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Silvertone (Harmony) Baritone Ukulele - Finished

Crazy picture, huh?

Since I had to take some height out of the saddle, I figured I'd try the old one and see how it worked.  It's height was pretty close to where I wanted the new one, so I used it as a guide to measure how far to file the new one down.

Or something like that.  The top line is where I need to file down to.

After I got the height right, I sanded it with 600 grit paper and then polished it.

Now it's back to fine tuning the nut.  You may recall all the bone dust that gets made when you file this stuff.  I actually keep a little pile of it on the bench in case this happens.

"This" meaning that I filed a couple nut slots too low.  It sometimes happens, and in this case, I'm not too surprised since I didn't have a good original to work from.  What happens is the strings buzz on the first fret - a sure sign the slot is too deep.

But I just take some of the filed bone dust, and sprinkle it in the slot in question. 

Then put a drop of thin CA (super glue) on the slot.  Wait a few minutes, and we have a slot that is just like bone again - and can be filed as needed.

Note the blue tape - probably a good idea to protect your fine instrument from excess glue.

 With the nut slots now at a good depth, I can mark the ends of the nut and cut them to length.  I use my handy X-Acto razor saw for these cuts.

Then I sand and polish it as with the saddle.  I also like to lightly sand the slots themselves with 600 paper so strings won't hang up and 'ploink' in the nut when tuning.

I rarely glue a nut in on an instrument.  Most of the time it's seated well enough that it's just not necessary.

But in this case, due to the goofy shape of the slot on the ukulele, I need to glue it.  So I use a couple drops of medium CA.  I was going to use my thick CA, but I couldn't get it out of the bottle!  I suppose I need more, but I rarely use it anyway.

The medium (and thick) CAs don't set as fast as the thin, so you have a bit of time to get your work piece in place.


The finished saddle.

And the finished nut.  One thing I didn't mention was that I also file the front corners on instrument nuts to make them a bit rounded - I don't like the sharp corner digging into my hand.  On some (diminished, mainly) chords, your hand may be partially behind the nut on an angle, and it can snag on the edge.  This is my personal custom touch on my instruments.

Hard to see in this picture, but it's there.

The Silvertone is ready to go.  I put Martin strings on it - they're what I had on hand.  I've just ordered some Aquilas (and Worths) to compare with.

I need to get it outside and get some better pictures.  It's really nice looking.

How does it sound?  It's pretty amazing.  Really deep, woody and throaty sounding.  The E and B strings are very classical-guitar sounding, and the (wound) D and G are piano-like.  It's loud too!

I've only played it about 30 minutes so far, but it's really cool.  And it's a different animal than a C-tuned ukulele or a guitar.   I'm tickled with it!

 
 
 
 

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