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 Post subject: Leveling frets on Uke
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:37 am 
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Koa
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Hello,

I'm curious about how you folks level frets on a. Uke? When working on guitars I typically level from 1-12 (or 14) and then level the extension separate. Should that be the right approach for a Uke as well.

Brad


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:58 am 
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Same deal Brad but fall-away is not as important because of the nature of the higher action on a Uke. You still don't want the extension ramping up but level or some fall-away is fine.

This is the same reason why some builders never take fret work seriously because the instruments that they build depend less on good fret work by their very nature. For example a blue grass dread with mediums and typical action (Martin Spec) of 5/64th" and 7/64th" high e low e respectively won't reveal poor fret work like an electric shredder will with action of 3 and 4, 9's, and heavy handed player.....

Classical guitars, ukes, banjos, anything with higher action typically won't reveal lousy fret work to the same degree.

OTOH mandos, finger style guitars, arch tops with low action, electrics and shredders most certainly will.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: bcombs510 (Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:17 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:21 am 
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Makes sense. Thanks, Hesh.

With this in mind, how deep do folks cut the nut slots on a Uke? I can only assume it's not the same as a steel string. On the last Uke I built I used the half pencil idea to make "the fret line" on the front side of the nut and the took the slots to the top of that pencil line.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:38 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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bcombs510 wrote:
Makes sense. Thanks, Hesh.

With this in mind, how deep do folks cut the nut slots on a Uke? I can only assume it's not the same as a steel string. On the last Uke I built I used the half pencil idea to make "the fret line" on the front side of the nut and the took the slots to the top of that pencil line.


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Yep, cutting uke slots and classicals too are not as low as we go for steel string. We still cut them though and f*ctory set-ups are never cut low enough either.

Same rules apply in terms of string diameter. For fatter strings leave them higher and vice verse for the thinner stings.

There is no rule or spec here just like with steel string nut slots. As such it's a bit of a feel and experience thing. I cut them higher than steel strings but not a lot higher. I know that is not very quantifiable but at least you know not to go as low.

Why do we cut them higher? Want to get into physics? :) I cut them higher thinking that nylon strings have less mass and therefore less inertia to overcome permitting them to lash out further. This is also why action on a steel string with 9's might need to be higher for some players, not all..... with a more robust attack than with 10's.

By the way this is why some classical guys favor nut compensation at times, not always. Because classicals have nut slots cut higher by nature there is more string stretch when fretting pulling things a tad sharp and nut compensation can be helpful here. Conversely on steel strings nut compensation if the nut slots are cut really well is not something that I advocate.

Not to digress but this shines a bit of a light again on why some classical guys like compensated nuts and why steel string guys usually don't. It's worth saying as well that the benefit of a compensated nut can be reduced again by cutting nylon strings as low as possible as well.

Anyway, don't cut them as low..... for a uke....... :D



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: bcombs510 (Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:41 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:45 am 
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Thanks, Hesh. All good information. Once we have the tech to download memories into the collective hive for all to share I will be first in line to see what you and Dave mean when you say "it's a feel and experience thing". :) For now I'll target maybe 5 thou higher on thinner and 10 on thicker strings than I go on steel strings. Sound reasonable?

Thanks as always!!

Brad


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These users thanked the author bcombs510 for the post: Hesh (Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:52 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:15 pm 
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Probably .005 higher for all. If even that.

How about action? I mostly see people saying 2mm is good. 1.8mm seems about as low as I can go.



These users thanked the author pat macaluso for the post: bcombs510 (Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:24 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:19 pm 
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The target height above the 12th fret for all my ukuleles is .080" or 5-6/64". At the nut, I start relatively high, and as the instrument plays in, I dial it down to what feels comfortable, usually ending up anywhere between .014 to .020 above the first fret. But that is for my style of playing which is based on finger style with light strumming mixed in. Someone who plays aggressively will want a higher action at the 12th fret.

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These users thanked the author Kevin Mason for the post: bcombs510 (Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:35 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:57 am 
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On action at the 12th I reckon 2mm is pretty much rock bottom, unless the player fingerpicks only. 3mm for heavy handed strumming. 2.5mm is a nice compromise.



These users thanked the author profchris for the post: bcombs510 (Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:19 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:22 am 
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profchris wrote:
On action at the 12th I reckon 2mm is pretty much rock bottom, unless the player fingerpicks only. 3mm for heavy handed strumming. 2.5mm is a nice compromise.


Are you getting the 2.5 with an 1/8th drill bit at the 14th or using a 2.5mm shim on the 12th or something similar?

Thanks!
Brad

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