BigElectricCat » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:57 pm

Music Wolf wrote:
Kev Adams wrote:My missus picked up my acoustic yesterday to move it

Sounds as though they did their job. Maybe in future she'll learn how to hoover around it.

Brilliant! I laughed out loud when I read that one!
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Re: String end injuries

Postby dubbmann » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:29 pm

i used to loop the free inches into a coil and tuck the end into the post hole, until an acquaintance luthier made merciless fun of me for the practice. so now i just cut the ends as close to the post as possible, and found myself another luthier to hang out with.

cheers

d
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Re: String end injuries

Postby PSR » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:27 pm

Get her to knit you a guitar head cosy, sort of a cover with holes in the side for the machines to poke through. Hey - we've got an invention - let's go down the patent office!
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Re: String end injuries

Postby DoItAgain » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:44 pm

One of my old teachers taught me to just twist the excess end of the string back and forth through 180-or-so degrees (with the 'bend' created close to the post) until it breaks cleanly and with absolutely no sharp end exposed. Works a treat and I've been doing it this way for over 15 years now.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby grab » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:00 pm

There are machine heads available which have a hole down the centre. You measure up the string to take a guess at how long it needs to be, then cut off the excess. Kink the end so that the end goes down the hole and the string comes out of the machine head slot as normal, and that's job done.

Downside is that it's a bit more fiddly, and of course there's the risk of cutting the string too short. Or if you cut the string too long then you need to unwrap everything and start again, although the same is true for "normal" machine heads too, of course.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby intense » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:50 pm

There are machine heads available which have a hole down the centre
... indeed, as found on most models of Fender Strat and Tele.

They're really easy to use: measure the string to the required machine head plus two and put a right angle bend in it with a pair of pliers. Then cut the end half an inch from the right-angle bend with a pair of wire cutters, poke the end into the hole in the machine-head capstan and wind. No exposed sharp end.

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Re: String end injuries

Postby Dan Bo » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:25 am

Erm.... Why pick a guitar up by the headstock in the 1st place

I have some guitars on stands near the plug sockets for my Amp and computer and have to lean down to turn everything off at the wall, everytime i do I'm at eye height with the headstock and am very paranoid about getting a string end in the eye (wince), so they are always neatly trimmed. But other than that i find no other problem with them.

They do bloody hurt if caught when changing a string(s) but i reckon protecting the fingers is probably the most fool proof way of avoiding injury. Maybe a metal Thimble in the shape of a bell so you can get some leverage on those tricky ends close to the machine heads. We could market that idea..... maybe call them ... Bell-ends

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Re: String end injuries

Postby Mixedup » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:01 pm

hot-melt glue gun. blob on the end of the strings. sorted
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Re: String end injuries

Postby Kev Adams » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:34 am

Whoo- some choice responses here folks, thanks...

DoItAgain wrote:One of my old teachers taught me to just twist the excess end of the string back and forth through 180-or-so degrees (with the 'bend' created close to the post) until it breaks cleanly and with absolutely no sharp end exposed. Works a treat and I've been doing it this way for over 15 years now.

This sounds v. interesting. Will give it a go. I suppose I've always been wary of snipping too near the capstan, in case of slippage, which is stupid really- the strings never slip if they're properly fitted, once they've taken up all the slack, do they?

Mixedup wrote:hot-melt glue gun. blob on the end of the strings. sorted
Genius! Thanks for that too.

Dan Bo wrote:Erm.... Why pick a guitar up by the headstock in the 1st place Dan

I know- I've told her. What more can you do?

PSR wrote:Get her to knit you a guitar head cosy, sort of a cover with holes in the side for the machines to poke through. Hey - we've got an invention - let's go down the patent office!
Mrs A loves knitting- I'll put this to her. Cut you in 50/50 on the profits!

intense wrote:
There are machine heads available which have a hole down the centre
... indeed, as found on most models of Fender Strat and Tele.

They're really easy to use: measure the string to the required machine head plus two and put a right angle bend in it with a pair of pliers. Then cut the end half an inch from the right-angle bend with a pair of wire cutters, poke the end into the hole in the machine-head capstan and wind. No exposed sharp end.

Chris

Yes, I was thinking of those too- but I really can't be arsed with changing all the machines on all my guitars!
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Re: String end injuries

Postby ef37a » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:37 am

Just remembered.
Our lead guitarist used to keep his fag on the end of a string so it was not long into the night before all the ends were nicely protected with dead tippers.

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Re: String end injuries

Postby DoItAgain » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:24 pm

Kev Adams wrote:
DoItAgain wrote:One of my old teachers taught me to just twist the excess end of the string back and forth through 180-or-so degrees (with the 'bend' created close to the post) until it breaks cleanly and with absolutely no sharp end exposed. Works a treat and I've been doing it this way for over 15 years now.


the strings never slip if they're properly fitted, once they've taken up all the slack, do they?


Agreed, they don't.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby zenguitar » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:04 am

DoItAgain wrote:
Kev Adams wrote:
DoItAgain wrote:One of my old teachers taught me to just twist the excess end of the string back and forth through 180-or-so degrees (with the 'bend' created close to the post) until it breaks cleanly and with absolutely no sharp end exposed. Works a treat and I've been doing it this way for over 15 years now.


the strings never slip if they're properly fitted, once they've taken up all the slack, do they?



Agreed, they don't.

Nope, but it's embarrassing if you have to slacken them for some reason (like setting intonation, adjusting the truss rod for seasonal adjustments, replacing pick-ups, or whatever).

I like to leave a couple of cm/an inch of string sticking out. I put a few 90 degree bends in the string to wrap it over the top of the post and leave the end pointing towards the face of the headstock.

But pain is nature's way of saying... 'you shouldn't have done that'. When Mother Nature teaches you a lesson, you learn from it and don't do it again

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Re: String end injuries

Postby Edd M » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:33 am

Get a fancy hercules wall hanger - I've got loads.

And I've never hurt myself =)

I also have locking tuners on my mine guitar, which means you can get the end VERY close to the post, and they look alot hotter =)

In the end though, why would you pick it up by the headstock??? I fully agree with that! I've never seen anyone try to pick up my Mums double bass by its head (roll), so why a guitar? An instrument that is obviously made to be held at the neck!

I also enjoyed the 'she'll learn to hoover around it' option =D
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Re: String end injuries

Postby jaminem » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:07 pm

Simple solution.

Ditch the guitar and take up the bass, no string ends as they go down the hole in the machinehead, and its only got 4 strings so its easier.

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Re: String end injuries

Postby Folderol » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:12 pm

What I don't understand is why anyone would want to injure a string

'k I'm gone.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby Kev Adams » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:49 pm

Edd M wrote:Get a fancy hercules wall hanger - I've got loads.

I have hangers but not enough to go round (several 6-strings , a 12-string and an octave mandola) so there's usually a guitar lying around in the way somewhere- I'm a lazy swine.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby Wonks » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:52 pm

I've found that just cutting the string end off very close to the post works for me. Need a good pair of small side cutters with a flat cutting edge (one flat & one angled rather than both cutting edges angled) to let you get really close to the post. Still doesn't stop the end pinging into your hand when you take the string off again though.

I find using the Fender split tuners fine until I get to the top E, when the string end always kept coming out when I tried to then wind the rest of the string round the post. So I always keep a collection of halved cocktail sticks handy, poke one down the hole once the bent string end is in. There are then no problems with the string end coming out when winding it on.
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Re: String end injuries

Postby DragonLogos » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:02 pm

ef37a wrote:Just remembered.
Our lead guitarist used to keep his fag on the end of a string so it was not long into the night before all the ends were nicely protected with dead tippers.

Dave.

Can only imagine the shock and horror of anyone in the US reading this - LOL
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Re: String end injuries

Postby DragonLogos » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:12 pm

If you do cut off the extra bit of the strings, or even the old strings... have a good use for cleaning and adjusting the water washers in cars, you know the little jet thingies that spray the water up onto the windscreen... and its normally the thicker ones(13) rather than 09 that do the job

And here's just a money saving tip... sometimes when your car / truck tyres keep going flat its not always a puncture, it could be the valve is old and worn... there is a funny looking key thing that you can get from auto shops, together with a few valves (very cheaply) and replace them yourself at a petrol station
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Re: String end injuries

Postby dougzi » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:36 am

Man, I have found that is simply unavoidable. I'll tell you one thing, never leave a guitar on a stand where it can be tripped over. Went to sleep one night and got up (very lose underwear) and walked straight over it in the night, making a little slice in my bits!!!
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Re: String end injuries

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:02 am

zenguitar wrote:But pain is nature's way of saying... 'you shouldn't have done that'. When Mother Nature teaches you a lesson, you learn from it and don't do it again


I wish I'd met you many years earlier than I did Andy - your advice might have saved me from many an injury


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Re: String end injuries

Postby Kev Adams » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:38 am

dougzi wrote:Man, I have found that is simply unavoidable. I'll tell you one thing, never leave a guitar on a stand where it can be tripped over. Went to sleep one night and got up (very lose underwear) and walked straight over it in the night, making a little slice in my bits!!!
Yikes!
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Re: String end injuries

Postby humandrums » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:01 pm

corks on the ends or marshmallows.... mmmmm marshmallow
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Re: String end injuries

Postby DAGGILARR » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:17 pm

zenguitar wrote:

But pain is nature's way of saying... 'you shouldn't have done that'. When Mother Nature teaches you a lesson, you learn from it and don't do it again

Andy

She will continue to offer this lesson until the desired learning outcome has been achieved
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Re: String end injuries

Postby starsky55 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:03 am

At last some common sense,my missus always asks me to move my guitar off the sofa so she can sit down,never did then when we forst got married.
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