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Cut strings off when changing or loosen first?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by abraxas1, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. abraxas1

    abraxas1 New Member!

    Age:
    55
    7
    Jan 26, 2017
    US
    As an engineer, to me it seems cutting strings while under full tension gives the whole body a sudden shock, so I never do it.
    What do you think?
    Another reason for locking tuners, IMO.
    Also, If taking all strings off, I don't do it from one side to the other so as not to introduce torque on the neck.
    Now, is that geeky or what?
     
    rgbedard likes this.

  2. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 10, 2016
    Rocky Mountain Way
    Ummm...yeahhh, loosen first broham. When changing, I loosen all, then cut and remove all, never had a problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    ukoldgit, rgbedard and dbolt like this.

  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    I loosen them and remove them in no particular order. Cutting makes me have to deal with twice as many little wires. I'm a mechanical engineer myself. I don't believe that the string forces are large and eccentric enough to create stress anywhere in the guitar that could cause even a tiny problem.
     
    hexnut likes this.

  4. 6t7goat

    6t7goat Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    53
    10
    Jul 29, 2018
    Jacksonville
    I have always done them one at a time. Loosen, cut and replace. Then the same procedure for each string. If i have to clean the fretboard or do other work that requires all the strings to be removed i loosen them all first then cut. When restringing i restring all but dont bring them up to pitch right away. Replace all string and make about 2 or 3 run thru’s bringing them up to pitch. Has always worked for me and never had any issues doing like this. Not sure if its correct but it works for me.
     
    shovelmike, Stratbats and abraxas1 like this.

  5. jeff h

    jeff h Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 13, 2017
    Ohio

  6. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    So do you cut the center two simultaneously, then the next outer two simultaneously, then the outer two simultaneously so as not to introduce torque?

    Sheesh.
     
    GunMonkeyINTL likes this.

  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    You must be in nervous breakdown territory if a string has the audacity to break...
     
    nadzab, GunMonkeyINTL, dbolt and 5 others like this.

  8. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    47
    Jan 8, 2016
    philadelphia
    I loosen them and remove them.
    I don't like to cut metal strings under full tension (mostly because i don't want to lose an eye).

    I actually wondered about this before, and the internet has opinions on both sides.
    But eventually, i figured..... what happens when i use the whammy bar for a dive bomb?
    The strings go fairly slack, and release most of the tension.

    So it probably wouldn't hurt anything, but I'm not sure.
    So i loosen them first.
     
    amstratnut and simoncroft like this.

  9. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    77
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    Here's how (un)bright I am...
    Never thought of cutting

    Just unwind completely
    And
    Wind all 6 up in a coil..
     

  10. abraxas1

    abraxas1 New Member!

    Age:
    55
    7
    Jan 26, 2017
    US
    There would be no point in that, loosening them even a little is sufficient. It's not simply the stress I'm concerned with, but the sudden shock of a full tension release.
    But not on my strat, that thing is a tank. Plus it has locking tuners, so no issue there.
    Mostly concerned about it on my acoustics, I guess.
     

  11. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 10, 2016
    Rocky Mountain Way
    A "full tension release" is one of my favorite things.:D
     

  12. CigBurn

    CigBurn Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jun 22, 2014
    Same Shed Different Day
    I loosen, then cut the string in about the middle so it's easier to pull the old string out and then just coil up the two pieces together.
     

  13. adiabatic

    adiabatic Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 2, 2013
    Western Canada
    It's only about 100 lbs tension from all six strings (easily verifiable with a Google search). If we were talking an ultralight structure like carbon fibre spars then I'd be concerned but it's 1/2 a baseball bat of wood.

    My SOP is to bring in a bit of a safety margin and bring the strings down to about 1/2 tension and clip them. I see some mention above of remiving without cutting... I do the wrap and lock string method and there's no way I'm getting those back out through the bridge without a lot of pulling and gouging.

    PS: This forum really overthinks things sometimes. :)
     
    Mark Harris and nadzab like this.

  14. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    62
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    I slacken first, then cut, because I'm a 'locker' like @adiabatic. While I doubt the average Fender would be harmed by cutting the strings under tension, I don't do that for the safety reasons mentioned above. Also, on vintage instruments, I just don't like subjecting the neck or truss-rod assembly to any sudden 'surprises'. Why would you?

    Although I've read posts from seasoned Rickenbacker bass guitar techs who say they only remove and replace one string at a time, I've done repairs and maintenance on those instruments where you have to take off all the strings. Nothing bad happened. How are you going to dress the frets otherwise?
     

  15. adiabatic

    adiabatic Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 2, 2013
    Western Canada
    Good point. When all strings are off I use that opportunity to check the frets under a bright light, clean the fretboard and trim off any clearcoat that happens to be visible on the sides of the frets on my maple necks.
     

  16. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    Loosen, first - relieve that tension!

    And, if you value the looks of your guitar, don't let the string end go flying around when you cut it. You don't want an eye injury, either. o_O
     
    Elvie likes this.

  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    ₩¥€£§μГ
    Sometimes? LOL
     
    wayoutjohn, CigBurn and westonmitch like this.

  18. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Mukilteo
    If anyone decides to just go ahead and cut them instead of loosening them, please wear safety glasses!
     

  19. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    ₩¥€£§μГ
    I've always loosened then cut the pigtails off. Easier to pull through the body/block that way. Been doing that on Fenders for I dunno....50 years.

    As far damaging the neck....well:
    download (1).jpeg

    Bigsby equipped guitars are the easiest. Loosen and they come right off. Some trapeze tail pieces slip right out too.

    Do what makes sense...Don't put your eye out, Ralphie. :)
     

  20. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    This is my take as well. I don't cut them, I just pull them back through the block.