Discussion:
Winding strings on tuner rollers -- outside or inside the knot?
(too old to reply)
Gerry
2019-10-20 18:23:49 UTC
Permalink
The string break on the nut is an important detail. The nut slot on
that guitar has been widened on the back end to give the G and the D
strings a smooth, gentle, transition.
It would be important, and maybe the reason G and D strings seem to
break more often.
When changing strings on a nylon guitar (i.e. slotted headstock), I've
always wound the string on the roller to the outside of the knot.
Looking at the headstock, I wonder whether it wouldn't be better to
wind the 1st and 6th strings to the outside, and every other string to
the inside.
Does anyone do that?
John R.
I've never seen a need to wind strings this way. In fact, I wind them
every which-way, it's never seemed to mean much. And by the way, I
don't recall breaking a string, nylon or steel, in perhaps 30 years.
I'm just making that number up, because frankly I don't have a specific
memory until I get back around 40 years ago.
Matt Faunce
2019-10-20 19:41:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry
The string break on the nut is an important detail. The nut slot on
that guitar has been widened on the back end to give the G and the D
strings a smooth, gentle, transition.
It would be important, and maybe the reason G and D strings seem to
break more often.
When changing strings on a nylon guitar (i.e. slotted headstock), I've
always wound the string on the roller to the outside of the knot.
Looking at the headstock, I wonder whether it wouldn't be better to
wind the 1st and 6th strings to the outside, and every other string to
the inside.
Does anyone do that?
John R.
I've never seen a need to wind strings this way. In fact, I wind them
every which-way, it's never seemed to mean much. And by the way, I
don't recall breaking a string, nylon or steel, in perhaps 30 years.
I'm just making that number up, because frankly I don't have a specific
memory until I get back around 40 years ago.
Neither one will improve day-to-day functionality, but I do them to give
the nut and the tuning mechanism slightly longer lives.
--
Matt
dsi1
2019-10-20 20:18:54 UTC
Permalink
The string break on the nut is an important detail. The nut slot on that guitar has been widened on the back end to give the G and the D strings a smooth, gentle, transition.
It would be important, and maybe the reason G and D strings seem to break more often.
When changing strings on a nylon guitar (i.e. slotted headstock), I've always wound the string on the roller to the outside of the knot. Looking at the headstock, I wonder whether it wouldn't be better to wind the 1st and 6th strings to the outside, and every other string to the inside.
Does anyone do that?
John R.
The D string on the guitar is the most likely to break because it has the thinnest metal windings which is very easy to wear through. The G string also has the thinnest, weakest, core of all the wound strings and is prone to spontaneous breakage. Also, once the metal windings wear through, the core filaments (Dacron?) are vulnerable to abrasion from the frets.

Ideally, the string should be on the roller to facilitate a straight string pull to the nut. I don't do that because of the previously mentioned stress on the tuner bearing surfaces. I don't believe I could string up the D and G strings for straight string pull anyway because the string has to be able to clear the side of the slotted headstock and there's not much clearance there.
Matt Faunce
2019-10-20 20:34:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Neither one will improve day-to-day functionality, but I do them to give
the nut and the tuning mechanism slightly longer lives.
Sorry -- do what?
John R.
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
Here's a picture.
https://flic.kr/p/63i2r1
--
Matt
dsi1
2019-10-21 06:22:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Neither one will improve day-to-day functionality, but I do them to give
the nut and the tuning mechanism slightly longer lives.
Sorry -- do what?
John R.
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
Here's a picture.
https://flic.kr/p/63i2r1
--
Matt
I think you string your guitar the way most people do. The funny thing about my tuners is that the holes for the strings are not located in the center of the rollers but are biased towards the gear. I can't say what that's about.
Eric Meijer
2019-12-23 19:33:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
Here's a picture.
https://flic.kr/p/63i2r1
Interesting. I wind the 1st and 6th strings towards the inside,and the
3rd and 4th towards the outside, because when I didn't, they sometimes
buzzed against the inside of the headstock. I never had a string break
at the nut.

Regards,
Eric Meijer
Gerry
2019-12-24 20:49:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Meijer
Post by Matt Faunce
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
Here's a picture.
https://flic.kr/p/63i2r1
Interesting. I wind the 1st and 6th strings towards the inside,and the
3rd and 4th towards the outside, because when I didn't, they sometimes
buzzed against the inside of the headstock. I never had a string break
at the nut.
Regards,
Eric Meijer
I've always wound all of them to the inside. Isn't that the default?
Matt Faunce
2019-12-24 21:23:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry
Post by Eric Meijer
Post by Matt Faunce
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
Here's a picture.
https://flic.kr/p/63i2r1
Interesting. I wind the 1st and 6th strings towards the inside,and the
3rd and 4th towards the outside, because when I didn't, they sometimes
buzzed against the inside of the headstock. I never had a string break
at the nut.
Regards,
Eric Meijer
I think the best reason for preferring less friction is for smoother
tuning. Although, I must admit, I used to wind my E strings to the inside
too and after I switched to the outside I never noticed an improvement in
tuning smoothness. I suppose I do it just in case.
Post by Gerry
I've always wound all of them to the inside. Isn't that the default?
<shrug> If I had to place a bet on this, I'd put my money on the fact that
all-to-the-inside is the most common way.
--
Matt
John
2019-10-21 17:08:18 UTC
Permalink
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.

The rule of keeping strings as straight as possible makes good sense. The rule of minimizing torque would explain winding to the outside, but how much of an issue is torque here? I don't know how hard the plastic rollers are, but it wouldn't be a problem to make them hard enough to withstand torque from the pull of a nylon string. But I'm just guessing. If torque is an issue, does winding to the inside shorten the life of tuning machines? Or would winding to the inside make strings harder to tune?

John R.
Matt Faunce
2019-10-21 19:16:36 UTC
Permalink
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
The rule of keeping strings as straight as possible makes good sense. The
rule of minimizing torque would explain winding to the outside, but how
much of an issue is torque here? I don't know how hard the plastic
rollers are, but it wouldn't be a problem to make them hard enough to
withstand torque from the pull of a nylon string. But I'm just guessing.
If torque is an issue, does winding to the inside shorten the life of
tuning machines? Or would winding to the inside make strings harder to tune?
John R.
I was just running with dsi1's idea without any real
investigation---sometimes he gets things right. I have the same question as
you. My snap judgement is that the effect that the extra torque has on the
life of the tuning mechanism is, while not nothing, pretty close to
negligible.
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2019-10-21 19:51:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
The rule of keeping strings as straight as possible makes good sense. The
rule of minimizing torque would explain winding to the outside, but how
much of an issue is torque here? I don't know how hard the plastic
rollers are, but it wouldn't be a problem to make them hard enough to
withstand torque from the pull of a nylon string. But I'm just guessing.
If torque is an issue, does winding to the inside shorten the life of
tuning machines? Or would winding to the inside make strings harder to tune?
John R.
I was just running with dsi1's idea without any real
investigation---sometimes he gets things right. I have the same question as
you. My snap judgement is that the effect that the extra torque has on the
life of the tuning mechanism is, while not nothing, pretty close to
negligible.
It's a basic physics question: if the cylinder is perfectly stiff, and
there's no give or wear where the cylinder is secured on the inside, then
is there more torque?

Archimedes's famous (thought(?)) experiment comes to mind. He made a lever
(a see-saw) with an equal amount of weight hanging from each side, but
where one side is hanging from a different length string. He showed the
world that the length doesn't tip the scale toward the side with the longer
string-hang. My question is if the torque in the guitar-tuning-cylinder is
similar to his experiment. Imagine the guitar's cylinder is a mile long,
first with the string wound on the inside (near the gears), and second with
the string wound at the far end from the gears. If the cylinder is stiff
and there's no give or wear at the far end, it seems to me that the force
one would need to put on the gears to turn the cylinder would be the same
in both situations. What do you think?
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2019-10-21 19:59:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
The rule of keeping strings as straight as possible makes good sense. The
rule of minimizing torque would explain winding to the outside, but how
much of an issue is torque here? I don't know how hard the plastic
rollers are, but it wouldn't be a problem to make them hard enough to
withstand torque from the pull of a nylon string. But I'm just guessing.
If torque is an issue, does winding to the inside shorten the life of
tuning machines? Or would winding to the inside make strings harder to tune?
John R.
I was just running with dsi1's idea without any real
investigation---sometimes he gets things right. I have the same question as
you. My snap judgement is that the effect that the extra torque has on the
life of the tuning mechanism is, while not nothing, pretty close to
negligible.
It's a basic physics question: if the cylinder is perfectly stiff, and
there's no give or wear where the cylinder is secured on the inside, then
is there more torque?
Archimedes's famous (thought(?)) experiment comes to mind. He made a lever
(a see-saw) with an equal amount of weight hanging from each side, but
where one side is hanging from a different length string. He showed the
world that the length doesn't tip the scale toward the side with the longer
string-hang. My question is if the torque in the guitar-tuning-cylinder is
similar to his experiment. Imagine the guitar's cylinder is a mile long,
first with the string wound on the inside (near the gears)
I'm a bit dyslexic. I meant 'on the outside', as the gears are on the
outside.
Post by Matt Faunce
, and second with
the string wound at the far end from the gears. If the cylinder is stiff
and there's no give or wear at the far end, it seems to me that the force
one would need to put on the gears to turn the cylinder would be the same
in both situations. What do you think?
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2019-10-21 20:19:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
I wind my 1st and 6th strings like dsi1 does, viz., toward the outside ;
but I wind the other ones toward the inside so there's less friction at the
nut when I'm tuning. So, the way I wind strings 1 and 6 obeys the rule to
put less torque on the tuning mechanism; those are the only strings on my
guitar that obey that rule. I obey the the other rule, of keeping the
strings as straight as possible, with all six strings.
The rule of keeping strings as straight as possible makes good sense. The
rule of minimizing torque would explain winding to the outside, but how
much of an issue is torque here? I don't know how hard the plastic
rollers are, but it wouldn't be a problem to make them hard enough to
withstand torque from the pull of a nylon string. But I'm just guessing.
If torque is an issue, does winding to the inside shorten the life of
tuning machines? Or would winding to the inside make strings harder to tune?
John R.
I was just running with dsi1's idea without any real
investigation---sometimes he gets things right. I have the same question as
you. My snap judgement is that the effect that the extra torque has on the
life of the tuning mechanism is, while not nothing, pretty close to
negligible.
It's a basic physics question: if the cylinder is perfectly stiff, and
there's no give or wear where the cylinder is secured on the inside, then
is there more torque?
Archimedes's famous (thought(?)) experiment comes to mind. He made a lever
(a see-saw) with an equal amount of weight hanging from each side, but
where one side is hanging from a different length string. He showed the
world that the length doesn't tip the scale toward the side with the longer
string-hang. My question is if the torque in the guitar-tuning-cylinder is
similar to his experiment. Imagine the guitar's cylinder is a mile long,
first with the string wound on the inside (near the gears)
I'm a bit dyslexic. I meant 'on the outside', as the gears are on the
outside.
Post by Matt Faunce
, and second with
the string wound at the far end from the gears. If the cylinder is stiff
and there's no give or wear at the far end, it seems to me that the force
one would need to put on the gears to turn the cylinder would be the same
in both situations. What do you think?
By "no give at the far end" I mean that the center point of the cylinder at
that end (away from the gears) will stay put.

In Archimedes's experiment the fulcrum was in the center, and the strings
were of the same weight despite being unequal in length.
--
Matt
John
2019-10-21 20:37:00 UTC
Permalink
Makes sense. If the pull of the string did generate appreciable torque, the only effect I'd think that would have is a twisting of the cylinder. I haven't seen any of those. I'm due for a string change on one of my babies; I'll try winding on the inside, except for the 1st and 6th.

John R.
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