How do you unwind a guitar string?

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by Matt11768, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Matt11768

    Matt11768 SS.org Regular

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    Hello,sorry if this is a dumb question, I am a newbie at stringing guitars, In the past I would go to the local guitar shop and have them changed there but I want to learn how to do this on my own. I am having a bit of trouble trying to restring my 8 string. I have a .090 string that is too thick for the tuning peg, I hear when I search for "string to thick for peg" to either unwind the string or drill in the peg. I do not wish to drill the peg.

    People say to unwind the string, but everywhere I look no one seems to say exactly how do you do this. The metal windings seem too tiny to grab with my fingers. Is there a specific tool I should use for this? Also if anyone has a link to images of this process that would be awesome.
     
  2. KristapsCoCoo

    KristapsCoCoo SS.org Regular

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    I just do this with knife and when I'm able to grab it with fingers, I do it that way until I've unwinded enough. Freaked out a little bit first time I did it, cause I didn't know if it would work out and it seemed kinda hard, but now it works like charm!:metal:
     
  3. MoshJosh

    MoshJosh SS.org Regular

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    I usually take a pair of pliers pinch the very end and pull/ twist a little bit

    And before anyone beats me to it. . . That's what she said
     
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  4. Yo_Wattup

    Yo_Wattup Kick the Butterfly

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    needle nose pliers is what i use
     
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  5. Matt11768

    Matt11768 SS.org Regular

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    thank you guys so much it worked!
     
  6. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Just in case anyone is interested after the fact...

    I have a set of locking pliers. I put the string on the instrument, and then lock the pliers on the string just a little past where it will be wound on the tuner. That ensures that some of the wound portion will be on the tuner post, and thereby prevent unwinding over time.

    Then I unwind down to that point, and then install.

    Too little, too late. Sorry!
     
  7. Dominoes282

    Dominoes282 Mixing Engineer

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    With stubborn strings pick at the wrap with pliers until there is enough to grab with your hands (preferably with some gloves) then hold the string with the pliers pretty close to where you're working then unwrap it. That's been my method and it works pretty well.
     
  8. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I came across this thread searching google. I have to unwind another string to get it through the tuning peg. It's a .150" on a guitar, so I can't drill out the tuning peg. My fear is that if I do it the windings will rattle around once it's cut. This happened before, and ruined the string. So, I'm thinking I should maybe solder it at a point between the tuning peg and the nut. Anyone have any other ideas? It's for my 10 string, and it's going to G#0, so I don't really have the option of going smaller.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    buy some bass tuning pegs. :shrug:
     
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  10. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I'm actually tempted. I just don't think it would work out for the spacing with the other tuners. The ferrule was made for a bass string, which is good, but the saddle is for a guitar, so I already routed the bejesus out of that. Plus, I reeeeaaaalllly want to do it tonight, so I don't want to order a bass tuner, lol.
     
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  11. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Solder should work like a champ. I used to do it to some bulk cheap strings I had when I was young. Every time I cut a ball end off for my Floyds, it’d unwind on these particular strings. I started tinning the ends and it worked like a charm, so I think it’s worth a shot.
     
  12. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Well, that was a bust. I did unwind the string, but the solder wouldn’t take to the inner coils. Maybe they oil or lubricate them?

    At any rate, the core broke when I was tuning it up so I have to get another one. I’m not sure how to get around it, though. I’ll have to ask Skip.
     
  13. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Bummer. I guess there is a rather fundamental difference in your string size vs a .046 that I used to do it on haha
     
  14. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Skip once gave me advice on unwinding a string. He told me to compress the string in a vice at a point and then unwind to that point but no further, the compression being what stops the winding coming loose. Not sure how effective or reliable this is, probably not particularly.
    Do Kalium not do a headstock-end tapered guitar string of the right winding length?
     
  15. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    If the solder won't take, you need to use flux to clean the surfaces. There's different fluxes for different alloys, and some of the specialty kinds can be pretty corrosive. If you do use flux and it does the job, make sure you clean it thoroughly afterward with a solvent.
     
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  16. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, I figured that after I soldered it. What I ideally should do, if this happens in the future, is run some cyanoacrylate over it brefore doing it. Or try to get the flux and solder to go through the winds so it binds the outer winding to the inner winding. Because when the outer winding isn't stiff it gives that weird rattle sound, which is what I primarily want to avoid.
     

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