Restringing Tales

Mar 14, 2018

    1. I love restringing dolls. When I was having a bad day I'd take out my Bobobie and restring her just because. There is something very grounding and relaxing in the task. Sometimes I'd tighten her a bit too much though.

      I did hurt myself once restringing a friends doll, I sliced open my finger and bled everywhere :aeyepop: Eip!

      Tell me your restringing stories, why you love it or hate it!
       
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    2. I have had to restring a doll due to either being to tight, to loose, or in one guys case because he got wet and had to be thoroughly dried out. Mold will grown on resin, or on the string so you have to dry both well. I have a couple of guys with wire hooks that are like fish hooks in that they can puncture a finger. After one incident I have learned to use forceps as well as chopsticks and patience to keep it from happening again.
       
    3. I don't restring unless I absolutely have to, but I do enjoy the challenge it brings. Sometimes I leave the dolls a bit loose and sometimes I string them too tightly, and because I usually restring 65cm to 80cm dolls, the doll's weight and the tension always tire me out by the 3rd+ time. :doh

      Any time that I restring a doll, and by the end of the day, my hands end up dry, red -almost raw from pulling the string, and sometimes bruised because the doll's resin pinches my skin skin repeatedly. :lol:

      The most painful ones have been when the resin knee or feet joints pinch the skin between my thumb and index fingers. OUCH!!!:sweat
       
    4. I don't go around saying I put my blood and sweat in my dolls for nothing! I've lost tips of nails and skin during restringing a few times :P I think the worst one, however, did not happen to me but to my best friend. We were on a tag team to restring a troublesome body and I cannot recall which one of our dolls it was at the time... This was around 8 years ago! So we had her using the string puller from Dollmore and I was holding the parts in place to make it easier. But the string was super thick and kept getting stuck on certain areas and we weren't as experienced back then. At some point we could NOT get that damn thing through the upper leg and out of the knee, so instead of rotating it around she got impatient and tried to force it a bit. The puller passed through with the string and pierced her other hand's, which was holding the knee part of the joint, pointing finger right through! It went like halfway in the finger, under the nail area. She didn't feel anything but gasped after realizing what was going on. When I noticed, we both just stared at it for like 20 seconds without saying anything. When she took it out it didn't bleed much and we washed it thoroughly, then disinfected it with alcohol and treated it before wrapping up in band aid.
      Thinking back, we probably should've gone to a hospital and her her a tetanus shot, but we couldn't believe that had just happened.

      I think another funny thing we used to do and still have to sometimes is use our feet to hold parts or strings between the fingers on larger dolls when stringing alone. It's quite the sight for whoever walks in the room uninformed hahaha!
       
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    5. I mostly don't mind it and can usually take a doll apart and put her back together in less than 10 minutes. I don't particularly enjoy it, but I don't mind it either.

      But there are always those difficult ones!

      I had one doll who was strung somewhat tightly, and I was pulling really hard on the stringing tool and...it snapped in half, the string broke loose and resin went flying everywhere! No damage at all to the doll, but I've never used a stringing tool since--I prefer floral wire, it's stronger, and I've never had one break.

      Another bad one was an Iplehouse Barron. His stringing was tight and I was trying to get it loose. The head s-hook slipped into the neck, and I tried to pull it loose. This resulted in it digging into my finger, and with one hand trapped (my finger was stuck between the neck and hook, with the hook digging into my flesh), I couldn't get free! Husband to the rescue, he got me loose and finished stringing for me.
       
    6. I too bled during restringing. It got on the doll and I was perversely proud. I told her "You really are mine."
       
    7. It took me a long time to work up the courage to restring my dolls. My husband laughs at me about it because now I'll take a doll apart without a second thought. I still sometimes have issues with getting the tension right, though.
       
    8. I recently got my first doll and (maybe foolishly) tried to restring her to take off the previous' owner's body blushing. I'd already watched 4 or 5 tutorials on stringing dolls, so I thought maybe it wouldn't be that hard? :doh

      Problem is she's a super skinny doll chateau yosd, And the elastic knot wouldn't fit through her neck hole like it'd shown in the videos I'd watched. I freaked out for hours thinking I'd broken her, restrung her incorrectly like 3 times and eventually just gave up for a few hours. After fiddling for a while I managed to figure her out, but jesus was it a bad first restringing experience.

      In the future I won't restring dolls unless they desperately need it. ESPECIALLY tinies.:lol:
       
    9. I recently acquired a doll that desperately needs restringing, and I really don’t want to... I keep putting it off and off and off. In the meantime, she can barely sit down. My first doll came unassembled, and I remember my fingers hurting something awful (some ten years ago now).
       
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    10. I find it easier to do restringing with a partner around. That way if things get persnickety, someone else can try or take over for a few minutes or just offer extra hands.
       
    11. I bought a tiny doll secondhand from the DOA marketplace and she was a nearly ten year old doll and never was restrung before and needed a bath so I look he body apart and gave her a bath. A few hours later she was fully dry and ready to be put back together. I had already bought new elastic and everything for her. It was my very first time restringing a doll. I looked up videos online that really helped me. It got a little frustrating at times but I did it all by myself and I felt proud! After accomplishing the tiny I decided to restring my 1/3 SD girl for the first time. I had to have a friend help me with her. Getting the feet off and on was the hardest part for us. We eventually got her put back together again, but her torso part of her body was a little loose so I tried to tighten the elastic a little bit. I'm still having issues with the torso being a little loose, but I'll figure it out!
       
    12. I overall don't mind doing restrings. I've done a few of them--some were quick, others hours-long tirades. Thankfully most of mine are in the SD size 60+cm range, because I think trying to restring a tiny or YoSD would make scream in panic. Such tiny channels and string to work with!

      One thing that seems to be a common, and repeated, mishap done during restringing is reversing the limbs. While I was working on one last night, I had to restring the legs three times or more because I kept putting them on the wrong side:XD:, and I kept double-checking to be certain I was stringing them right. I still managed to keep making the same mistake!

      As for the hardest...it's getting the little S-hooks for the hands and limbs looped onto the string without lodging the metal tip inside the string. Or just getting them attached in general. I luckily don't get pinched by joints very often. I try to avoid having bare skin anywhere near them while I'm in the process of restringing.
       
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    13. I am not going to to restring my doll, I will look for someone to do it for me. just trying to find the right area to go and ask for help.
       
    14. I used to be terrified to the bone of the very idea of restringing a doll. I went for years without doing it, until I finally got an Iplehouse Grace who was so floppy that her only positions were a deep bow when trying to stand, or resting her head on her knees when sitting. Clearly something had to be done, and I did NOT want to be the one to do it. Unfortunately, looking under the beds and behind the rosebushes wouldn't have netted me any BJD-knowledgeable volunteers, so yeah, it was me or no one. I bought a hemostat and a stringing tool, and took her apart with trembling hands. Huh. It had only taken a few minutes, and had actually been quite easy...which meant the hard part I had been dreading was clearly yet to come. So, I bravely rolled up my sleeves, tightened the elastic and put her back together. It took only a few minutes longer than it had to pull her apart. :sweat

      To make a long story even longer, it was the silliest that I have ever felt before or since as a doll owner when I realized that all of that anxiety, all of the daydreams of finding a customizer to do restringing for me, and all of the nervous shaking when I first pulled her head off...were utter and complete much-ado-about-nothing. Now I do it without any hesitation, and actually find both the experience and the ultimate results to be quite enjoyable and gratifying.
       
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    15. I honestly don’t mind restringing. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it or avoid it. I have so far only had one restringing accident. An s hook sliced open my finger when restringing my dollzone body. Other than that I haven’t had anything weird or painful happen lol.
       
    16. I put it off for as long as I can. Not until they are a floppy mess. I dread the process something bad.
       
    17. I usually enjoy restringing my dolls, but I have been reduced to screaming when putting a Doll Chateau Ant back together. Never ever again shall I do that to myself :nosebleed
       
    18. I also put off restringing because my first few attempts were miserable failures, and I'm easily discouraged (lol). All these tales of people spilling blood over their dolls is not exactly making me want to do it more...
       
    19. I too love restringing! Now that I know how to do it in a way that works for me...I can restring anything and fast.

      But I have stories. So many stories.

      My second doll had his knot move to his leg. It cracked loudly every time I tried to move him and scared the hell out of me. I had no idea what was happening! I thought he was going to break, and in a panic, cut the string. I had no string to replace it so he had to be in pieces until I got some. I managed to restring him (with some help) and he was literally never the same.

      My fifth doll was my first second-hand purchase and my first hybrid, and the first doll that came to me unstrung, and my first Volks as he was on an SD13 body. His previous owner sent great instructions and I followed them and strung him up pretty good. But he would just...lose his head at horribly inappropriate times. I'm not sure when it is appropriate to lose a head, but I swear this doll's head came off all the time. And then somehow I would manage to unstring the whole body. Well, the top half of the body. So I'd try to get the string back up to put him together and IT NEVER WORKED. There would be tears, blood (I bled on him a lot) and if I ever managed to get him right, it would happen all over again. Thus began my pattern of randomly unstringing Volks dolls.
      I learned three things from this doll:
      1: It's harder to attempt to put a half-unstrung doll back together than it is to just take the whole thing apart and start over
      2: the size of the s-hook matters. His hook was too small, both for the head and the body, which is why I had so much trouble with him.
      3: String pullers bad, ribbons good

      My fourth doll is the one that hurt me the most. He was a B&G Sapphira, and back in the day, B&G strung their dolls with double hooks in the hands and feet. I think this was their way of making life easier. Unfortunately it just caused me to let go of the string while trying to put him back together after tightening him, and get an s-hook imbedded in my thumb. More blood.
      I learned to use chopsticks to aid in restringing dolls from this injury.

      One of my LE15 boys taught me the hard way not to use metal chopsticks - I had one holding the string in his arm, and it chipped his wrist. Only use wood.
      I have had a wooden chopstick break while stringing, but neither me nor the doll were injured during that restringing so I still count it as a win and only use wood.

      ONE-PART TORSOS ARE HARD
      I'm not kidding. I got my first Volks SD10 body and literally as soon as I pulled it out of the box I somehow unstrung it and it was in pieces. Me and Volks are bad. Also they have too small of s-hooks. It took me forever to put it back together. I was a decently good stringer at this point, and IT TOOK FOREVER. All of my stringing hacks failed in the face of a one-part torso. I still have nightmares.

      Pukis. That's it. That's the horror story.
      Seriously though, I thought it would be a good idea to string several (four) of them at once in order to make a few hybrids. The only good thing that came out of it is that I learned a needle and thread is a MUST when stringing teeny tinies.

      And the worst.
      I got a relatively inexpensive Pukifee second-hand that needed some TLC. I took it apart and cleaned it well, and got ready to replace it's gross and old string. Hours later and lots of tears I could not figure out how to put it back together or what I was doing wrong. I was glaring at it in hatred when I realized that one tiny thigh was more hollowed out than the other. After being pissed at FL for shoddy workmanship for a minute I realized that that was where the knot went. In that hollowed out thigh. It was the only place it could go, which is why I was having so much trouble. Who puts a knot in a leg on purpose?! Fairyland. Regardless, it worked and he got put back together.

      The funniest
      So my favorite doll is a Ringdoll K on a Dollmore Glamor Model body. The Glamor Model body is new, he was on a Model body up until this year. Model bodies have almost no muscle tone at all, and their arms, while not shapeless tubes, are close. They also have this dot system I've never been able to crack even though Dollmore was my first doll and I own a lot of them. I'd never owned a Model body before this one, but it was constructed almost exactly like the Adam body so when I got it, I restrung him with thicker, very tight string and sueded his hips and chest, which is what I did with all my Adams. No big.
      But this RDK hybrid needed a bunch of magical symbol tattoos. All over his upper body including both arms. I did a really good job on those arms.
      And one day I had his hands off, for some reason I don't remember, and I noticed the dots. Two on one and one on the other. On a very obviously right and left hand. Which didn't match up to the dots on his arms.
      Because I had strung them on the wrong sides.
      And now he was tattooed. A lot.
      I couldn't even cry over this mess but I laughed a lot. Hysterical laughter that is almost screaming. I still laugh about it because how can you not?
      And I left him like that, with wrong-side arms for at least close to a year. I kept saying I'd fix it when I got him jointed hands, which I did finally, and then went on and wiped all my work and attempted to redo it so his arms could be on right.

      I'm sure there are more than this -- I restring dolls at meets, have had a meet where we did nothing but string dolls where I restrung probably 10 dolls then went home and restrung one of my own, have made s-hooks on the fly, have fixed dolls who seem to be messed up but are just strung wrong, almost always put the wrong foot on first and then have to redo it -- but these are the ones that stand out to me as both the worst, and best because without all these mistakes I wouldn't know how to do things the right way. Or at least my right way, which is the way that works for me.
       
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    20. I've tried restringing two dolls, one was a very kicky resin soul mi and the other was a doll chateau MSD and I cannot figure out how you lot do it so easily. It's so difficult and then after I've fought tooth and nail against the elastic the doll is still floppy. Suffice it to say I hate it lol.