CRICKET VIOLIN CARE AND SETUP
Bridge Setup: Your Cricket Violin was shipped de-tuned but with the bridge standing up. If the bridge has fallen or is out of place, it can be easily re-positioned. Its proper place is standing up feet in line with the notches on the crescent sound holes; numbered side perpendicular to the top and facing the tailpiece. The strings may have to be loosened slightly to get it to stand up. All strings should be placed in the appropriate grooves on the top of the bridge with a sleeve under the E string as shown in the picture. Center the bridge so that strings are equally spaced on either side of the fingerboard when looking straight down on the top. Each bridge is numbered according to size and must be referenced when reordering. Make sure the sound post is visible standing up inside, behind the treble foot of the bridge centered on the marks on the back.
Tuning pegs: Standard friction tuners will need periodic tightening to maintain tightness as the seasons change and the wood dries. Using a Phillips screwdriver at the end of each tuner, tighten until the tuner begins to get difficult to turn. Tightness of the Peghed geared tuners can be adjusted by pressing in while the peg is rotated to tighten or pulling out to loosen. An E string fine tuner is only included with friction pegs.
Violin tuning is GDAE. It’s very important not to exceed these pitches by over tightening the tuners. Violin strings stretch very little and will break if over stressed. Using a tuner for reference, take the tension up gradually working your way across the strings, checking to make sure the bridge maintains its position – the numbered side perpendicular to the top as you tune.
The chin and shoulder rest is removable and adjustable. One thumb screw attaches it to the body. There are three different height position settings using the different holes in the rests. Make sure it is always reassembled as shown in the picture below with the chin rest on the outside.Rosining a new bow:
Sand or scrape the glaze off the surface of the rosin; rub along hairs of tensioned bow for 3 or 4 minutes in short stroke. First application on new bows may take longer.
Replacing the Fretboard on Fluke and Flea Ukes
You should have no problem removing a molded polycarbonate f.b. completely by prying it up by starting with a flat chisel at the nut forcing it down toward the face of the uke. If its not already loose, we generally stand the uke upright on a hard surface, hammer the chisel between the nut and the neck parallel with the f.b. Once it breaks loose, work the chisel down the neck to separate the f.b. Stop before reaching the bottom where the f.b. is attached to the sound board. At this point you need to be very careful not to peel off the top. We generally keep thumb pressure between the f.b. and sound hole and twist the f.b. to the side to break loose the bond without disturbing the top. The f.b. material is pretty tough and the old hot glue usually sticks to the wood.
With the original hot glue still in place, you can glue the new poly f.b. directly to the old glue. Any good cyanoacrylate super glue will work or universal two part epoxy. Apply it sparingly to minimize squeeze out. Clamp evenly or wrap with tape being careful to remove any glue from the finish with mineral spirits. If for any reason the f.b. is worn or needs replacement, we will provide a new on free of charge.
You can also purchase a hardwood replacement f.b. however it requires removing the old hot glue from the neck. Once the old glue is removed and the wood f.b. can be glued in place with a good quality PVA wood glue. The f.b. must be positioned properly relative to the bridge for proper intonation. For a concert Fluke, the distance from the highest point on the bridge, and the center of the zero fret is 15.55", a soprano Flea measures 14.05" and tenor is 17.05”. Clamp evenly or wrap with tape being careful to remove any glue from the finish with a damp cloth.
Replacing Uke Strings
Any brand nylon ukulele strings will work, as long as they match the scale of the instrument. Generally nylon uke strings last a long time however if thin spots, roughness, or poor intonation is noticed, the strings should be replaced.
Replacing one at a time will allow you to copy how the others are done and make sure the get the different gauges in the correct order.
Knot the bridge end – double knot or figure 8 knot for smaller G and A strings to prevent slipping through the slots on the bridge. Needle nose pliers work well for pulling knots tight and wire cutters or scissors for trimming, leaving about ½” beyond the knot.
Pass twice through hole in tuner and adjust slack such that you have at least 3 to 4 full turns on the peg (when up to pitch) with the string winding toward the head stock supporting the peg.
Try not to exceed pitch when tuning and remember all new strings will stretch for a few days requiring constant tuning until they stabilize.
Peghed Tuner Installation
Professional installation is strongly recommended. Please read instructions completely before starting.
Pegheds sets include both right and left hand threads. The right hand thread is for the bass side (strings 3-C and 4-G), and the left hand thread is for the treble side (strings 1-A and 2-E). They should thread into the neck in the direction that lowers the pitch of the string. The outside diameter of the thread tapers from approximately .305” to .318” (8mm) and the overall length is about 2” (51mm). They are designed to thread into a 5/16” (.312”dia.) tapered hole. (Bass pegs measure .375” to .400”)
For proper fit, the existing tuner holes in the Fluke and Flea ukuleles need to be slightly enlarged. Holes must be reamed or filed to a maximum of .323” dia. tapering down to the existing .312” (Timber Bass pegs require a .375” hole, tapered with cello reamer) Dry fit the peg by screwing it in and out until it penetrates close to the proper depth. We usually try to install to a depth where the threaded housing is flush with the inside of the headstock.
A medium or high viscosity (toughened) super glue works best. Check the fit by screwing the peg in gently and removing it. Then apply glue to the thread and screw in carefully but quickly.
Do not use pliers for installation - the body is thin anodized aluminum that scratches easily. Do not use the knob as a handle when tightening. Grasp the shank with a piece of rubber or leather to improve grip. There is no need to over tighten, just screw in until the taper binds in the mounting hole.
The internal mechanism is designed to brake more fully when the pegs are lightly pressed in while rotating, and turn more freely while the peg head is gently pulled outwards. This allows adjustment of the friction and braking force.