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Here is a great video showing you all the steps carried out by the experts at Hawaii Music Supply to set up a new ukulele, from the factory setup to perfect intonation at every fret, a one-stop-shop for a general overview of ukulele setup.
It helped me a great deal with understanding how and why the various steps of ukulele setup are carried out. It covers all aspects of ukulele setup including: assessing the build quality of the ukulele, diagnosing and resolving high frets (fret levelling), checking the action height of your ukulele, correcting ukulele intonation, fret dressing with sandpaper, fretboard oil, adjusting the ukulele action at the bridge, filing down the ukulele nut, lowering the ukulele action and stretching in the ukulele strings.
Don’t forget these guys do this all the time, if you are going to carry out your own DIY ukulele setup, take it slowly, make sure you protect your fretboard with masking tape or a fret guard while levelling and dressing the frets… take care of your ukulele!
Joel @ Hawaii Music Supply has been good enough to publish an updated version of this ukulele setup video. It’s interesting to see how the tools and techniques (and hair) used during the ukulele setup process have changed. Check out the new ukulele fret levelling tool, they’re now using a simple sharpening stone principle, similar to this although theirs is a flat diamond file.
With “at least 30,000 ukulele setups” to date this guy knows what he’s doing!