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theblackox
07-20-2012, 10:47 AM
I have an Islander MSC-4 and just got a wound Low-G string to experiment with but the string doesn't doesn't quite fit in the nut. Do I have to widen the nut to get that in there? If so, what does that do if I want to go back to a High G? Will it then work for both or will it be a Low G Uke from then on out?

Thanks!

YooperUker
07-23-2012, 01:43 PM
I have an Islander MSC-4 and just got a wound Low-G string to experiment with but the string doesn't doesn't quite fit in the nut. Do I have to widen the nut to get that in there? If so, what does that do if I want to go back to a High G? Will it then work for both or will it be a Low G Uke from then on out?

I've been withholding my tuppence, waiting for someone with a bit more luthery experience to speak up, but no one has.

What I've done is widen the slot only as much as I need in order to get the large string to seat properly. Widening it the least that I can get away with has allowed me to switch back to thinner strings without incident.

Now, while I don't need the string to be loose in the slot, I also don't want it pinching so tightly that I have to force it into place. (Some string materials don't mind being pinched a bit, while others will develop a weak spot there).

Sometimes I widen it toward the bass side or the treble side or both. For me, it depends largely on how I want the string spacing to end up on the particular uke in question.

If the string difference is so great that you will need a saw to widen the slot, it will probably end up too loose for switching back to a reentrant set. (It also might necessitate deepening the slot, which could also cause problems for switching back.)

Use thin nail files, or similar, and take your time. Also, be careful not to deepen it accidentally. If need be, file off the edge of your file to keep the teeth or abrasives from eating away at the bottom of the slot. And make sure your filing is level and parallel to the string direction (or, for some, the bottom of the slot angles slightly away from the string).

Always remember to smooth (and polish, if possible) the modified slot before using it.

Dan

itsme
07-23-2012, 03:36 PM
Try it without modifying the slot first. Sometimes it will still work okay. If not, and it slides out of the slot or has problems, then tackle it. Many ukes will work fine with either high or low G on the same nut.

If you widen it and go back to high G and have issues, sometimes a tiny piece of paper in the nut slot will do the trick. Otherwise, a new nut is generally not that expensive.

Teek
07-23-2012, 03:44 PM
Great advice above, I would only add to that try picking up a set of torch cleaners at a hardware store. They come in a set kind of like feeler gauges, and are round and you should be able to find one that just fits the low 4th string size. And as noted watch you don't deepen the slot unduly, because it will cut all the way around. I found if I'm careful I can get the width I want on the nut slot without deepening it more than the treble string height. And of course a tiny spot or three of super glue can build the slot back up if necessary.. :o