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Helpful Tip For Wound Gut Users

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Will Kelly, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    So, I just received in the mail a very nice, very clean looking Red-O-Ray wound A string (thanks mate!).

    Once installed, I noticed the string was buzzing... the core had shrunk away from the winding.

    So, what the heck, says me. Time for an experiment. Got a quart ziplock bag, wound the string so the fabric wound ends were not in the bag, and poured olive oil liberally in the bag. Several teaspoonfuls, so there was plenty to go around. Made sure the entire surface of the string got oil nice and all over it.

    I left it for half an hour. Pulled it out, wiped it down and re-installed it. The buzz is GONE! As a side benefit, I also wiped off a lot of dirt when wiping down the string.

    Thought I would share, since there didn't seem to be much positive or negative about oiling wound guts.
  2. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC

    There has been some discussion of whether or not oiling wound strings was worthwhile. I was of the opinion that it prolly wouldn't do much- thinking that it might not penetrate the windings- but that discussion was regarding strings installed on the bass.

    Regardless, you can't argue with success! :)

    Please keep us apprised of how it works out over time.

  3. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I've done the same thing, except with a real wet sponge and for a week-the idea is to get the core to swell, and moisture sometimes works wonders. I wonder if putting a wound string in a steamer might accomplish the same thing.
  4. Oh, yeah, we did let that thread die. I took the position that oiling the wound strings was okay, and I still do it. I have noticed that my rag comes away with dirt on it.
  5. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Is the string swelling in half an hour, or is the fluid filling the void? Just asking, though I don't know how you'd be able to tell.
  6. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    I would think that the core would have to be swelling, as any unabsorbed oil would (in theory) either dribble out by gravity or be forcibly ejected by the string's vibration...

    It would also stand to reason (I think) that if the oil were not absorbed, any change from the initial pre-oiling state would be short lived.


  7. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    I think the core is swelling also. Since putting the string back on yesterday, there has been no residual oil come off the string or end up on the bass.

    I think that old Red-O-Ray could probably have absorbed more, but I didn't want to push the envelope too far right out of the gate.

    If the buzz comes back from shrinkage, I will leave it in oil for a longer period of time next time and note the results.
  8. superman


    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    I useto oil my gut strings but really found it not to help,,I find that sanding the plain ones help more than oil,,after all gut is like rawhide ,its dried,,oil really doesnt penetrate it,,and I know from working on saddles that its useless to oil a rawhide coved tree,As far as the wrapped RedO rays,,really moisture will do the same thing as oil,,they will swell just a bit,,but you have to remember that once the core has swelled out and then shrunk the wrap does not shrink back and if you oil them,,that will repell moisture,and they might not swell as much,,that is why most wrapped guts are wound with thread before the wrap,,this helps to take up the difference,, I useally use my good wrapped guts in the summer or when the humidity is high,, and try to avoid useing them in the dry part of winter.

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