String length

If you have the stringing chart of an instrument with the speaking lengths, how much do add to that for the non speaking length, the coil around the tuning pin and the loop on the hitchpin?

Thanks.

Why, pray tell? When stringing, you just do it. Is it that you want to calculate how much wire to buy? Since it comes on long spools, it does not seem to matter much. There’s no formula. Overlength varies, people differ on how long they make their loops, and there is wide variance in the number of windings on the pin that you see, and distance after the nut also varies a lot on different instruments.

To measure the total length I just use a piece of string held at the hitch pin and (following the appropriate bridge and nut pins) stretched as far as the name board, then I add between 10 and 12 cm for making the loop. As a rough guide for the windings around the pin, Titus Crijnen suggests an extra 12 cm in the bass and 20 cm in the treble beyond the name board:
http://www.tituscrijnen.com/Titus_Crijnen_harpsichords/Changing_a_string.html

I know of some builders who calculate the exact length for the pin windings for each string.

As an aside, when fitting a string single-handedly, I use a small plastic clip (mine is made by Wolfcraft) to hold the loop in place on the hitch pin.

Best,

Matthew

I string the same way as Matthew does. Seems fairly universal, and obviates the need for a formula or measurement. But let’s hear from the OP as to the reason for asking.

Le 13/06/2021 12:33, Andrew Bernard via The Jackrail écrit :

Why, pray tell? When stringing, you just do it. Is it that you want to calculate how much wire to buy? Since it comes on long spools, it does not seem to matter much.

Well, precisely, it does. The Instrument Workshop, for instance, sells
large coils and small coils.

There’s no formula. Overlength varies, people differ on how long they make their loops, and there is wide variance in the number of windings on the pin that you see, and distance after the nut also varies a lot on different instruments.

I don’t need a precise length, but, ordering string for a friend without
even seeing the instrument, I want to make sure I’m on the safe side.

If whoever is carrying out the restringing is new to the procedure, I
respectfully suggest allowing a generous margin for ‘learning’ DAMHIKT.

Frank.

Dear Dennis.

I have a Hubbard (Kit #625) with PdB (see below, about the same vintage as Claudio’s, I think). I have string length data (attached Excel file) for the lower 40 (of 63) eight foot strings (if that is helpful— a real bear to measure these all). Nothing for the four foot ones. All lengths are measured on the instrument with the loop on the hitch pin.

Excel File: Forget about Sheet 1: it contains the raw measurement data (different tape measure lengths). The two plots are from the final data in Sheet 2. The lowest string is F1. The vertical axis (lengths) is in inches. I have a terrible version of Excel, so the figures are not very good.

The full lengths are from the hitch pin to the middle of the wrest pin, measured to the nearest 1/32 of an inch; I normally add between 4.5 an 5.5 inch of length beyond the wrest pin to the listed full length. The hitch pin loop needs about an inch or a bit more (not counting the waste after loop completion; I use a short piece held with pliers—2 to 3 inches is enough for making the loop.

Did I forget anything? I hope this helps.

Wolfgang

Dennis
June 13

If you have the stringing chart of an instrument with the speaking lengths, how much do add to that for the non speaking length, the coil around the tuning pin and the loop on the hitchpin?

Thanks.


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Wolfgang G. Knauss
Theodore von Karman Professor of
Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, emeritus
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena CA 91001

626 395 4524 Phone — Office
626 798 3793 Phone — Home
626 797 0405 Fax — Home

(Attachment String lenths.xlsx is missing)

I tried to send you an Excel file in responding to the Jackrail note. But that is not acceptable this way. Do you want to give me your personal email address for trnasmission? Wolfgang

Dennis
June 13

If you have the stringing chart of an instrument with the speaking lengths, how much do add to that for the non speaking length, the coil around the tuning pin and the loop on the hitchpin?

Thanks.


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Wolfgang G. Knauss
Theodore von Karman Professor of
Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, emeritus
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena CA 91001

626 395 4524 Phone — Office
626 798 3793 Phone — Home
626 797 0405 Fax — Home

This seems to be a matter of how much wire to order from Instrument Workshop more than anything else. Seems they have 30m and 10 m spools for iron, 40m and 10m for yellow brass, etc, and the longer ones offer a quite considerable comparative price discount. Since its a good idea to have wire on hand permanently for breakages which must happen, and for mess ups while stringing, which happens even with experienced builders, replacing rusty wire perhaps, and so on, I’d go for the longer spools. Calculations of a few inches here and there for a single gauge don’t make much difference really do they when the differential is 30m compared to 10m? Or is the budget so tight you can only get small spools?

Le 14/06/2021 02:09, Andrew Bernard via The Jackrail écrit :

This seems to be a matter of how much wire to order from Instrument Workshop more than anything else. Seems they have 30m and 10 m spools for iron, 40m and 10m for yellow brass, etc, and the longer ones offer a quite considerable comparative price discount. Since its a good idea to have wire on hand permanently for breakages which must happen, and for mess ups while stringing, which happens even with experienced builders, replacing rusty wire perhaps, and so on, I’d go for the longer spools. Calculations of a few inches here and there for a single gauge don’t make much difference really do they when the differential is 30m compared to 10m? Or is the budget so tight you can only get small spools?

It’s not that simple. The IW coils (and their longer spools) vary in
length with the diameter. I’m ordering wire for a brass strung
instrument - the large coils for instance vary in length between 10 and
40m. I need to make sure I’m ordering enough wire to string the whole
instrument, allowing for mistakes and mess-ups, as you say, and have at
least one or two spares. So, to take just one example, .46 YB comes in
8m, 25m, 82m, 163m, 326m.

Large Coil $14 Small Coil $8

Large Spool $71 Medium Spool $46 Small Spool $32

And then, I’m not sure yet if I’ll order from the IW (shipping cost,
delay, duty, etc.) or from some place in Europe.

Your average harpsichord owner does not need the large spools of wire. 10 m spools will be more than sufficient for breakage replacement for some time. Despite the economies of scale, the large spools are quite costly. In addition, unless you store your wire properly, it does not keep indefinitely. I have seen so many rusty coils of iron wire come along with harpsichords into my shop visiting for restoraiton or consignment.

Do consider asking if they will let you return spools for a discount, as that is part of the cost of production.

Dear Dennis,

Ideally, you would be able to measure the complete string length. Then add about 15 cm extra for winding the string around the tuning pin.

In case you’re working “blindly”: I’ve taken some measurements on 2 instruments (late Flemisch instrument & late French instrument). To be on the safe side assume a length of 15 cm from the nut to the tuning pin. The French instrument had the longest afterlength: about 40 cm.

So: sounding length + 40 + 15 + 15 should be a safe assumption.

Depending on the sounding lengths you should first see if the more historical oriented materials such as Rose and P-wire will work.

For delivery in Europe: thanks to the Brexit, importing Rose wire has significantly increased in price (custom & taxes). But in general mr. Rose sends the strings within a week. Importing from countries over the pond is a lot more painful. Once a parcel I ordered sat for 3 weeks in the customs depot :frowning:.

Have a nice week,

Chris.

Le 15/06/2021 09:03, Chris Vandekerkhove via The Jackrail écrit :

So: sounding length + 40 + 15 + 15 should be a safe assumption.

Depending on the sounding lengths you should first see if the more historical oriented materials such as Rose and P-wire will work.

For delivery in Europe: thanks to the Brexit, importing Rose wire has significantly increased in price (custom & taxes). But in general mr. Rose sends the strings within a week. Importing from countries over the pond is a lot more painful. Once a parcel I ordered sat for 3 weeks in the customs depot :frowning:.

Many thanks, Chris. This is most helpful.