View Full Version : lowering strings

12-05-2009, 06:53 AM
I recently aquired a 1958 harmony ukulele, the body and neck are in great condition its almost flawless, i got new friction peg tuners and replaces the strings with aquils it sound surprisingli beautiful but the strigs get pretty high toward the lower frets, I believe i can sand the bridge slightly and it would solve the problem... So my question is how do i remove the bridge with out damagin the intergrity of the uke. Im open to any suggestions.


12-05-2009, 08:01 AM
Is it one of these?

The one-piece bridge doesn't have a lot of room for modification. Even if you sand the saddley-part almost flush with the rest of the bridge, the action can be too high. You can keep chipping away at the bridge until it's at an acceptable height (the wood is soft), but by then you're still using a 50-year-old bridge that's likely pretty worn where the strings pass through. When I sanded mine down, the wood was so soft that the strings were digging deep into it.

I ended up removing the whole bridge by heating up the glue and then popping it off with a chisel. Then bought one of these bridges: http://cgi.ebay.com/Ukulele-ukelele-BRIDGE-Quality-beech_W0QQitemZ260343394019QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_M usical_Instruments_Sting_Instruments?hash=item3c9d aceee3

Sanded the crap out of it (it was way too high when it arrived), stained it, put it on, and then modified it a little more after it was strung up to get it to the proper height. I'm no luthier (just a 20something hack), but I found it pretty easy to get the action and intonation acceptable after replacing the whole bridge.

12-05-2009, 08:09 AM
Is the neck parallel to the body of the Uke? It could be the neck needs work and lowering the bridge is just a quick fix without addressing the real problem.

Laying a straightedge on the frets should tell you if the neck is warped or bowed. The straightedge should extend across the body pretty much parallel. If it hits the body halfway to the bridge, you have a seriously misaligned neck.

12-05-2009, 08:36 AM
Presuming it's the one piece wooden bridge/saddle combo. Maybe you should just use it for your easier 5 fret songs and not risk ruining the uke. Set your sights on a new uke with low action for your real shredding.

12-05-2009, 08:37 AM

heres a photo of the uke


the neck and everything seem to be straight against a yard stick it doesnt seem to be curved warped or twisted and its an actual rose wood fret board not the screwd on plastic like they used, I cant even find an actual picture
of it any where on the net thats why im hesitant to start taking things off.
I know its not an extremely valuble uke but at the same time i dont wanna destroy a vintage uke.

12-05-2009, 10:35 AM
Can't see the photos. They're marked "private"

12-05-2009, 01:52 PM
[...] the strigs get pretty high toward the lower frets [...]

"Lower" frets is probably most often taken to mean the frets at the headstock end. Frets at the body end would usually be termed "higher" frets.

The reason I mention this is that if you do mean that the strings get high at the frets near the headstock (i.e. the lower frets), then it would be the nut you'd need to consider adjusting rather than the bridge.