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Picked up a tiny sliver in my finger from strings last night

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mkandolf, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. mkandolf


    Nov 21, 2007
    Saint Clair, MI
    Was playing at practice last night and brought a couple basses I hadn't tried before. One was still pretty new with the original strings on it, thinking they were D'Addario Round Nickels.

    When I grabbed that one halfway through practice I picked up a sliver or two off the strings in the tip of my one finger on my left hand. I've NEVER had this happend before. Hurt so bad I quit using that finger. Too small I couldn't see it at all to remove it but it let me know it was there.

    Anyone else deal with this? Anything you do to new strings to prevent this? I've been playing for years and this is the first time this has happened to me. How the heck do you get the little thing out if you can't see it?
  2. I have never had this happen to me, nor heard of it happening to anyone else (although I have wondered about it form time to time, and if it's a possibility).

    Are you sure it was the strings? It just seems weird, given the manufacturing process, that this could happen.

    Anyway, sorry to hear about it. Do you have a magnifying lens? It would be helpful for splinter removal, as well a string inspection, to see if you can locate where the splinter came from.

  3. TomA1234


    Jul 27, 2009
    Fareham, England
    what about a magnet? I think nickel is magnetic so if it is from the string you should be able to pull it out with a magnet. failing that a magnifying glass, needle and fine nose tweesers should solve it.
  4. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I have had this happen to me once before and wow does it hurt.

    You may take a piece of a Scotch Brite pad and run lightly up and down the strings.
  5. mkandolf


    Nov 21, 2007
    Saint Clair, MI
    Thanks! It hurt for a day but it must have wiggled it's way out. I'm taking a pad down every set of strings from now on! Just did it to a set of half-rounds I put on the same bass to replace those strings.
  6. At basic room temperature even a room on the moon, the only magnetic metal is ferrous iron/steel.

    But since (for example) Rotosound just told me that even their nickel is about 65% nickel, there may be some ferrous metal alloyed to it. They won't tell the secret ratios of the metallurgical make up of their strings - but I have an e-mail telling me of the percentage of nickel in them.

    But - nickel is NOT magnetic.
  7. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    metal slivers in the fingers are awful. last time it happened to me I dug it out slowly with a sewing needle. I put some toothache medicine on it before digging to deaden the nerve endings
  8. WOW - apparently it DOES happen to others. This is the first I've heard of it. Crazy.

    I hope it never happens to me, as it sounds like a recipe for suck.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  9. Vintage Guy

    Vintage Guy

    Feb 26, 2008
    Got a sliver in my pointing finger on my right hand several weeks ago. Thought I got it out. My finger was still sore a week later. Dug another small piece out on Saturday. Hope that is all of it. Got to play Friday night. That was off of a brand new set of GHS Bass Boomers.
  10. trowaclown


    Feb 26, 2008
    Iron Steel Nickel and Cobalt are magnetic.
  11. There are 3 ferromagnetic elements: iron, cobolt and nickel.

    There are many more alloys that are magnetic, as well as some magnetic materials that loose their magnatism with heat treatment.
  12. trowaclown


    Feb 26, 2008
    I stand corrected.
  13. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    Never thought about using toothache medicine, thanks for the tip!
  14. If you're talking about Curie Temperatures and alloyed peri-ferromagnetic values, then you have to include certain noble gasses cooled below 0┬║Kelvin, then you are correct.

    Nickel may indeed exhibit certain values that can be construed as 'magnetic', when indeed they are not. According to the Pauli Principle, this is only occurring when the outer electrostatic charge is unbalanced due to valence changes and resulting electrical charge attraction, which is not true ferrous magnetism.

    That is called 'exchange energy', and although considered rather altruistic, it is not really useful in the extraction of a nickel sliver from a finger by a magnet --- even a very strong magnet.

    In the lab, of course, you can make a chicken bone 'magnetic' - but that is not under ambient conditions or where a human could live and breathe without considerable discomfort - like on the sun (Tc Curie) or inside a black hole (Tc Kelvin).

    Ferromagnetic elemental superconductors are what could be called magnetic, but they are not usually made into guitar strings.
    * - their half-life existence is in nanoseconds, so by the time you got a set of Ernie Ball Superconductor Ferromagnetic Bass Strings home, the package would be empty. As an inclusion: this may explain why EB strings go dead really fast or arrive dead in their packages. Hmmm. ​

    The following periodic table shows the elements that exhibit ferromagnetic properties:::


    Of them - the ones in the Pacific Blue in the middle of the chart, are magnetic in nature and they are indeed 'ferromagnetic' in capacity.

    Pure nickel and pure cobalt are indeed so, but they are typically alloyed and that destroys their magnetic dipole condition, and for most applications are not considered ferromagnetic, per-se.

    The prefix to the term 'Ferro-' is applicable only to iron (Fe), or iron-alloyed metals for all intents and purposes.

    The use of the same 'Ferro-' prefix assigned Cobalt and Nickel are for purpose of an iron quality as a benchmark and their individual magnetic attraction/repulsion values is not implying that Co or Ni are ferrous in molecular structure. (Fe is transient, whereas Co and Ni are not.)

    I erred in not making that position noted to you, but for bassonic string theories (sorry for the bosonic string pun) - the nickel content in your strings should not cause one to venture into thinking it is magnetic like iron or steel. eg: I doubt seriously that a sliver of nickel from a guitar string would exhibit enough attraction to a magnet to make it's extraction from a finger possible.


    I received a return e-mail from England, from the Rotosound company by a representative named Richard, concerning the alloy of nickel in their strings, and this is a short C/P from that letter:::

    Not knowing the full alloy of their strings and the rest of the 35% being an unknown, it would be a lot of wishful thinking for pulling such an alloyed sliver out of your finger.
  15. trowaclown


    Feb 26, 2008
    I stand confused. But either way, I believe a tweezer will be most apt, wouldn't it? It'd take a really strong magnet to remove a sliver stuck in human flesh, magnetic or not.
  16. You'd prolly need an electromagnet the size of the Fermi accelerator to pull an alloyed piece of nickel that small out of your finger.

    Human skin just doesn't yield things stuck in it that readily.

    Use tweezers and cheap Scotch. Why waste good Scotch on pain remission?
  17. Johnston


    Jun 5, 2010
    N. Ireland
    Another trick for pulling out Skelf is PVA glue, the type you give kids to mess with.

    Stick on let it dry when it goes rubbery peel it off. If your lucky it will stick to the offending articale and help pull it out.

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