View Full Version : Tutorial

09-08-2008, 03:15 AM
Would any of you be interested in putting up a tutorial about how to set up a Ukulele.?

My Uke needs some work done on the action and I think maybe the nut needs to be replaced.
I appears the previous owner took a file to the nut.

I have a Kamaka Tenor built in 1997. Is this something I should try to tackle on my own or should I leave it to a professional?

Pete Howlett
09-08-2008, 03:35 AM
I'me setting up a tenor this afternoon - I'll see what I can capture for you...

09-08-2008, 12:48 PM
Thanks Pete!

09-08-2008, 01:07 PM
I'me setting up a tenor this afternoon - I'll see what I can capture for you...

How cool is that!!! I'm sure many including myself would benefit from this tremendously. I'll be keeping an eager eye out for it!!!

Pete Howlett
09-08-2008, 02:02 PM
Had to go to a movie - will do it on a soprano I have to fix for the show this weekend tomorrow...

09-08-2008, 10:33 PM
This is absolutely something that you can do on your own.
The only thing you have to remember is to take you time and do it right.
Haste makes waste as they say, and in luthiery it is more true than most things.
Maybe Pete can put up a tutorial on how to do it, if not you can check out the Hana Lima forum and ask the nice people there ( www.hanalima.com )
First find out the procedure, and then take your time.
If you mess up the nut or saddle, just take it off and do it over ( but make sure that you learn from your mistake ).
Good luck

09-09-2008, 11:46 AM
Mahalo for that link Bob! Just ordered a new TUSQ nut and saddle. Seems pretty straight foreword. Ya gotta love the internet and all the information available!

Pete Howlett
09-09-2008, 10:06 PM
Gotta disagree - you have to be shown how to do because it is beyond explanation - haven't you guys heard of MOJO? :D I'll do it today, promise.

09-09-2008, 11:26 PM
Gotta disagree - you have to be shown how to do because it is beyond explanation - haven't you guys heard of MOJO? :D I'll do it today, promise.

Pete you have become extremely valuable around these parts. Your comments and tutorials are appreciated. Much aloha and mahalos.

09-10-2008, 07:54 AM
I have been building since Sept. 2007.
I have completed 1 ukulele, and am working on 2 more right now.
I will be the first to tell you that I don't know everything, but I am learning more each time I build, an when I give advice it is always gained from my experiences in ukulele construction.
I agree with Pete that it is better to be shown how to do something, but it is also possible to learn it from a book.
My first ukulele didn't turn out perfect, but it was playable, and I learned alot.
My next two that I am making are looking much better.
Thanks for the interest.

Pete Howlett
09-10-2008, 08:21 AM
I have read practically every book on guitar construction in the past 30 years and what i learnt was, if you had time to write a book, you weren't making it building 'em! I hung around a luthier for about year trying to consolidate what I had learnt at college. It wasn't until I started building on a production level that I really learnt my chops!

So books are good - demos are better. What did we do before tabbed instruction video????

Pete Howlett
09-10-2008, 08:25 AM
I've shot the video guys but I lost my way through it and didn't explain where I was going very well. I'll try again tomorrow...

09-10-2008, 11:26 AM
Mahalo for the effort Pete!

09-10-2008, 05:12 PM
OK check it out..I'm new here...didn't wanna start a fight about who's the best Ukulele builder an like that....I'm just looking for advice on how to replace the nut on my Ukulele.

I've seen a few videos on the net of guys changing the nut...no big thing right?

Bob...who incidentally has built a few Ukulele in his time has come forward and giving me the kokua I needed to get this done.

Pete I'm hoping is gonna post a vid on how to set up a Uke.....

What I'm tryin to say is if you don't have anything positive to add to this thread then......:cool:

Pete Howlett
09-10-2008, 10:52 PM
Oh dear... I too have issues with so called experts who have just arrived on the building scene because I do not consider myself an expert!
An ex is someone who has been
A spurt is a drip under pressure
I think everyone's view is important and I have seen some amateur first builds that have blown me away. To a degree, you require are certain skill set and a good instrument can be made with close guidance. However, patience and attention to detail are probably the best qualities to have in this game - without them you are certainly grossly handicapped.

I have had to learn patience most of all because I cannot wait to get strings on the finished uke. And you know - waiting 10 days for the lacquer to harden is the longest 10 days there is...

09-11-2008, 09:14 AM
To Hawaiian Serenader and Kripplernuts45

Tim asked a question, and I was providing encouragement to him, by telling him that he could fix his Ukulele on his own, instead of sending it off to someone else.
I never said that I know everything, or bow down and worship me as a luthier, because I don't know everything. But I have done it before, and I know that he can too if he just learns the proper procedure. I respect your opinion of me, and that is fine. But I think that you handled it badly by putting it in a post for the whole forum to see.
I was being encouraging, and you two were degrading.
If you had something to say to me, you should have pmed me and said it.
Like Tim says If you don't have something nice to say...:cool: You know what I mean.
By the way, if you live on O'ahu, then I would be ok with getting together and comparing notes. Pm me and we will see about arranging something.

To Tim,
Hope it goes well man,
Good luck

09-11-2008, 09:59 AM
This reminds me of the joke about the old guy who built bridges all his life. One day he did something and no one called him a bridge builder anymore....

09-11-2008, 10:02 AM
i dont wanna build my own uke anymore :(

ill just go on mickey mousing my existing ukes to fit my needs. pick guards anyone?:rock:

09-11-2008, 11:41 AM
Hey Nuke,

I apologize on behalf of Kripplernuts45 and Hawaiian Serenader.
I want you to know that not all luthiers are like that, and it is a wonderful experience to build your own Ukulele from blocks of wood.
But your decision is your own, and I respect it.
Take care

09-11-2008, 12:51 PM
its all good. i really said it in jest, because of all of the "long distance peeing" goin on. its really quite amusing.

i do one day want to build my own ukulele. but that will happen in due time.

there was a time that i was an AVID fisherman. i would pour my own plastics, tie my own flies (many of which were very effective in local waters), and ive even built several of my own fishing rods. now fishermen are a bunch of crazy drunken trash talkers, in general, but among the rodbuilders that i associated with, never once was the size of one "rod" compared to the other.

my point? we're musicians! we dont kill anything. we dont even have a structured way to compete with each other that doesnt involve stabbing someone in the back for a paid gig. so if someone's "richard" is bigger than the other who cares (other than the person showing Richard off to the rest of the world)? i dont. because i can still do the 5 finger roll that i learned from aldrine guerrero on my $50 makala / nukedoc custom with slotted headstock and cool white vinyl sticker of the philippines on the lower end of the soundboard. now who wants to play the solo while i play the rhythm to I'm Yours by Danyo Cummings? :rofl:

09-12-2008, 06:54 PM
Well I spent the better part of the afternoon and night tracking down a blank nut. Finally found a piece of bone at a guitar repair shop.

I had ordered a TUSQ Ukulele nut but it didn't fit it was to low to the first fret. Got the thing down to size, cut the slots for the strings and did a number of dry fittings.
Here's a picture of the finished nut....just waiting for the glue to set up and I'll fine tune it. Thanks all of you that helped! :bowdown:

Next project...catch some AHI in the morning! :rock: