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Author: Subject: Oud Bending
Dr. Oud
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[*] posted on 10-22-2019 at 10:25 AM
Oud Bending

The thing is...when the action raises up it's not from a warped neck, it's from a warped body. The string tension over time causes the body to bend, increasing the angle of the neck so the action raises. There are a number of solutions:

1. add an extended fingerboard on top ot the original. This raises the fingerboard up and can consequently lower the action. About 1/8 inch-5mm will usally do. Too thick can make the neck feel fat.

2. Reset the neck angle. This is necessary if the action is radically high, say 1/4 inch-10mm. The neck is removed, then the end of the neck is sanded to a set the neck back for a good action. Pretty radical operation.

3. Bend the body back. This is done all the time by guitar technicians for warped necks. The oud can be strightened but it is the body that must be bent. A pad is placed atop the tail to clear the bridge, and a stiff board spans from the top edge of the neck to the tail pad. A clamp is placed on the neck next to the body joint and pressure applied gradually. Don't over clamp or you can pop the neck joint. A heating pad is wrapped around the body near the neck and secured with rubberbands or string. The pressure is applied just enough to see movement, not too much. Leave this heated over night, checking the pressure of the clemp. If is loosens, apply a little more pressure. There will be some spring back. The next day remove the heating pad but keep the clamp on until the back cools down. You shou;d be good to go, If the action is too low, clamp the board at the top of the neck and use wedges at the neck block to force the body down to raise the action.

Turkish action should be about 2mm, Arabic 3mm (longer string length)

TailPad.jpg - 96kB BendBack.jpg - 432kB

BendClamp.jpg - 198kB

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[*] posted on 11-5-2019 at 10:42 AM

So this is meant to straighten the soundboard rather than the neck joint? I stopped playing my instrument because the action has gone from 3.5 to 4.0 over the past couple of years, and maybe this is the answer.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 11-5-2019 at 01:46 PM

Doc, what about if the existing fingerboard is thick enough to shave down? From my experience, if the fingerboard is thick, you have some room to shave it down, you can change the angle enough to lower the action (shaving it down more towards the nut and less towards the body).

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