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mr roper
12-02-2011, 02:39 PM
Hello, This is my first post. I just started a Grizzly kit that I've had kicking around for a while. While getting ready to glue the neck on it seemed like there was just too much fumbling to do to get a ratchet strap clamp tightened and keep the neck where I wanted it. I remembered the trick used on finger boards where you hammer in small brads and clip them off with diagonal cutters. Keeps the joint from slipping while you clamp.

PhilUSAFRet
12-02-2011, 03:21 PM
Hmmm, thanks, I'll try that on my Grizzly kit.

mr roper
12-02-2011, 03:39 PM
I hammered and clipped the brads (I actually used straight pins) on the body stood the uke up with the neck lined up and tapped on the head to imprint the pins in the heel and then removed it. It was easy to apply glue and position the neck back in the same place and clamp up.

Vic D
12-02-2011, 03:47 PM
I use a Stanley staple gun and pop two staples into the center of the neck around the 3rd and 10th frets, then snip off the excess with a side cutter I modified (grinded) to cut and remove frets, leaving four points which I file sharp. Then I line up the fretboard just right and push it down. Works great. I only wish they made brass staples. For gluing the neck to the body I built a jig with a big screw bar clamp in a base and special cauls. With the fingerboard clamped down to the body with a cam clamp, the uke body and neck get pushed together at the same time... works a treat... as long as the joints are tight.

mr roper
12-08-2011, 04:43 PM
It looks like I'm going to end up with pretty high action at the 12th fret. I forgot to check the neck set when I glued that up so I thinned the bridge a little to drop the saddle slot some so I wouldn't have a too low saddle. The bridge isn't glued yet but a straight edge tells me that the action will be high. I think the thin plywood finger board is the problem. A 1/16th or so spacer under it would get things closer or of course a proper finger board. I'm going to finish it up and see what I get.

Ed

Rick Turner
12-08-2011, 06:47 PM
Just run the strings through the sound hole and glue the bridge on to the underside of the top. Then you'll have to raise the action at the bridge saddle to lower it on the neck...

Errr...

OK, this is a premature ejaculation of an April Fools' joke...

But really, get past the Grizz kits! I'm sorry, but they're not worth the labor to put together.

mr roper
12-09-2011, 01:24 AM
You're right Rick, but I would like to be able to play this a little if possible. I just want to warn anyone else with a Grizzly kit and I have plenty of time to waste anyway. How about the Stew-Mac kits?

Vic D
12-09-2011, 01:28 AM
On this uke, gluing a spacer to the bridge wouldn't be so aweful. What is the bridge made from, mahogany like material? If you have any cuts from the sides leftover glue a piece to the bottom of the bridge and clamp it down real tight. Let it sit for 24 hours for good measure then carefully trim and sand it. Then tape a piece of 100 grit sandpaper to the top of the uke where the bridge goes and holding the bridge flat, push it over the sandpaper in one direction so that you're not rocking it back and forth. After a bit the bridge will lay flush with the top... then glue the thang down. Better than having high action... should be fine.
I normally don't even care for saddle shims but it's a griz kit, it's meant to modify lol.

Vic D
12-09-2011, 01:30 AM
You're right Rick, but I would like to be able to play this a little if possible. How about the Stew-Mac kits?

Stew Mac kits are excellent.

Sven
12-09-2011, 02:00 AM
On this uke, gluing a spacer to the bridge wouldn't be so aweful. What is the bridge made from, mahogany like material? If you have any cuts from the sides leftover glue a piece to the bottom of the bridge and clamp it down real tight. Let it sit for 24 hours for good measure then carefully trim and sand it. Then tape a piece of 100 grit sandpaper to the top of the uke where the bridge goes and holding the bridge flat, push it over the sandpaper in one direction so that you're not rocking it back and forth. After a bit the bridge will lay flush with the top... then glue the thang down. Better than having high action... should be fine.
I normally don't even care for saddle shims but it's a griz kit, it's meant to modify lol.

How would raising the bridge lower the action? I don't get it. But I have a cold and my head is not working as it should.

S

mr roper
12-09-2011, 02:01 AM
Actually the bridge is too high. I was talking about raising the finger board.

Vic D
12-09-2011, 02:06 AM
Oh, OK. lol I just woke up. Yeah do the same with the fretboard then. It'll be a custom fretboard stripe, that'll be great.

mr roper
12-09-2011, 02:23 AM
I understand Vic, I'm a slow starter myself. The fretboard is already glued. If the uke's not playable I'll have to remove the fretboard and start over.

Vic D
12-09-2011, 02:29 AM
Oh, lol. Hmmm... yep. Or you could try to source really tall frets. Hehe... just kidding. Time to break out the wifey's clothes iron.

mr roper
12-09-2011, 04:50 AM
There's no finish on the neck yet. I just now glued the bridge. I'm going to string it up and see what I can do with the action before I finish the neck.

mr roper
12-10-2011, 04:23 AM
OK, so it looks like I jumped the gun in judging that the action would be high. I strung it up and I've barely got 1/8" at the 12th fret which to me is a darn good starting point! I need to lower things at the nut and I can drop the saddle at least a 1/32nd and still have break angle. I might just leave the saddle alone.

Vic D
12-10-2011, 05:16 AM
How would raising the bridge lower the action? I don't get it. But I have a cold and my head is not working as it should.

S

If you had woken from the dream I had woken from you'd have been just as disoriented. Let's just say that waking up was hard to do, I can only hope it will be recurring. ;)

Vic D
12-10-2011, 05:19 AM
OK, so it looks like I jumped the gun in judging that the action would be high. I strung it up and I've barely got 1/8" at the 12th fret which to me is a darn good starting point! I need to lower things at the nut and I can drop the saddle at least a 1/32nd and still have break angle. I might just leave the saddle alone.

That's awesome. As a general rule, if you place a straight edge on the fretboard and it just clears the bridge, you're golden. You can always take the bridge down a hair too.

I think I'm going to take a nap.

luthier
12-11-2011, 01:31 AM
You're right Rick, but I would like to be able to play this a little if possible. I just want to warn anyone else with a Grizzly kit and I have plenty of time to waste anyway. How about the Stew-Mac kits?
I helped a guy building a SM soprano kit several months ago. Its so-called mahogany b&s doesn't look like mahogany to me at all. The parts are quite rough, and one end of it one-piece side was overbent with severe runnout(like 50 degrees). For me I prefer building from scratch because it's easier to make one up to my not-so-high standard.

Vic D
12-11-2011, 08:00 AM
I helped a guy building a SM soprano kit several months ago. Its so-called mahogany b&s doesn't look like mahogany to me at all. The parts are quite rough, and one end of it one-piece side was overbent with severe runnout(like 50 degrees). For me I prefer building from scratch because it's easier to make one up to my not-so-high standard.

I hear that happens. Actually when I received my stewmac soprano kit part of one side of the top was broken off and missing. I called and without any questions they zipped me a new one. The one piece side was a bit out of whack and did have some runout in one area but I didn't recognize that at the time. Still, they were really helpful and it turned out to be a pretty nice sounding uke.

mr roper
01-22-2012, 03:33 PM
This thing is all done. Things I did that made sense too me:

1. The location for the bridge that the instructions gave didn't allow for any compensation so I moved the bridge 3/32 further.

2. The distance to the first fret was long so I shaved 1/32 off at the nut end.

3. Thinned the bridge 1/32 off of the bottom.

4. Made a new nut with better/wider spacing.

The action is great and plays nicely in tune once the cheap friction tuners are set.

Stewmac soprano kit is on its way!