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  1. #1

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    I'm thinking of replacing my Thomastik 13 flatwounds that are two months old. Would I be able to use them again?

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  3. #2

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    I've never saved strings, but for years I used to save the ball ends from both guitar and bass strings. I eventually had a box full and gave them to someone who strung them to make a necklace (for her, not for me).

  4. #3

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    I don't reuse strings.

    I do have a friend that is a model maker that is happy to take my old strings.
    I have no idea how he uses them but I save them for him.

  5. #4

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    I keep a few used strings on hand; not for reusing on guitars, but they're often useful for other things.

  6. #5

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    I usually save the set I take off when putting on a new set in case I break one and need to replace the one string in a pinch without replacing the whole set (like on a gig). I leave enough wraps on the end so that it can still be installed if needed.

  7. #6

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    I keep my strings because I use them when I build my model cars and aircraft. I do a bit of scratchbuilding and they make great scale model pipes tubes oxygen hoses (the round wounds) and wires. Does anyone ever save their strings?-dscn1128-jpgDoes anyone ever save their strings?-dscn1133-jpg

  8. #7

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    I used to. Having a spare already-stretched string when you need one is good. Not a substitute for a new set, though.
    Last edited by ragman1; 03-20-2020 at 07:28 PM.

  9. #8

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    I save the top ends for carb. rebuilding then recycle the rest at GC.
    Thanks John

  10. #9

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    I have used them to repair guitar cracks. They pull the cleat in place with ball end.

    They also are good for snaking down bicycles tubes to replace cables. They saved my tail a few times in that regard. But otherwise no they get thrown out.

  11. #10

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    I've used round wound to hang pictures, and plain to clean out clogged garden sprayer nozzles.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe
    I keep my strings because I use them when I build my model cars and aircraft. I do a bit of scratchbuilding and they make great scale model pipes tubes oxygen hoses (the round wounds) and wires. Does anyone ever save their strings?-dscn1128-jpgDoes anyone ever save their strings?-dscn1133-jpg
    I guess it makes it easier to tune the engine.

  13. #12

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    if you used the strings for 2 months, if you look closely, you'll see little divots/kinks on the bottom of the strings where they touch the frets...if you take those strings and slap em on another guitar, those divots will not be in the same place and you will be adding fresh divots as well...so not really the greatest idea

    thomastik flats are particularly tricky cause they use round inner cores..and the winds can separate fairly easily..at the tuning peg as well... unless only the silk has been wrapped around the tuning post

    cheers

  14. #13

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    I had about ten years' worth of old strings saved up, several pounds of them, but could never find anything that could be done with them. Th local metal recyclers didn't want them and there were no recycling programs for that kind of thing around here. I didn't know that GC had a recycling program, that's great. I ended up just finally throwing my old strings away because they were just a nuisance. That was a fair amount of nickel, steel and bronze that just went to a landfill...

  15. #14
    if you wash your hands before playing and clean the strings afterwards with Fastfret, they will last longer, at least, in my case they do.

  16. #15

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    ps- not what op really asked, but since we traveled down that road...other uses...most cheese cutters use a plain g gauge size (24-20) wire...tho i'd probably use a fresh string for that too!! haha



    cheers

  17. #16

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    I've heard of a bassist who removed and boiled his strings in a kettle even during the band's statutory 15 min. breaks. If I had become a metallurgist, as originally intended, I would know if this makes any sense. Knowing if a used string recrystallizes during a tension-free rest would be even more relevant. I have a large box where old strings mingle and, I could swear, reproduce, but every now and then I end up throwing them away. There's a metal collecting bin nearby, so no bad conscience.

  18. #17

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    Does anyone ever save their strings?-20200320_141916-jpg

  19. #18

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    I use them for dental floss. Oh wait, I don't do that.

  20. #19

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    I used to save them for recycling and had collected a bushel basket 3/4s full. Since we moved out of town I just discard most of them; but since I'm no longer gigging it's only a couple-six sets a year.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    Does anyone ever save their strings?-20200320_141916-jpg
    the art collage known as-lockjaw!!

    haha

    watch them pointy ends

    cheers

  22. #21

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    I save them and use them as garrotes. Saves me a bundle of dough.

    John

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I save them and use them as garrotes. Saves me a bundle of dough.

    John
    Don’t get me started.

  24. #23

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    I used to, but eventually threw them away.

    Playing 98% alone, at home ...
    I do not change strings very often, mostly when one breaks too short, beyond repair, so a set lasts for years. Thus, there was never a big bunch, of them. 2-3 sets, max.
    The idea was to have a spare, just in case.
    My string break from playing once in couple of years, maybe. Additionally, they break on stringing, after I have unstrung guitar for whatever the reason. Almost always it is same one that broke with previous set, E-1, or B-2. So I put old B in place of snapoed E, and so on.

    BTW, I digress, I remember there was a time when I was young, rockin' and riffin', D used to go away on regular basis.

    Bsck to topic,... at one point, all I was left with in stock were wound strings, with all Gs for top 3 on guitar. Then, a friend gifted me with 2 sets of Tomastik Be-Bop 12s. I have first set on Tele for about 3.5 years now. It took them about 2 years to degrade noticeably, as per my standards. Again, my 2 years in effective hours is probably couple of months, or weeks, for a pro, ir dedicated student.
    I speak about plane top 3. Wound strings appear as pretty much indestructable. At his moment, E-1 is totally untunable. Tune it open, at 5th frett it's already unbearable. B works up to 8th, or so. G is good to 10th-11th.
    Also, I tried to clean X-155, and E-1 snapped on stringing. It is flatwound set that was on guitar when I bought it back in 2010,.or 2011. I do not know how long they were in use with previous owner.

    My decission for future: I will not change sets and will not keep old sets as spares.
    I will shop only for individual new strings and keep the rest in use, on guitar.

    I plan to try 2nd set of BeBops (if wife can trace where she ditched my junk on recent cleaning)on Charvel Desolation w. Floyd Rose.
    Probably not good idea, but it will not happen any time soon, anyway.

    Sent from My Blog Page

  25. #24

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    I don’t save old strings, but I do cut the little loop ends and save the brass beads. I’ve used D’Addarios for years, and they color code the beads so I have this nice assortment of little colored metal beads (with a lot of plain nickel and brass ones in there too).

    Please don’t ask why I save these. I don’t know what I am going to do with them. I just like them....

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieAG
    I usually save the set I take off when putting on a new set in case I break one and need to replace the one string in a pinch without replacing the whole set (like on a gig). I leave enough wraps on the end so that it can still be installed if needed.
    This. The worst that can happen is that you end up needing to slap on a fresh string.

    Regarding Thomastiks, what neatomic said.

  27. #26

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    Yes, you CAN recycle old guitar strings.

    Option 1: They can be donated to musicians in need in other countries
    Second Strings Project>

    Option 2: They can be recycled by D'addario and redeemed for stuff:
    https://www.daddario.com/playback/recycle

  28. #27

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    I throw away the old strings but save the little brass things on the ends. I string them together and do artsy things with them.....
    Does anyone ever save their strings?-01b0d988-499f-4d5e-8165-9e1963f64984_1_201_a-jpg

  29. #28

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    I deposit mine at the recycling station.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by takefive
    I'm thinking of replacing my Thomastik 13 flatwounds that are two months old. Would I be able to use them again?
    Yes! You can boil them and while their hot run them down a piece of paper towel a few time each you will see the black come off. You can do the same thing with high content alcohol same procedure. It will bring them back to around 75% of new. I started doing it when I was young and broke. Now that I'm old and cheap, I do it with my string experiments from one guitar to the next which never seem to end lol.

  31. #30

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    Old wound strings are great for burnishing wood when turning...the lines on the Mahogany pen on the right...

    Does anyone ever save their strings?-93df6670-72b9-48c9-a1a2-c4bf28a96b65-jpg

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    I've heard of a bassist who removed and boiled his strings in a kettle even during the band's statutory 15 min. breaks. If I had become a metallurgist, as originally intended, I would know if this makes any sense. Knowing if a used string recrystallizes during a tension-free rest would be even more relevant. I have a large box where old strings mingle and, I could swear, reproduce, but every now and then I end up throwing them away. There's a metal collecting bin nearby, so no bad conscience.
    I also knew a bass player who did that. But at home, not during breaks

  33. #32

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    I do but never knew why - got a few useful ideas from this thread.

    I've got the pictures, I have the means to hang 'em. Wall space is now the limiting factor.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    I don’t save old strings, but I do cut the little loop ends and save the brass beads. I’ve used D’Addarios for years, and they color code the beads so I have this nice assortment of little colored metal beads (with a lot of plain nickel and brass ones in there too).

    Please don’t ask why I save these. I don’t know what I am going to do with them. I just like them....
    I also save some of the ball ends, and keep a supply on hand. Slipped over a new string all the way to the end, they act as a spacer sleeve and prevent the string from sticking in the tailpiece come string-changing time - especially important in stop-bars and vibrato blocks.

    Old strings can also be used for hummingbird swings. A pair piers, a 6" dowell, and an old wound string, a red bead, a little bare copper wire for attachments, a little imagination, and you get a nice spot for your dominant males (in our case an irascible little bully we call Buzz) to rest their wings. Watching one alight and the ever-so-gentle slight bobbing of the unit is quite satisfying.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I guess it makes it easier to tune the engine.
    Now that's a funny joke right there.

  36. #35

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    Guitar strings are what they use as the needle in a DIY tattoo gun.

  37. #36

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    What I have use some of the wound string for is I cut them down to a leingth and clean the stem on my corn cob pipe. Hand made corn cob pipe I use a peace of bamboo for the stem. I use the strings for other things but as a pipe cleaner mostly.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Guitar strings are what they use as the needle in a DIY tattoo gun.
    At one point I lived in a pretty rough neighborhood in SoCal. I got my apartment put off-limits to the local (ex-?) cons by giving them my used strings for this purpose. They all knew I played guitar and had gear. No break-ins at all.

    Nowadays, I put them in the recycling bin and hope they come out in the wash.

  39. #38

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    Rotosound were promoting two women who made old strings into necklaces and bracelets, which they sold for the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund.

  40. #39

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    A good use for used strings is burnishing nut and saddle slots, to smooth and polish them, thus reducing friction to some extent. I prefer using strings slightly larger than the ones on the guitar, but the same size can do the job.

  41. #40

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    As a kid I was always scratching around for any money I could find, so I learned to make do with using strings way past their use by date. So to this day whenever I change strings I always roll up the old ones individually and place them in a plastic sandwich bag with an airtight seal, write the gauge and put them in a drawer. On occasion if I break an individual string I can source one for temporary replacement. As it is I only change strings every year or two anyway and clean them after every playing session.

  42. #41

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    Interesting fun fact. Hot Wheels cars were innovative by the fact that they initially used mandolin strings for axles that were from a failed Mattel venture to build guitars that would never go out of tune. The mandolin strings cut down the rolling friction so much that they beat out Matchbox which was their chief competitor literally because of how fast Hot Wheels cars rolled in comparison. Matchbox used steel rods for axles. Eventually Mattel bought Matchbox.


  43. #42

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    I was out weed wacking the south forty over the weekend and noticing how often I had to replace those nylon strings on my string trimmer, as they quickly shrink down to nothing. I was wondering if it would work if I cut appropriate lengths of old wound bass strings, or even a wound 3rd, and used them instead. Anyone ever try that? I might have to the next time I'm out there -- and this certainly is weed time here in Sonoma County, of the annoying variety (not the smoking variety, which comes later in the summer) -- and I'll report back.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perdido
    I was out weed wacking the south forty over the weekend and noticing how often I had to replace those nylon strings on my string trimmer, as they quickly shrink down to nothing. I was wondering if it would work if I cut appropriate lengths of old wound bass strings, or even a wound 3rd, and used them instead. Anyone ever try that? I might have to the next time I'm out there -- and this certainly is weed time here in Sonoma County, of the annoying variety (not the smoking variety, which comes later in the summer) -- and I'll report back.
    Think about what happens when a plastic weed whacker line breaks and hits you in the leg (ouch).

    Imagine a hard steel music wire breaking off and hitting you in the leg (ouch, blood. trip to the ER and stiches)

  45. #44

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    And that, I suppose, is why it's never occurred to anyone else. Point taken.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by takefive
    I'm thinking of replacing my Thomastik 13 flatwounds that are two months old. Would I be able to use them again?
    I have done this several times with Thomastik Swings. I'll put them on a guitar, try them for a few weeks, not like them on that guitar, and pull them, carefully coil them together, and store them in a sealed baggy. I then stick them on another guitar. TIs last a long time and they're too expensive to chuck.

  47. #46

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    In the early days, I use to save them, boil them, and re-use them if a string broke, nowadays, nope.