So, I have been building Cigar Box Guitars, Canjos, Dulcijos,and Diddley Bows for a few years now. I wanted to try my hand at a Ukulele.

I found a tenor uke maple neck with a pre-fretted rosewood fretboard for cheap. I bought an actual bone nut and bridge with a rosewood saddle. I bought generic set of nylon uke strings.

I bolted on the neck, glued the fretboard, and put it all together with dual piezos under the bridge, a jack and volume pot.

I can not get the strings to tune to GCEA (mainly getting the high string to A). The tension is to high getting it to F (let alone A) I am not sure the problem.

Also, I filed the nut and bridge. Intonation is now close (less than a quarter step sharp at 12th compared to harmonic). Harmonics are dead on, but first fret is off (as if strings are still too high and I am fretting them sharp). I'm afraid to go too low. The strings rest about 3cm above the fretboard at the first fret and about 5cm at the 12th fret.

Any assistance and advice would be great. Gitty and others in YouTube make this look so easy (especially for someone like myself who this isn't my first CBG build). It went together rather easily/quickly, but isn't quite what it seems.

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Replies to This Discussion

A) check they are not soprano strings

B) buy some expensive strings, strings affect the sound quality on ukulele way more than you would think

C) lower the nut.  you can always put a shim under it.

D) good luck

Agree with Kalmario on all points. Even brand name strings are maybe $6. Definitely get tenor length and watch the g string as it can be high or low especially for tenors.

I've only used Aguila nygut strings because my  (store bought) ukes stay in tune a lot longer.  Let me know how the pre-built tenor neck works out.  I'm leaning toward buying several for Christmas present builds for my grandchildren.  Got them some Oscar Schmitt concert ukes a couple of years ago.

Thanks everyone. It will probably be later in the week before I can get to the music store for some strings. But I will be sure to post back here how things work out as soon as I can. 

Ok, I finally got to the store earlier this week and bout some Aquila strings. The strange thing is that I can't get the larger C string to tune up to that. It doesn't seem to want to stretch.

The other issue I have is fret buzz when fretting the first fret (and only first fret). I imagine that has something to do with the nut (which I will probably try replacing). It's a bone nut, but doesn't seem to be working well with this build.

My edits didn't save from this morning. I currently have the strings tuned GECA, which sounds fine, but I have to form certain chords with that in mind.

As far as the fret buzz, it's mainly for the highest A string, though the others still buzz (they just aren't nearly as noticeable when fretting and strumming). 

The buzz shouldn't be the nut, when fretting it is out of the picture.  It is probably touching the next fret or another close by. If you lay a straight edge on them you could see if one is high or low.

Never used that tuning, only the standard gCEA,  For the C string, the strings match your scale length, right?

Yes, I built a Tenor and that's what these strings were for. Scale length is spot on at 17 inches from nut to bridge. I think the fret buzz is caused by the height of the nut. 


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