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Thread: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

  1. #1

    Default getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Hi All,
    So a Rm-100a is coming my way. I need to convert it to a lefty. I figure I'll just flip the bridge and make sure the fit it good.

    As far as the nut goes, given it's a budget mandolin. Should I just borrow my buddys nut files and get to work (meaning the higher strings will be in a wide slot) or should I drop the $10 on a pre slotted graphtec nut for it?

    Opinions would be very welcome! especially as to whether it's worth the trouble. I anticipate (or I hope for) 2 years of use before I get itchy feet for an eastman/breedlove

    Thanks
    Stuart

  2. #2
    Registered User Londy's Avatar
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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    I owned a Rogue as my first mando. I will tell you the strings at the nut are very high but since you want to make it a lefty, you need to work on it anyhow. However, I will suggest getting a good setup by someone who knows what they are doing. The difference between a good setup and not having one at all is night and day... could be a deal breaker.
    "Money is a complication man created that the universe doesn't care about."

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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    message deleted by author.
    Last edited by bmac; Nov-24-2013 at 7:57pm.
    Bart McNeil

  4. #4

    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    If you look at the bridge, flipping it will not make much of a change. To get the intonation correct, you will need to fit a left handed bridge saddle as well. Once you have the mandolin, check the nut height. If it is high, file the top off and cut new grooves. You probably don't want to follow the original grooves as the staggering will be off for left handed stringing.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Wait, strings are staggered at the nut end? That's news to me. I've used the graphtec nuts on guitars (1 elec, 1 acoustic) and they seemed to work fine (fitted by myself, I can do the basic setup stuff). Is it different for mandolins?

    I know the bridge won't be perfect, but for a rogue I'll just try and get it close... I'll wait till a nicer one is in my possession.

    I'd still be interested to hear if anybodys just flipped a nut and cut the wider slots and had a problem with the slots that are now too wide for the A and E string...

    thanks for the advice!

  6. #6

    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Wait, strings are staggered at the nut end? That's news to me.
    They should be. The G strings slots need more space between them than the E strings slots due to the string width. If you were to take the nut off and flip it around, then the spacing would be the same, but there is a good chance the previously ramped slots would be a problem. A pre slotted lefty graphtech nut would have correctly spaced string grooves. I would check the width of Graphtech nut vs your fingerboard and if it fits, go that route.

    On a mandolin bridge, the G string compensation is shifted rearward, the E string shifted forward. If you reverse the bridge, it doesn't change this and the compensation will be off by a significant amount. It can be played this way, but it will not be in tune up and down the fingerboard.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Don't they make cheap lefty mandos that you could just buy?

  8. #8
    its a very very long song Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    I have cut new saddles from some maple I have in my shop ( salvaged from old organ pedals) works fine. Just mirror image the compensation from the old bridge saddle to make it a lefty. I use a dremel to carve it. Nuts are a little harder I'd be tempted to replace the nut with bone. The nut on the rogue will probably be high enough that you can recut the slots though string spacing may be an issue. Stewart MacDonald sells nut files that I find very useful. Rob Meldrum , here on the cafe, has an ebook he'll send you that tell how to make the required files from Feeler gauges
    Jim Richmond

  9. #9

    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Hi all, more good info... thank you.

    I was not planning on flipping the nut, just the bridge. I was going to either get a lefty nut and install or simply widen (and height correct) the slots on the nut that needed it. My concern in this was that the A and E string would be in slots that are too wide for them. does that make sense now?

    I hear you on the bridge, and agree from a visual check.... I've got a few days yet, I'll decide what to do, it's a killer deal as I'm getting the rogue for $30 off a buddy who never played it. I wouldn't even be thinking mandolins at this stage if I wasn't getting such a good deal

    And thanks for the tip on Robs book, I've actually already got it off him. Good guy that one.

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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Made saddle from scrap ebony or rosewood.

    If nut is very high, file down and slot. Otherwise, put in new bone nut. Can use uniform spacing between the courses (center to center of each course) or differential. G course more widely spaced than E course, of course!

    Not too much work if you're a bit handy.
    Stephen Perry
    www.giannaviolins.com - Primarily violin family
    mandovoodoo.com - Acoustic blueprinting
    South Side Chicagoland

  11. #11

    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    You can probably reuse the nut if it's already high as others have noted. The bridge top will have to be replaced, or you can try angling the whole thing which helps somewhat although it won't fit the carve of the arch as well. But for an inexpensive instrument it will give you an idea and play in tune up to about the seventh fret or so. A new left-handed bridge or bridge top will cost about $50. If you like the mando, it's probably worth it and can be used if you upgrade.

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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    Sand about 1/16 off the bridge top and glue a piece back on and re-intonate, for what you are doing, any hardwood would work.
    Or, Build a Red Henry bridge. Various woods give different results. you may like that on the Rogue.
    Jean

    Pair of 96 Flatiron Fs

  13. #13

    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    hmm. Sanding the bridge, probably a good stop gap till I can make a red henry bridge. I was just reading about them!

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    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: getting a rogue, converting to lefty. Question on the nut..

    I haven't used the graphtec nuts. Pre-made nuts work pretty good for guitars, but not so much for mandolins probably because mandolins vary more. Then again, you might find one that fits. I tried a few Tusq mandolin nuts for repairs. It wound up being easier just to make new nuts. If you have access to nut files and plan to use them anyway, might as well just make a new nut. I set up a new Rogue RM100A last summer. The nut slots had to be lowered considerably, but that is not enough to make the slots narrower for the A and E strings. You'll likely have some buzzing and other noise issues if you try using that nut. Thirty bucks is a good price. Even if you were to spend $75 getting someone to convert it correctly and make some tweeks, I think you would have a pretty good deal. Guitar center is selling these mandolins now - $49. I'd check and see if they have a lefty available.
    Tom
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