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Thread: How to care for vintage uke

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    1,056

    Default How to care for vintage uke

    I am relatively new to vintage ukes & have no real idea on how to care for them. For instance, I was wiping off another uke with a microfiber cloth and thought "should I do this to my Martin?". So I tested a small area. It worked wonders- the finish looked brand new in the small test area. However, is removing the patina a negative thing in terms of value? I was using as much force as I would to clean my glasses (medium pressure).

    What about the fretboard? Should I use wax or oil or anything? It looks so dry.

    Anything else to consider?
    Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. -- Henry Van Dyke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    Hey There,
    I have several vintage ukes and I like to clean them up. I think it depends on what you want to do with your instrument. For me, I don't mind some bumps and bruises on a vintage uke, but I want to make the instrument look as good as possible. I give my vintage ukes a good cleaning when I get them, and then wipe them down from time to time. My vintage Martin uke went from looking very tired and beat up to a gleaming beauty after I cleaned and gently polished it.

    If you have an instrument you want to play, I say clean it and enjoy. If you are going to sell it, often buyers prefer it untouched so they can do what they want.

    Here is a link to an article on cleaning your instrument at www.frets.com
    I met Frank Ford, the luthier who hosts that site and he does amazing work. For me, if Frank says it, then I trust it!

    http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musi...leaning01.html

    By the way, I tried the mineral oil on my Martin's fretboard in exactly the way it is described in the article and it worked very well. Got Mineral oil at Target for $1.87....it is a lifetime supply! Guess I should buy more vintage ukes to use that mineral oil on!

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