Make your own
Loop End Strings
© Frank Ford, 1/12/00; Photos by FF, 1/12/00
Lots of instruments, including most banjos and mandolins, use steel strings with loop ends. Unfortunately, not all music shops have a full selection of individual loop end replacement strings. If you have difficulty finding the appropriate gauge or type of loop end string, you can make your own by removing the ball from a ball end string. After, all a loop end string is the same as a ball end one, except that there's a brass cylinder (not really a "ball") held in the loop.
You can also twist a loop in the string, either by hand or by "machine." Twisting loops by hand is a little rough on the fingertips, but it certainly does work.
Here's a slick little old-time tool:
It's about as simple as it can be - a pair of pliers with an attached hook and crank.
To make a nice loop end on my string, all I have to do is clamp the string in the jaws of the pliers, and crank up the string:
After trimming the loose bit of the string, I have a perfect loop end:
In case you're wondering, I bought this nifty tool for $60.00 from Ron Fernandez, of Fernandez Music (www.fernandezmusic.com).
|This is Ron, playing a Portuguese guitarra, which uses special strings with loops formed on both ends. The little string winding tool is a virtual necessity if you have an instrument like his!|