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Removing silk at ball end

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dirtbeard, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Hey all, so after searching I've found several techniques for removing the silks off of the ball end of strings. This has come up because I'm replacing the flats that came with my NAV '63 P-bass. I'm installing some Chromes and noticed that the silk wrapping on the E string extends past the saddle by about 1/4".
    So what is the least damaging way to go about this?
    Burning it off with a lighter? I'm not talking a blowtorch, just a couple quick passes to melt the silk.
    Using a razor to cut it off? I started trying this but its leaving lots of fuzz in the windings of the string.
    Use some washers, old ball ends or something to shim on the ball side of the saddle. I use the bridge cover so i cant extend too far out.
    Or, don't worry about it and play it like it is.
    And then when I'm finished what is the best way to keep it from fraying? As mentioned I do use the bridge cover so I'm not too worried about looks, but still want the string to be ok.

    So, thoughts, ideas, comments, admonishments? Thanks in advance!

  2. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Id razor it some to pull off what i could, then pass a butane lighter under it a few times. It will melt and you can then pull the residue off.
    dirtbeard likes this.
  3. Hey, good thinking. I wouldnt need to apply too much heat that way. Thats probably the route i'll choose. I'll post some pics of before and after. Keep the ideas/ comments coming!

  4. Ok, since everyone is waiting with baited breath... Here's the before and after pic's. Bass is my NAV '63.


    After trimming.


    Back on.


    Again, i used a razor knife to pick the silk off very carefully. When removed to where I wanted it i ran it under a lighter just to seal the silk and keep it from fraying. Now, my only concern is the part of the string that lays over the saddle is different looking then the rest of the string. I'm hoping the wrap wasn't engineered into the string for a reason. Oh well, thanks for letting me share.

  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    It's all good. The uneven wrap is just how it looks underneath the silk as the core wire comes back around the ball to make the string anchor. My LaBella B string, which has no silk on the ball end, looks the same.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  6. ShonenCello


    Sep 21, 2011
    I use washers. Works fine.
  7. Thats good to know, thanks for sharing that. That sets my mind at ease.

  8. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I'd move the bridge back 5/16" :)
  9. So, i just moved my bridge back as per your recommendation. I went with1/2 inch just to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, my drilling skills are sub-par and the bridge was mis-aligned so now the strings are off the pickup pole pieces by about 1/4". The E string is just barely on the fret board, so I had to adjust my playing technique while bending or the string would come off the fret board. I adjusted the pickups up because the strings were not very close. But now I don't have to remove any of the silk off the string, so, success! Thanks for the tip justforsport!

  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
  11. Thanks for that link. I was kidding about moving stuff anyway. The comment about moving the bridge made me laugh, so I was Just being weird and my typing got away from me.

    WesC and SasquatchDude like this.

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