I just finished building a hobo fiddle from a kit and it turned out really well.  This one has the nylon strings.  I was wondering if anyone has built one and installed steel strings and if so what guage would work for the higher pitch.  

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  • Hello Peggy, the 17" scale of the Hobo Fiddle kit is roughly the same as a tenor ukulele. However, while the kit really wasn't designed with steel strings, it may be able to handle them as long as you stay on the lighter gauge. That being said, unfortunately I don't really have any clear suggestion on what string gauges to use to achieve GDG... I haven't tried it with steel strings at that scale. 

  • If your talking about the C.B.Gitty Hobo Fiddle, it's a 17" baritone ukulele scale. Tenor strings start out at 19" scale, so a set of those may work.

  • Let us see your work? I believe the reason he used nylon strings was because of the amount of tension that the short scale put on steel strings? There’s an old gitty gang episode where he explained how he developed the Hobo fiddle somewhere? Maybe Ben will see this & chime in?

    • thanks for the reply,  I was wondering if mandolin strings would work  but they may put too much tension on the neck.  

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