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Tinning strings


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I read this and was wondering if anyone has tried it and how the strings react...


This is a bit of work if you change strings often (and a labor of love if your repairman does it for you). Using a hot soldering iron with 60/40 resin-core solder, tin each string's wrapping at the ball end. This keeps it from slipping or tightening like a hangman's noose at the tailpiece. "Tinning" is the process of lightly pre-coating an electrical lead with solder and letting it cool before making the final solder joint. Well-tinned string wraps should shine like silver and never be gloppy or heavy with solder. The use of a 40-45 watt iron will enable you to get on and off the string in a flash, without overheating it. The low-wattage (15-25 watt) hardware store soldering irons will not work as well.

Guitar Repair Guide


I was thinking of practicing with old strings.

all chucks children are out there playing his licks


*Bob Seger

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Heating up a string enough for it to accept solder might ruin the temper and make it brittle.


I probably wouldn't do this as I've never (in 50 years) had a problem with the nut end of a string unravelling.



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The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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this technique is for keeping the ball ends tight when using a non locking trem. for increased tuning stabilty.


Oh... ok. I didn't know it was a wang-bar fix.


hmmm.... what a PITA. I also have been playing since the 1960s and I've never heard of this. I don't say that it won't work, just that as far as I can tell I've never needed it.


I also agree that heating a string up to a temperature to properly accept the solder is likely going to make the string more brittle and prone to breakage, but how -much- more brittle is a question for a metalurgist, and with all of the different string compositions out there, the answer will likely differ from string type to string type.



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I would have to agree with you Bill.


I use D'Addarios. They've been making strings for years and I would say they know a thing or two about doing it. If tinning the ball ends produces better results, I'm sure they would have come up with an appropriate product a long time ago. Who knows? Maybe they have... since I don't use wang bars, it doesn't concern me.

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Yeah, would definitely make the sting brittle and more prone to snapping. I would think that the chances of a heated string snapping are far higher then the chances of the ball coming off.


not so much for preventing the ball from coming off but rather to keep the slippage on the ball end to a minimum.

but there is a better way... use bullet end fender strings.

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Its an old wifes (ok, guitar wifes tale). Tinning a string would also change the physical, magnetic and electrical characteristics of the string. You also create a weak spot where the string bends over the bridge making the sting prone to break.


Tinning the string at the bridge end would also lessen the vibrations transmitted to the wood itself.


Does anyone here remember freezing your strings" before putting them on?




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Ya... I have that book of his where this is mentioned and it didn't make any sense to me at all. I use bullets on the Strat so it doesn't apply and the others I've never once had a problem of that sort with.


It's amazing how often you can pick up a guitar with a string job from hell knowing it just isn't going to stay in tune.


Or hear somebody tune down to where they need rather than below and then back up.


Those string bender things do de-stress the windings and are a good idea. So is stretching them out before tuning in.


Soldering balls?

I don't think so.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.


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