CARE OF OPEN-WOUND AND TIGERLINE STRINGS
The soft-metal winding on an open-wound or a tigerline string is very fragile. Damage is less likely for the windings of a tigerline string because they are less exposed, but when they do snag, the problem can be more serious. Loose or broken windings can lead to annoying buzzing.
When the winding has become broken or loose, the string can often be saved by pulling or pushing the wire tight again over as much as the loose region on the bowing side as one can, and putting a dab of Cyanoacrylate glue ('Superglue') at the end to hold it. After this, doing the same to the other side of the region stabilises the situation.
Prevention is much better than cure. In the vast majority of cases, the snagging of the winding happens either at the nut or bridge during tuning up. The most effective method of avoiding this is, after each fraction of a turn of the tuning peg, to place a finger under the string on each side of the bridge, lift the string out of the groove, pull it towards the peg and gently let it down again. This is done at the nut as well, before one gives another fraction of a turn to the tuning peg.
It is essential that the grooves in the nut and bridge are shaped properly. They should be shaped by a round needle file of diameter somewhat larger than the string (including the winding). By thus providing a single contact line between string and groove, friction is minimised. Both ends of each groove need to be rounded somewhat to avoid snagging of the winding. Rubbing the groove with the graphite of a soft pencil provides helpful lubrication. Several applications might be needed during a tuning-up, and lifting the string under tension, as described above, and resting it on the side of the groove, will expose the groove surface for this.
When the string is put on the instrument, it is first fed into the hole in the tailpiece from underneath and carefully pulled its full length through the hole, and then threaded through the loop at the end. These operations should be done slowly so as not to snag the windings. After the end is threaded into the peg. and the peg is turned so that there is little slack left in the string, make sure that the loop end that the string goes through is as close to the tailpiece as can be. This prevents the end of the loop from damaging the winding when the tension is put on the string and everything stretches.
If the string-lifting procedure is used in the initial tuning up, and if the grooves in the nut and bridge are shaped and lubricated properly so that windings don't snag during subsequent tunings, a tigerline or open-wound string should have as long a life as a close-wound string.