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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:21 am 
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Koa
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Hello,

I’m starting to tinker with repairs so I guess I’ll be posting here some more. ;)

I have an Ibanez Uke where the bridge is lifting. The bridge is screwed on and appears to also have a thin glue line that doesn’t cover the whole footprint of the bridge. Also I noticed that the finish is not removed under the bridge footprint. I guess that is probably common on cheap ukes. The bridge is bringing up chunks of the soundboard with it.

From the inside it looks like the fan brace in the middle has also come loose. I can’t tell for sure until I get a better pic but flexing it from the top seemed like it was closing the gap.

Some pics I’ve collected so far.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Setting aside the cost of the Uke compared to this repair, I have some questions. :)

1) My thought is to get the bridge removed saving as much of the top material as possible and trying to reconstruct the top area before gluing the bridge back down. Is that the right approach?

2) If the fan brace is loose, my thought would be a syringe of glue and a couple of those SM brace repair jacks. Is that the right approach?

3) Any other thoughts based on the pics?

Thanks for any feedback.

Brad




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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:28 am 
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Koa
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Actually, one other question. The screws holding the bridge on are covered with mop dots. I assume they are glued in with CA or some mystery Chinese glue. Is the idea to get them out just some localized heat and an xacto or something to pry them out? Should I try a couple drops of some type of solvent (seems scary around the finish :))?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Sounds about right for the brace.

The top is laminate, I'm sure, and this will be your biggest challenge. Ideally you'd remove the screws (for the MOP dots some heat and prising, hoping they stay intact, patch up the top as best you can, scrape clean the bottom of the bridge and scrape away the finish for the bridge footprint, and then re-glue using the screws as locator pins (they don't do much to hold it on). If the laminate under the bridge isn't in too bad shape, this will probably hold. Be careful scraping away the finish, as the top laminate is probably wafer thin.

If the laminate is delaminating under the bridge I might be tempted to wick in CA glue and clamp, then level/scrape the top as best I could, and then glue. If what you end up gluing to is not mainly bare wood, then consider epoxy for the bridge.

If Hesh joins in he will point out this is not an economic repair, which of course it isn't. But if you're doing it for practice you could learn something without risking an instrument of any value.

I would, though, tell the owner that the bridge isn't properly repairable because of the way the uke is constructed, and so the best you can manage is an improvised job which might fail, or might last a few years. Manage expectations, ideally so you do better than expected!



These users thanked the author profchris for the post (total 2): Hesh (Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:48 pm) • bcombs510 (Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:06 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Koa
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Thanks, Chris. This is good feedback. Yes, the repair is for practice and would be done for free. So I guess it is indeed economical, just not for me. :D

Good point about the laminate top. I had noticed a few spots near the soundhole where the laminate was cracked and chipping away. I didn’t notice it until I started putting my hand in the soundhole to position the camera.

Image

The inside laminate looks to be something fairly standard like spruce, and the top laminate is Spalted maple. What is typically in the middle? Or is it just spalted maple laminated onto some type of plywood perhaps?

Having only built and played a few ukes I have little knowledge of how a 200 dollar Uke is normally constructed. Learning on the fly!!

Brad




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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:43 am 
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No idea about the middle layer. "Stuff" would be my guess!



These users thanked the author profchris for the post: bcombs510 (Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:16 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:16 am 
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Koa
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profchris wrote:
No idea about the middle layer. "Stuff" would be my guess!


:D Yes, indeed. OK, I'm going to give this a try. I'll post a few pics along the way.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Koa
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Hello,

So back in December I tried to remove the bridge on this Uke and it brought up a ton of the top with it. I texted some pics to the owner along with what I thought it would take to repair and didn’t hear back. A week ago I got a text. Turns out I had the wrong number for him and he wasn’t concerned about getting it back. Now we are back on and trying to repair this thing. A couple questions and a pic:

1) The top wood that was pulled up, should I be trying to graft in a thin piece or spruce after clearing out the torn fibers? There is no bridge plate on this instrument.

2) The middle fan brace needs to be reglued. I should just use titebond for this or do I run the risk of PVA not sticking to itself and it just fails again?

Sadly, here is what I’m dealing with. The bridge brought up a ton of wood with it.

Image

Brad


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:09 pm 
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I would repair the brace first, probably with just a 5 or 6" clamp or 2. Not sure what type of glue to use. I might just use a little dab of epoxy if I can get it in there.

Why would you use spruce to patch the top? I would just get whatever wood veneer is the right thickness and super glue or epoxy it in with a flat caul. Then, after the bridge is prepped, epoxy that sucker on!



These users thanked the author pat macaluso for the post: bcombs510 (Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:46 pm)
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