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ichadwick
02-26-2009, 10:46 AM
How much distance between the fretboard and the string at the 12th fret do you consider acceptable to say a uke has "good" action?

I just got a new uke and there's just enough space to place two quarters between the string and the fretboard (resting on the frets, of course) at the 12th fret - without actually touching the string (it's very close though). Based on other ukes I've bought, that seems a little high.

I was thinking of sanding off a very, very small amount from the bottom of the saddle to lower it. Any suggestions?

GX9901
02-26-2009, 10:59 AM
2 quarters is about 0.133" (3.36mm) according to a caliper. I think a decent action from a factory instrument is probably around 0.12". Custom built instruments are frequently setup at around 0.10" or even a hair less.

Sanding off the saddle is probably the easiest way to lower that action. Remember you need to sand off twice the length at the saddle for the given length you're trying to lower at the 12th fret.

E-Lo Roberts
02-26-2009, 11:14 AM
2 quarters is about 0.133" (3.36mm) according to a caliper. I think a decent action from a factory instrument is probably around 0.12". Custom built instruments are frequently setup at around 0.10" or even a hair less.

Sanding off the saddle is probably the easiest way to lower that action. Remember you need to sand off twice the length at the saddle for the given length you're trying to lower at the 12th fret.
I set my ukulele's up at 0.070 " at the 12th fret. Any lower it gets slappy on the fretboard, any higher and it begins to feel uncomfortable to my playing preference.

IMHO, 0.10" sounds about a bit high for custom, but then I live in nowhere cow country far away from the incredible builders in Hawaii...and oh yeah, let me not forget about Dominator and Pete's great builds...e.lo...

ichadwick
02-26-2009, 11:28 AM
I just checked on this and it seems about 4mm from top of fret to bottom of string, and about 5 mm from fret board to string. So that seems a bit high.

I'm not sure about the saddle - are they normally glued in? Or held by friction?

I'm at work, and got it delivered here today, so I really can't tinker much with it until I get it home and can loosen the strings to see.

JKoval
02-26-2009, 12:22 PM
Nothing less than four inches. Anything less is just simple not acceptable.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-26-2009, 01:42 PM
I set my ukulele's up at 0.070 " at the 12th fret.
Wow, your da man! Is that for a tenor scale?

cpatch
02-26-2009, 01:51 PM
I'm not sure about the saddle - are they normally glued in? Or held by friction?
Friction..

hoosierhiver
02-26-2009, 03:15 PM
When lowering action on a uke always start with the nut.

koalohapaul
02-26-2009, 06:39 PM
Our factory setting is about .110". Custom instruments are usually lower, at about .090". Remember, if you want to lower it .010" at the 12th fret, you'll have to remove double the height at the saddle.

ichadwick
02-27-2009, 01:25 AM
When lowering action on a uke always start with the nut.

The action at the lower frets is good, so I think lowering the nut height will bring about a buzz up there. The strings (Aquila) sit a little proud on the nut, which might be compensated by adjusting the grooves a hair. But it looks to me to be the saddle height that's a problem since the action at the first-fifth frets is fine, but becomes more noticeable as you move up the neck to the 12th.

jhob
02-27-2009, 02:42 AM
are these measurements from top of fret or from the fretboard?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-27-2009, 06:17 AM
The measurement is most commonly taken from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string.

E-Lo Roberts
03-02-2009, 05:41 AM
Wow, your da man! Is that for a tenor scale?
Chuck, yes the tenor is the only size uke I am making at the moment. No need to set up more jigs for the other sizes at this point since I am still on that learning curve as you know with the overall build. That being said, I have found via trial and error that the .070" height at the 12th fret from the top of the fret to the bottom of the high g string is in perfect sync with my compension setup and intonation concerns. As a player also, I live and breath intonation wise from the first fret to well above the 12th fret. If it's off, it drives me bonkers! So my formula is to set my compension up at exactly 17 3/32" from the beginning of the nut to the front edge of the saddle. Using an 1/8" saddle I then flat crown it at the top to .050" The end reslut IMO is a marriage of near perfect playability and musicial intonation.