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Thread: Uke Makers: Please cut the nut to allow for low-G string thickness

  1. #1
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    Default Uke Makers: Please cut the nut to allow for low-G string thickness

    I couldn't figure out why, after replacing the stock high-G string to a Worth low-G clear unwound string (my preference), I couldn't get the intonation to be accurate.

    I finally realized that the thicker low-G string was sitting on top of the nut rather than in the slot (cut for a high-G string) due to its increased thickness. I took a deep breath and filed the slot wider to accommodate the low-G string on my Kanile'a concert deluxe.

    So here's a marketing idea to all those uke makers out there. Either cut the G-slot wider to allow for a low-G string, or provide an additional "low-G" nut with your high-end, expensive ukes.
    Gillian
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    So here's a marketing idea to all those uke makers out there. Either cut the G-slot wider to allow for a low-G string, or provide an additional "low-G" nut with your high-end, expensive ukes.
    Your Kanilea is a factory instrument, and cutting the nut slot wider than what is installed is not the thing to do.

    If you want to change gauges of strings, you need to get it setup properly for that set, or you may run into problems. This is normal, and accepted. Wide slots for thin strings are not.

    If you order a "high end" custom, your builder will no doubt slot it properly. I'm sure if you ordered a custom from Joe, he'd do what you need done. This is why it would cost more.

  3. #3
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    Having a nut you can cut deeper is always better than having a nut that is cut too deep.

    Make sure that thick string really gives you what you want - play it awhile even with the intonation off - when you are absolutely sure that is what you want to stay with - then file it.

    It's practically impossible to guess how deep you want to go. One person's "thick" string is another person's "medium".

    (You may also need to work the saddle)

    Finally, Kanile'a, like most, would not assume a low 4th on a concert.
    Last edited by southcoastukes; 07-23-2011 at 05:34 PM.
    Dirk Wormhoudt



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  4. #4
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    I grew up in Oklahoma. Back there, nut cutting always involved cattle. And not in a good way.
    Mike in Dallas, GA


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  5. #5
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    BAD chindog!

    BAD, BAD chindog!
    Dirk Wormhoudt



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    email: sales@southcoastukes.com

  6. #6
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    Default

    As others have said...when you want to put thicker strings on your uke sometimes the nut will not accomadate that...widen the nut from the factory is not a good idea, as you'll run into problems..
    first of all like buzzing, if you put thinner guage strings on after and it is too loose.there is no one size fits all nut...You have to use the same guage strings set up for your uke, unless you alter and
    file the nut.. but once you do that, and want to go back to thinner strings, the best thing is get a new nut..of course you could shim or refill the nut with crazy glue but that is not advisable to some..
    So before you widen any nut, be sure that you will want stick with that guage strings and that is what you want...or you'll be either changing the nut in the future or sending it out to be done.

  7. #7
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    Final setup for ukes or guitars is NOT the builder or factory's responsibility unless you buy direct and specify exactly the strings you intend to use. Decent instruments sold through stores should be set up to your specs, not some generic "big enough slots for any string" thing. The better stores have repair luthiers on staff who can do this. This applies also to overall action and to intonation. We as builders cannot know your playing style, taste in strings, etc. All we can do is get the instruments into a kind of generic setup for the strings we choose, and then it's up to you to work with a luthier to finalize the setup. We have no idea what strings will wind up on the instruments we make, and that limits how well we can set up the instruments. We get close, but we can only dial it in finely by working directly with a customer.

    My own preference now, for instance, is using the top four strings of a Savarez classical set that has a nylon on nylon wound "G" which I use as the "C" string, but I would not set ukes up this way for the general public. The "C" is pretty big, though it is very flexible, but it's a very unusual string.

  8. #8
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    To your room chindog-
    It was not so hard to set the string down in the slot after a little filing, and it is a probably part of the skill set all players should have I figure. My problem is continually jumping around for now between strings- someday I will find the perfect string and I can set them all at once

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by southcoastukes View Post
    BAD chindog!

    BAD, BAD chindog!
    What HE said!
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  10. #10
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    Ok now I'm really confused. I have seen several Customs by lutherers and high end uke's on here have a 2 position bridge for low/high G compensation. And thats really neat are ya'all saying you need too nuts also.
    My OS 240 was wide enough to handle a florocarbon it was like .011 difference in size not a lot a slop a .010 fit is pretty close. A human hair is .004-5 in diameter. I don't know if they made the g slot wider on the 6 now I will have to ask , I always figured that we could go back and forth. Looks like most of the wound strings in the c slot are bigger also , Haven't researched it yet.
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