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fisherman's knot


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2 hours ago, Sheldon Weiner said:

Is there a technique for tying the fisherman's knot that allows you to get the right tailpiece length...?

Assuming you meant to say "the right tailgut length," why not use a tailgut with threaded fasteners ?

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No, but I hope to be proven wrong!
The instrument has to be set up and things allowed to settle, especially if the "gut" material will stretch, and then an adjustment made to address the difference between what you have and what you think you want.

One method I’ve found useful for “tail guts” without screw adjusters that I wish to effectively shorten is to make a shim of a thickness equal to the amount I want to lengthen the afterlength and put it between the “gut” and the tailpiece on the underside in the appropriate spot. This of course can be easily altered or removed, until it’s glued in place.

 

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13 hours ago, Sheldon Weiner said:

I did indeed mean kevlar tailcord. I appreciate all of your comments, although I found Mark's suggestion hard to understand.

Rather than attempting to re-tie the knot (which I find impossible to get exactly right, or stay right after the knot has compressed), you put a shim or spacer under the knot to decrease the length of the tail adjuster, or increase the string afterlength.

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I often need to make adjustments to the knot after tying it for the first time. I haven’t tried the shim idea, but I can see how that might make it easier to adjust without having to retire the knot. 
 

What’s worked well for me has been to keep the ends of the gut equal in length. When I need to adjust the afterlength, I loosen the knot and adjust both sides so I can keep track of the amount of change. I’ve found I can often get it to the right length on the second try. 

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I used Bois d'Harmonie Kevlar tailcords on on my violins, violas and cellos. I learned (the hard way) to make the knots so the cord was about 1/4 inch too short to compensate for stretching (i.e., compression of the knot).

That seemed to be about right. All this was done at least a decade ago.

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I usually make the shims from ebony, or sometimes aluminum and orient the grain such that the tail cord or wire goes across the grain.  If aluminum, I don't pay attention to the grain...  It's a bit of a nuisance to file them into the appropriate shape, but it's much easier to effect accurate changes once you've made one for an instrument than it is to mess with the knot.

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