Thursday, March 1, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Somewhere along the way I acquired this rather nice looking half-size. I have always intended to convert it into a 4-string baritone ukulele, so this will be my next project.
While strumming on some test strings I discovered a minor problem with the intonation - the first fret is approx. 2mm too far from the nut, and this results in a noticeable "out-of-tune" sound. In fact, all the frets are offset by 2mm forward.
It almost looks like a zero-fret should have been installed in front of the nut, as on similar guitars from Honer and First Act (this is a Ready Ace). Rather than install a zero-fret, which would be difficult right at the nut, I'm going to remove the plastic nut and slice 2mm off the fretboard with a razor saw.
That went well. Notice how the plastic nut melted and deformed from using the heat gun to soften any glue. Since I'm converting this to a 4-string, the old nut isn't needed anyway.
Now I'll install this new bone nut from MGB Guitars. It will need to be filed down and slotted first. I am hoping that this takes care of the intonation problem without any adjustment at the bridge / saddle. Next post, we'll find out!
Friday, February 16, 2018
It's done! I did paint the fretboard black, as you can see. Also, in keeping with the "low budget" motif, I decided to forego nickle-silver frets for wooden toothpicks, not sure how they would work out as far as playability. I used a small triangle file to widen the fret slots and then glued in the toothpicks using regular Elmer's glue. I nipped off the ends with flush-cut micro pliers.*
Although I have some bone and hardwood nut material, I opted to make the new nut from a pop-sickle stick, just to show it's possible. I also removed the center tuning key from each side of the tuners, leaving the other four intact.
Then I strung it up and... here she is!
|The drilled out bridge worked great, with all 4 holes taking the strings no problem.|