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Icelander53
03-22-2014, 01:29 PM
Very new to ukes and have just attempted to put on my second set of strings. I'm doing it on a beater Lanikai LU-21T. It was my first uke and is now going to be a learning tool on how to work on them. So I have it all strung up and with Oasis Low G strings. And low and behold the low G string won't fit down in the nut.

I did a quick search here and found that some people just leave it that way as long as it's not too bad of a problem for playing. The rest either attempt to widen the nut themselves or take it into the shop. Like I said I'd like to learn some basic skills on working on my ukes but don't want to get into something I can't handle. My tool using skills are mediocre but I can go slow and carefully and do simple things with success. I was wondering if I should attempt to widen the nut myself. If so would this be and acceptable tool for the job? http://www.amazon.com/Cigar-Box-Guitar-Tool-Grooves/dp/B00BJLAX2O/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

Do you think I should try? Any tips? If it plays ok as is I might leave it be for awhile but eventually anyway I'd like to get it down snug in the nut where it belongs.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-22-2014, 01:38 PM
Since you want to do this on the cheap you might have a finger nail file around that should be about the correct width. Those torch tip cleaners are available almost anywhere and will do the job albeit slowly. You can use anything that will widen the slot, even a sharp knife! A folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper will do the job as well. If by chance you file too far you can always fill the slot with the tiniest drop of gel-type super glue and refile. Adjusting the nut slot depth is a no brainer and something that every uke enthusiast should learn to do. Good luck.

Icelander53
03-22-2014, 01:44 PM
Thanks you just gave me the shot of confidence I needed.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-22-2014, 01:57 PM
BTW, the "files" that you provided a link for are not files at all. They are torch tip cleaners. You really don't want to use an aggressive file to clean your torch tips so these are simply gauged wires that have ridges on them. Yes, they will act as a file but they are painfully slow and it's hard to get a straight groove because the wires are somewhat flexible. You can do at least as well with the materials I mentioned previously. (An automotive feeler gauge with sandpaper folded over it will work too.) If you plan to be doing this on several ukes you can buy a proper double-sided V shaped file design specifically for this job. But I wouldn't bother for a one time, one shot deal.

PhilUSAFRet
03-22-2014, 02:57 PM
I think this model comes with a plastic nut and saddle. If you are going to practice, bone nuts and saddles are inexpensive and plentiful on ebay. Might as well upgrade at the same time.

Icelander53
03-22-2014, 03:02 PM
BTW, the "files" that you provided a link for are not files at all. They are torch tip cleaners. You really don't want to use an aggressive file to clean your torch tips so these are simply gauged wires that have ridges on them. Yes, they will act as a file but they are painfully slow and it's hard to get a straight groove because the wires are somewhat flexible. You can do at least as well with the materials I mentioned previously. (An automotive feeler gauge with sandpaper folded over it will work too.) If you plan to be doing this on several ukes you can buy a proper double-sided V shaped file design specifically for this job. But I wouldn't bother for a one time, one shot deal.

Thanks, you've really been helpful and have explained this so I feel I can proceed with your suggestions.

Icelander53
03-22-2014, 03:05 PM
btw these Oasis bright low G strings have done wonders for this inexpensive uke. A real noticeable improvement. I just might be rotating this uke back into the lineup for regular playing.

Icelander53
03-22-2014, 04:57 PM
I think this model comes with a plastic nut and saddle. If you are going to practice, bone nuts and saddles are inexpensive and plentiful on ebay. Might as well upgrade at the same time.

OK, what do I need to know about buying and installing one? I assume it isn't one size fits all. How do I get the right one? I assume I can get a replacement tutorial on youtube that will walk me through the installation process but I appreciate any and all advice guys. It sounds so sweet right now I want to fix it up and make it happy to sing again. It was the instrument that got me going and it's been very important in my life even though I certainly have some nicer ukes now. There is an emotional attachment to it and I'd like to keep it around and in use.

PhilUSAFRet
03-23-2014, 02:56 AM
they are "somewhat" standard sizes. Perhaps you can even get a replacement bone nut and saddle for one of their solid wood models that would fit with little or no modification.

Here's one UU post on the subject: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?41289-Replacement-Nut-amp-Saddle-on-cheapo-Maholo

Here are some on Ukulele World if you'd rather avoid Chinese sellers. http://www.ukuleleworld.com/Nut-and-Nut-Blanks/

A nice article by bazmaz: http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/09/nuts-saddles.html

and Finally, some YouTube tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ukulele%20how%20to%20replace% 20nut%20and%20saddle&sm=3

Pukulele Pete
03-23-2014, 03:22 AM
Check out " Frets.com " , lots of great info there . Learn to do it yourself , you'll be a better uker .

ichadwick
03-23-2014, 05:39 AM
Most hardware stores sell sets of micro files - usually in the automotive section. Sometimes sold for cleaning engines parts like spark plugs (which I've used them for in the past).

Flat, round and triangular. Often graded for work with metal, so you can use them on the nut, fret edges, etc. Worth having a set in any musician's toolkit. Get the better ones - the thinner, cheaper ones can also break.

The Big Kahuna
03-23-2014, 05:54 AM
Forget the fancy files. Needless expense. I've always used what I like to call "The Luthier's Swiss Army Knife"

http://s7g3.scene7.com/is/image/ae235/?$p$&wid=281&hei=281&op_sharpen=1&layer=0&size=281,281&layer=1&size=281,281&src=ae235/10665_P

Any slight mistakes can be easily rectified by buying a new ukulele.

Icelander53
03-23-2014, 05:54 AM
they are "somewhat" standard sizes. Perhaps you can even get a replacement bone nut and saddle for one of their solid wood models that would fit with little or no modification.

Here's one UU post on the subject: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?41289-Replacement-Nut-amp-Saddle-on-cheapo-Maholo

Here are some on Ukulele World if you'd rather avoid Chinese sellers. http://www.ukuleleworld.com/Nut-and-Nut-Blanks/

A nice article by bazmaz: http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/09/nuts-saddles.html

and Finally, some YouTube tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ukulele%20how%20to%20replace% 20nut%20and%20saddle&sm=3

Thanks for this. I'll watch them all and then proceed. I appreciate your efforts on my behalf.

Icelander53
03-23-2014, 07:15 AM
Is this the basic process? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6lGTSGaSOo