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LadyGadget
06-12-2017, 03:46 AM
I've made a couple of Cigar Box Ukes and will be making a bunch at a family reunion with kids and adults. I'd really appreciate some advice on types/brands of tuning keys, nuts and saddle bridges. We need to keeps costs down but I don't want them to break or sound like rubber band instruments.
Also, any building tips would also be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

Joe King
06-12-2017, 05:00 AM
check out http://www.cbgitty.com, they have kits for both 'cigar box ukes' and 'cigar box guitars', and all of the possible parts if you don't want to buy a full kit, prices are in line with other vendors and shipping is reasonable

also, check out http://wolfelele.com, they also have kits, which are designed to be build with just some glue and a screwdriver, and have gotten high marks for easy projects and don't sound bad from all the reviews I've seen

both vendors will ship worldwide...

hope you can find something :)

Tenor
06-12-2017, 08:37 AM
Recently, I bought a few sets of black button tuners (L & R) on ebay- only around $3 for a set of four, including shipping. Also tried a few 2 piece nut and saddle sets, and each set was only a little over a dollar(!), also with free shipping. Satisfied; the products were fine for their intended purposes (I'm not working on priceless works of art). Heck, they may be even the same items from the same manufacturers, that can be purchased locally for higher prices plus shipping costs.

Do note that each order took about 3 weeks to arrive from Asia, in case time is a big concern. In my case, there was no hurry, and I just worked on other aspects of my projects in the meantime.

ProfChris
06-12-2017, 12:49 PM
Recently, I bought a few sets of black button tuners (L & R) on ebay- only around $3 for a set of four, including shipping. Also tried a few 2 piece nut and saddle sets, and each set was only a little over a dollar(!), also with free shipping. Satisfied; the products were fine for their intended purposes (I'm not working on priceless works of art). Heck, they may be even the same items from the same manufacturers, that can be purchased locally for higher prices plus shipping costs.

Do note that each order took about 3 weeks to arrive from Asia, in case time is a big concern. In my case, there was no hurry, and I just worked on other aspects of my projects in the meantime.

Tuners at that price can work well or sometimes not. A bit of a lottery. But, buy more sets than you need and be prepared to bin the 10-50% that don't.

Or, once you start looking, you will find slightly different tuners at about twice the price or a little more (maybe US$6-10). These are usually noticeably better quality. Do check that the pictures are different from the cheaper ones though! Usually there is a discount for quantity (5 sets or so). These are what I fit to the ukes I make.

Nuts and bridges I make myself, but I've seen the cheap ones from Asia in the flesh. Plastic nuts and saddles are OK, though if you can stand the work then bone blanks are better. The bridges are rough but functional, and a little sanding improves them.

I suspect that some of the makers of these mid-priced tuners also make them for brand names. The price difference is in part the extra quality control (I'd expect 100% of Grover tuners to work well, maybe 90% of the mid-price Asia-direct ones) and the rest is for packaging, distribution and the brand name.