View Full Version : Uke setup question

Colonel Uke
12-05-2011, 09:08 AM
When setting up the action/ string height on a newly built uke is it preferable to start by setting the height at the nut end, the saddle end, or the 12th fret first?

Liam Ryan
12-05-2011, 09:25 AM
nut then saddle, repeat as necessary.

12-05-2011, 09:10 PM
Setting up action is easiest if you can get the saddle reasonably close before you go for the fine adjustments. You can get the saddle pretty close before strings go on at all following this method.

Get yourself a 1/8" drill bit or similar to use as a spacer. You also need a straight edge long enough to span from the 1stt fret to over shooting the saddle slot. Now place the 1/8" spacer next to the 14th fret, on the sound hole side and then lay the straight edge so it rests on the top of the 1st fret and the 1/8" spacer. You then measure the depth from the bottom of the saddle slot to the bottom edge of your straight edge (this might be easier with another set of hands). This tells you the hight your saddle needs to be to get the action pretty close to the 2.0 - 2.2 mm that most people prefer.

Make up the saddle, put in place, then string up. Now you can adjust the action at the nut. When happy with that, check at the 12th fret and adjust saddle if necessary. You should be pretty good to go from there. Much better than just about any off the shelf factory uke I've seen.

You will probably want to have it strung up for a week or so and then revisit the set up to see how the top and neck have adjusted to living with the string tension. Small adjustments are sometimes required.

Ronnie Aloha
12-06-2011, 04:07 AM
I had to read your instructions over twice to visualize the technique but that's a great idea! Thanks Allen.