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I pretty much butchered the nut but otherwise it was all smooth sailing. Thanks so much for all the help and comments. Seems the intonation is pretty good but the low E may need tweaking. There are several things I still have plans to do but the most exciting thing is having a BASS to practice with!!!! YES

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Just a thought.  I looks like the string stretched so much that it "over wound" the tuner post and jammed, thus causing the failure.  These strings are known for a large about of stretch in the beginning and very often need to be restarted in the under some tension to avoid this failure.  Bigger tuner posts will help, but binding like your picture shows can interfere with tuning....  the best,  Wichita Sam

Ragtimelil said:

Just had a minor tragedy. I read that guitar tuners are not strong enough for a bass. I didn't replace the tuners anyway. I was low on funds and anxious to hear my new bass. Sure enough, I broke the A string tuner this morning.

It's not the end of the world. I can just buy some bass tuners and put them on - like I shoulda done in the first place. I wanted to take the bass uke to a jam this Sat. so I've called a couple of music stores that do repairs nearby. I'm off tomorrow with bass and photos and hope I can find what I need.

Wichita, I think you are right. I saw that happening but didn't know what to do about it. Should I have unwound it and rewound while holding the string?

Learning as I go....

yes, that was part of my "learning curve" with these strings.  It can take a few days under tension for these strings to become stable.  After that they's OK.  I can a short scale bass (19") that I picked up after sitting for almost a year.  I went to tune is and it was still spot on accurate.

Ha. Sometimes I scare myself. I've got two unused guitar slots still on the head......restring the A string and I'm back in business. It'll do till the bass tuners arrive. And just drilled holes for the strap pins. Nerve wracking but came out fine.

Just took my bass U to its first jam session. It worked out great! It was loud enough and didn't take up too much room - a good thing since the jam was pretty crowded. I was the only bass player so I got to play it a lot and got lots of positive comments on it.

I noticed that the bass player with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has a similar bass. He mentioned it was made from a small guitar and I don't think he amplifies his either. Not that I can see.

I would suggest you plug the holes , we usually put a nice exotic timber veneer on the head of the neck, it a cheap option and looks great. The three cigar box ukuleles for the grand kids are just about finished, just waiting for the bridges pick ups  and jacks to turn up from Gitty, I will put photos up when finished. BBB

Bruce, I don't think that I could do that. I don't have the expertise, tools or work space. ( I do all my work on my bed. )

Looking forward to your pics!

Well given the facilities and tools to work with you are doing ok.

I one of those blokes that just goes out and buys the tools and source the gear on the net. I spoilt.

Also lucky to have a master cabinet maker living next door who has a big shed and a lot of tools and equipment.

I just have to source the materials on the net and he makes the instruments .

Gus is a champion sculler and used to have a factory where he made ( hand shaped the wooden sculls) had to give it away when they started to use Carbon fiber. He closes his eyes and can feel the shape of the neck when he is shaping it, he runs his fingers over the grain and can feel the high spots and where the grain may be harder. He is 76 and its a joy to see him make something beautiful out of a bit of rough sawn timber. Sorry to bore you, but some of these old guys have certainly got the skills. I have just came home from my 2 hr guitar lesson, its a bit warm and muggy today at 30 degrees.

You are very lucky. I'd love to have that in my life but I'm so busy with my dogs (working border collies) and music (mostly bluegrass, at the moment) that I don't have much time for much else. I built the bass because I didn't have the funds to go buy a bass. This baby cost me less than $100 and gives me something to practice on so I don't lose my chops. I needed something simple that I could do without a lot of skill required.

Now, wait until I post pictures of my dulcimer table and music stand combination.....:)

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