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Type: Posts; User: ProfChris

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  1. What's done is done, so far as the CA and that...

    What's done is done, so far as the CA and that crack is concerned. Assuming the instrument still sounds nice, I'd cleat the underside of the crack to make sure it stays together, and then use a razor...
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    I usually put on Aquila Nylguts because those are...

    I usually put on Aquila Nylguts because those are the strings I like to play, so I can test out the uke's playability properly. Generally my ukes like Nylguts, probably because I build them the way I...
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    I'm happy to glue the fingerboard extension to...

    I'm happy to glue the fingerboard extension to finish. On a uke, the main reason is to prevent buzzing if the inevitable gap (perhaps invisible, but still unglued) is just the right size to buzz on...
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    Humidity seems unlikely. Low humidity can...

    Humidity seems unlikely.

    Low humidity can cause the top to sink, which lowers the action. If too low, buzz would be worse on the lower frets.

    Measure the action (height from fret top to...
  5. Thread: #$@&* Bb,

    by ProfChris
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    A pretty good test of your setup is to play a D...

    A pretty good test of your setup is to play a D using the same fingering (5th fret), then drop to a C# (4th), C (3rd), B (2nd), and finally Bb (1st).

    If they are all equally good, or bad, your...
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    This doesn't look repairable to a level where the...

    This doesn't look repairable to a level where the uke is structurally sound and looks OK from a distance.

    But it might still be possible to keep it as a playable instrument depending on what...
  7. Alternative voicings, where you play the chord at...

    Alternative voicings, where you play the chord at different positions on the fretboard to get different sounds, are very useful, and have already been explained.

    Alternative fingerings, where you...
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    I'm not looking back over the thread, just...

    I'm not looking back over the thread, just addressing how to fix the crack. The process is comparatively easy for someone who has skills in doing this.

    1. Clean out as much of the old glue in the...
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    Quite simply, I pick the chord voicing which I...

    Quite simply, I pick the chord voicing which I think suits the song best.

    But then, if I have trouble playing it (because the transition from the chords before and after is something I can't make...
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    I've made a couple. I don't like them for Tin Pan...

    I've made a couple. I don't like them for Tin Pan Alley style strumming, because they sustain too long and muddy the sound. But for slower strumming, or melodic lines, they work well.
  11. "Acacia" on its own doesn't tell you much....

    "Acacia" on its own doesn't tell you much. Acacias vary from scrubby shrubs with no usable wood, to Acacia peuce described in the Wood Database as one of the heaviest and hardest woods on earth!
    ...
  12. If you can press the end down with your...

    If you can press the end down with your fingernail, or the end of a pencil or similar, then it is first worth trying to glue the loose end back down.

    The way to do this is to clamp the fret end...
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    There are no clear rules! But a useful...

    There are no clear rules!

    But a useful guideline might be that if singing is going on, then the instrument(s) should be playing fairly uncomplicated stuff, so as not to distract from the singing....
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    You might want to check out the range of...

    You might want to check out the range of opinions. As an amateur builder I spend time on several luthier forums, and the most common term for ziricote is "crackwood"!

    I don't have personal...
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    Cheap instrument with zero frets are still cheap...

    Cheap instrument with zero frets are still cheap instruments! They'd be no better (probably worse) if they had nuts.

    There are two or three Selmer Macaferri Gipsy Jazz guitars on Reverb right now,...
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    You have things a bit muddled together. I'm not...

    You have things a bit muddled together. I'm not surprised - it wasn't until I'd built around 20 ukes that I really got this all straight in my head.

    All that follows assumes the nut and frets are...
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    I'm sorry to contradict you, but string height...

    I'm sorry to contradict you, but string height across the nut is not a minor factor. If the nut slots are not low enough the intonation will be out at the lower frets, but will improve as you go up...
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    Yes! If nut-12th and 12th-saddle are identical...

    Yes! If nut-12th and 12th-saddle are identical distances the intonation will definitely be out. These guys know.

    I've played ukes built by John Colter and he gets good intonation on them. I've not...
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    There is an over-simplified answer, though it's...

    There is an over-simplified answer, though it's not always right.

    If the problem is worse near the nut, then most probably the nut slots are not deep enough.

    If the problem is worse as you...
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    You might want to try a simple cabinet scraper...

    You might want to try a simple cabinet scraper (takes a little practice to sharpen, but not much).

    Clamp one end of the side and scrape down the half furthest away from the clamp, switch the clamp...
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    Thin is definitely the main answer. Mahogany...

    Thin is definitely the main answer.

    Mahogany can be tricky, especially as there are many different species sold as "mahogany", and even then two boards of the same species might bend very...
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    Your rosettes are bloody annoying Ken, because I...

    Your rosettes are bloody annoying Ken, because I can't see the joins either :D And I don't want to know how you do it, because I have no hope of matching your skill.

    My only consolation is the...
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    It can work, but needs careful wood selection and...

    It can work, but needs careful wood selection and a form to clamp the sides to.

    Dry heat (with maybe help from a damp rag) on a bending iron is less risky in my view, plus you can bend freehand.
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    There are two issues here: 1. Reaction to...

    There are two issues here:

    1. Reaction to humidity changes in the atmosphere. All wood moves because of this (mainly in the cross-grain direction), but flat sawn wood moves about twice as much as...
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    Steam bending is a good way of making thin wood...

    Steam bending is a good way of making thin wood crinkle up like a crisp (or potato chip for US readers). Not my choice for my ukes.

    OTOH, steam bending is much better for building boats.
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