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View Full Version : Mahagony back split question?



mama207
02-25-2015, 06:27 AM
Hi everyone,

Am new to ukes, have had my solid mahogany tenor since 2/14/15 (the price was ~$250 if that says anything about quality or lack therof not sure), and today noticed that the back has a crack going halfway up - it has been treated very carefully so am assuming this is from the very dry and cold weather we've been having.

Wondering - is this normal due to the dryness or is it a bum ukulele? I didn't know enough to get a humidifier, and anyway like having it out because I play it often throughout the day. Not sure if I should try and exchange it?

Any thoughts on how to mitigate the damage if I can't exchange it?

Appreciate any thoughts.

Thanks!

hoosierhiver
02-25-2015, 06:32 AM
Solid wood needs to be cared for or it will dry out and crack. Cold, dry, winter air will kill a solid wood uke, you should be keeping it in roughly 50-60% humidity and avoid sudden temp changes.

mama207
02-25-2015, 06:52 AM
Thanks. Do you think it would be sufficient to keep it in a case overnight with a humidifier, and out during the day?

hoosierhiver
02-25-2015, 07:13 AM
Thanks. Do you think it would be sufficient to keep it in a case overnight with a humidifier, and out during the day?

Depends on the humidity and temp in your house, if you are not playing it at the time keep it with the humidifier. Room humidifiers are great, not only do they help your instruments, they help keep your skin from drying out, make you sleep better and help your lungs work better to fight off respiratory infections. Houseplants and aquariums are other ways to increase the humidity in a room.

mama207
02-25-2015, 07:30 AM
I'm sure we need a whole house one ! Lots of paint cracks - and cracks in my hand too! Any advice on saving this uke? And I guess my laminate uke is not prone to this damage? Thanks for all the help to this newbie!

hoosierhiver
02-25-2015, 07:46 AM
I'm sure we need a whole house one ! Lots of paint cracks - and cracks in my hand too! Any advice on saving this uke? And I guess my laminate uke is not prone to this damage? Thanks for all the help to this newbie!

Laminates aren't prone to cracking, but generally don't sound as good as a solid. If you want to try it yourself, an easy fix would be smearing a little wood glue in the crack. That would at least keep it from getting worse.

hmgberg
02-25-2015, 10:54 AM
Sent you a pm

mama207
02-25-2015, 11:14 AM
Update: I steamed up a shower, then turned the water off, and set the uke in there on a stand for while, and the crack closed up. Short term fix, I know, but a ray of hope. Ordered a humidifier for it, should be here Friday.

eta: Sucks you have to keep it in a case in dry weather. I really loved having them handy for a quick song or too, and would play throughout the day whenever I had a few moments. --- Also, I am appreciating laminates more, even though solid wood seemed to be so much more prized.

Nickie
02-25-2015, 01:31 PM
Sounds like a good trick, mama. If it opens up again, I'd be tempted to insert a dab of wood glue, then put it in the shower again, then when it seals back up, wipe off the excess glue....
I'd keep it in the case with a small orange....that does the trick nicely. If you want more solid wood ukes, you might want to consider a humidifier, as was suggested above.
any other ideas for mama?

Inksplosive AL
02-25-2015, 03:24 PM
I would percussion feed some tightbond into that crack the way it is now and see if it holds without any bracing from the inside. If it opens back up some wooden splints might be needed. Its how I fixed my cracked tenor.

~peace~

mama207
02-26-2015, 09:46 AM
Thanks, everyone! I will try the tightbond original. Until it arrives, am keeping it in the shower spa. Hopefully with the humidifier it will be ok. I am glad the crack closed up at least.

Not crazy about having to baby a ukulele. I like it out and available to grab and play...