Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:40 am


All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:10 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:43 pm
Posts: 3
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Hello Luthiers,
I'm a long time lurker and now new member, and I'm glad a place like this exists! Great source of knowledge!

Talking about knowledge:
So I scored this Kala all solid Mahogany Ukulele, for cheap, because it was damaged. It's quite a nice Uke, which retails for about €450 - 500.- but somebody must have knocked it quite a bit, so they put it up on Ebay where I was able to get it for €145.-
Have a look at the pics, I find the damage isn't too bad and certainly fixable.
Which is why I bought it in the first place, because I believe I can fix it myself and learn a few things in the process.
I'm just a guitarist, who likes to build the occasional partscaster, I've done some simple repairs, replaced a few nuts and fixed the occasional crack, but this level of repair is new to me. I'd love to be able to do this stuff! Back in the days, when I was young, I wanted to become a luthier, but where I'm from there was just no way to find an apprenticeship anywhere. The few luthiers around didn't take apprentices at the time. Well, times have changed, there seems to be a luthier everywhere nowadays, but I suppose I'm too old now... Ah well, my kitchen is slowly morphing into a workshop now :)

BTW, the Uke is fully playable and stays in tune, and even the electronics seem to work.

How would you go about fixing the damage?
I would probably start with removing the debris inside the body, and see if the dislodged parts can somehow be moved back together, in which case I'd think it's rather straight forward to glue the sucker back together.
Of course a small part of the kerfing has chipped. Should I try to get the bits out and re-use them if possible, or just glue a small block of wood in its place? Or maybe find a new piece or kerfing somewhere to put it in?
Or just leave it without, cos it's such a small piece anyway?

Another problem is the size of the instrument! How on earth am I going to get my huge hands in there? :) How are you folks doing it? Like, if I were to remove the broken kerfing bits, a bent chisel might come in handy, that's long enough to reach through the sound hole. Oh, the right tools... I can see myself buying a ton of new tools just for this job, just because it's so great to have nice tools, even if I'll never use them again :) I bet you can relate to that :)

Anyway, here are the images, and I'm very much looking forward to your ideas and suggestions :)
Thanks a lot!

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:19 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:42 pm
Posts: 1275
First name: John
Last Name: Parchem
City: Seattle
State: Wa
Zip/Postal Code: 98177
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I could not work that deep into a Ukulele as my hands would not fit.

I would consider two ways: the first is easy I would use a variety of clamps to get the back into the rims and the cracks closed. Then I would wick thin CA into all of the cracks and the edge of the back.

If I wanted to fix so that nobody would notice I would find replacement bindings, use heat to remove the backs bindings and the back itself. I would then have access to repair the rims and the kerfed linings. I would repair the back cracks and glue the back back on. To finish I would clean up the binding channel with scrapers and a sanding block and glue new bindings in. I would also refinish the back.

In either case not a lot of tools.

_________________
http://www.Harvestmoonguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:08 pm 
Offline
Cocobolo
Cocobolo
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:41 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Trois-Rivieres
First name: Alain
Last Name: Lambert
City: Trois-Rivieres
State: Quebec
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Like John said, try to just put it back in place. You will have to invent tools. Long sticks, bent flat iron, etc., to push the side back in place from inside. Use magnets to align the cracks on the back. Once it is glued in place, you need to find a way to glue some small blocks to replace the kerfing. Look at frets.com http://frets.com/FretsPages/pagelist.html#Luthier. Frank Ford has a lot of these tools.
Good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:04 pm 
Offline
Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 163
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I'd loosen the binding at the tail so I could wedge the back up just enough to work on the lining. Then I'd glue the side crack and the lining.

Next step, fix the back cracks, as I could get cleats inside if needed.

Finally glue the back down again, and re-glue the binding.

The back is so thin that it's very flexible, and you should easily be able to get something like a half inch gap to work through.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:15 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:43 pm
Posts: 3
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Hi there :)

Thanks for the replies so far!

Pretty much what I was thinking. I will not take the binding off, that sounds way to scary, so trying to glue it back together will be the way to go.
I can indeed wedge the back up a little, however I'm not yet sure if I'm just going t remove the wood that's in the way to get it flush, or if I should try to reconstruct it.
Parts of the mahogany have moved up with the lining, which is now in the way. I could bend it back to where it was. We'll see.

First I'll have to invent some tools to get in there, but I find that's part of the fun :) Also, glueing cleats is going to be a bit of a challenge, at least if I don't want to make a mess with the glue inside. Maybe I can attach them to a long rod with blu-tack, move them into place, and use magnets to clamp them down.

Not sure about the CA glue. It would certainly work, but excess can't be wiped off easily. So I might go for good old titebond, maybe even thinned down a bit. It won't need much anyway. The repair will not be invisible, but at least it should look clean once done. Good thing I don't have to rush :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:23 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:42 pm
Posts: 1275
First name: John
Last Name: Parchem
City: Seattle
State: Wa
Zip/Postal Code: 98177
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Titebond should work for the cracks, there maybe an issue where the back seperated. Titebond needs wood to wood contact and does not glue well if there is old glue. One trick I have done with CA is to spray accelerator inside of the instrument to keep thin CA from leaking through the joint. I apply CA though a pipette and can apply it such that there is very little if any glue on the surface. I have also wiped away excess CA with a paper towel if I had a little extra.

_________________
http://www.Harvestmoonguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:45 pm 
Offline
Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:43 pm
Posts: 3
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
johnparchem wrote:
Titebond should work for the cracks, there maybe an issue where the back seperated. Titebond needs wood to wood contact and does not glue well if there is old glue.


After watching THIS video, I'm not too sure about that anymore. Basically in the video the titebond-on-titebond joint was the strongest of them all. Who'd have expected that?
In any case, on my little Ukulele the joint won't have to be particular strong, so even if the glue joint isn't the strongest ever, it should be Ok here. I'm just not comfortable with CA glue.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com