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pdxuke
02-24-2011, 08:24 AM
Hello All:

One of my vintage ukes has "dangerously low" action :-)

The strings are virtually laying on the frets at the ist fret. Surprisingly, it's not a huge buzz problem--but they are currently strung with Aquila concerts (on a soprano) and nice and thick. If I changed them to Martins, which are thinner, they'd probably lay right on the frets!

I'd like to try raising the action of the nut without changing it out for a new one. i remember reading about using paper, and super glue, etc, but i can't find the threads.

I'd appreciate your ideas. If I have to, I'll take it to be set-up in a shop, but thought I'd try this first.

Thom

Kanaka916
02-24-2011, 08:32 AM
From 3 different threads . . .


for the martin's it sounds like it is too low then at the nut end? (because Martin strings are less fat) you check that by pressing on the third fret and it should be not touching the first fret. If it is touching then just get some superglue and raise the action at the nut a little. You put superglue in the nut and add a touch of baking soda, let it dry and then file it back down to as low as you want. If the thing is ok at the nut end, then you have to shim up the bridge maybe to cure the buzz.


Thought I'd pass this on...
...I was lowering the action at the nut with a knife/file and accidentally went too far :eek:
I didn't go super deep, but deep enough that the string started buzzing with heavy strokes on the 1st fret.
I'm more than a little too anally retentive to wedge something under the string to elevate it, so put on my thinking cap. My solution was Crazy Glue.
Not any Crazy Glue, but the newer stuff called Crazy Glue Gel
I removed the string from the slot, taped-off both edges of the groove and carefully scooped glue into it with a needle as an applicator (not directly out of the bottle). The Gel is thicker and easier to work with and was able to make the groove not-so-deep (you don't need to completely fill it). The nice thing about this glue is it hardens to a very dense resin, not much different from the synthetic bone the nut is made of. Being glue, you also don't need to worry about it ever slipping out.
I let it fully dry for a day and then filed the slot down again, but not as much as the 1st time. :)

This probably would help those who modified the nut for a Low G, and went back to a High G too.


superglue or equivalent gel or thick style is easiest. the best way to apply put a drop on something dip a toothpick or end of old string and dab into slot no need to mask that way. usually then you add bonedust.... a quick substitute is some fine arm and hammer baking soda....really no kidding...

pdxuke
02-24-2011, 08:36 AM
many thanks

RyanMFT
02-24-2011, 08:40 AM
Just wondering, which uke is it and how old is the uke? One of mine is super low too, and then I had the thought to tune it up a step, as I read early on "A" tuning was standard.....low and behold, the extra tension on the strings made a difference and although the action is still extremely low, it just felt "right" and seemed clear to me that whomever adjusted the action on this uke was likely using this tuning.

pdxuke
02-24-2011, 08:49 AM
Just wondering, which uke is it and how old is the uke? One of mine is super low too, and then I had the thought to tune it up a step, as I read early on "A" tuning was standard.....low and behold, the extra tension on the strings made a difference and although the action is still extremely low, it just felt "right" and seemed clear to me that whomever adjusted the action on this uke was likely using this tuning.

Hi Ryan-- The Favilla. Great uke, and I should tune it up, you're right. It's in C now, I'll go to D tuning. That might do the trick.

pdxuke
02-24-2011, 08:53 AM
Tuned it to D tuning, and it's much improved. Good idea Ryan. I can certainly live with it this way. Nice uke with great tone; now my D tuning uke!

PS--Are worth clears flurocarbon, and are they thicker than Martin?

RyanMFT
02-24-2011, 09:17 AM
Oops, I meant to write "D" tuning....I don't know why I wrote "A".

So glad it helped!

pdxuke
02-24-2011, 09:48 AM
Ryan, which vintage of yours has low action? just curious.

ichadwick
02-24-2011, 10:14 AM
I'd like to try raising the action of the nut...
Nuts are a bugger to alter. Easier to add a thin shin under the saddle (or even install a new saddle). You can use an old credit card for shim material. Works reasonably well. A new saddle is better, of course - bone or Tusq recommended.

OldePhart
02-24-2011, 11:40 AM
Hello All:
I'd like to try raising the action of the nut without changing it out for a new one.

I wouldn't recommend raising the nut except as an absolute last resort. Generally, the lower the action at the nut the better the intonation will be. If you just need to raise the action, most often it is the bridge saddle that needs to be raised, which is fairly easy to accomplish with a shim or a new saddle.

John

pdxuke
02-24-2011, 11:55 AM
Thanks all. I actually don't need to raise anything. The D tuning puts this into the realm of good playing.

RyanMFT
02-24-2011, 12:52 PM
Ryan, which vintage of yours has low action? just curious.

The uke in my signature is the one I was talking about....it is the lowest of all my uke's. I don't know how it doesn't buzz all the time. It was built around 1900.

The action on my Favilla is pretty low as well. It is just where I like it, but any lower and I think it would be a bit of an issue. I'm jazzed that moving up to D tuning helped you.... I don't often have much help to offer people on these boards other than supportive words.