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WCBarnes
06-15-2015, 09:07 AM
I purchased a Timms 2nd hand about a week ago and it arrived today. It traveled from the UK and was wrapped very nicely in bubble wrap. When I unwrapped the uke I noticed there are now lots of marks in the finish from the bubbles. I tried to wipe them with a dry microfiber towel, but they did not come off. Since he is the original maker I sent a PM to timbuck to see if he had any suggestions, but I also wanted to tap into the knowledgeable minds of this forum. Any suggestions on how to remove the film without damaging the finish?

Here are some pics:

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spookelele
06-15-2015, 09:20 AM
If it's a residue, then I'd try a dilute dishsoap and water.
If that doesn't work and it's a residue, I'd try a furniture polish.

The first will get water based residue and some oil based.
The second will get a little more stubborn oil based.
Anything more strong.. might ruin the finish so maybe a buff?

If it's not residue, but something has reacted with the finish surface then I'd try a polish.
I like the Novus brand plastic polishes. It comes in a set with 2 creams and a spray in descending grit but really the #3 will leave a nice shine by itself if you just want to buy one bottle. Its good for most scratches or defects that are in the finish, but haven't reached the wood.

wayfarer75
06-15-2015, 09:31 AM
That's a bummer--I hope it can come off easily.

I have no advice as I'm sure I would just make it worse if I tried any of my bright ideas.

strumsilly
06-15-2015, 09:36 AM
I'd ask what finish is on there first. His more modern ones use "Finish is Hand rubbed in Dark Shellac/French Polish (Aimed to give that Vintage Look ).
from wiki
French polishing is a wood finishing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_finishing) technique that results in a very high gloss surface, with a deep colour and chatoyancy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatoyancy). French polishing consists of applying many thin coats of shellac (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shellac) dissolved in alcohol using a rubbing pad lubricated with oil. The rubbing pad is made of absorbent cotton or wool cloth wadding (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batting_(material)) inside a square piece of fabric (usually soft cotton cloth) and is commonly referred to as a fad,[1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_polish#cite_note-1) also called a rubber,[2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_polish#cite_note-Allen.2C_30-2) tampon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampon),[2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_polish#cite_note-Allen.2C_30-2) or muņeca (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/en:mu%C3%B1eca), Spanish for "rag doll".[3] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_polish#cite_note-milburnguitars.com-3)
"French polish" is a process, not a material. The main material is shellac, although there are several other shellac-based finishes, not all of which class as French polishing.
The finish is considered by many to be a beautiful way to finish highly figured wood, but it is also recognised to be fragile. It is softer than modern varnishes and lacquers and is particularly sensitive to spills of water or alcohol, which often produce white cloudy marks. However, it is also simpler to repair than a damaged varnish finish, as patch repairs to French polish may be easily blended into an existing finish."

so you should be able to just polish it out. I'd ask Mr timms what he suggests before I did anything!

PhilUSAFRet
06-15-2015, 10:33 AM
orrrrrrrrr, you can wait until Ken gives you some advice, which may be the safest approach.

Ukejenny
06-15-2015, 10:44 AM
I wonder how warm the package got in transit. Can you feel the marks on the surface - are they raised at all?

I hope Ken can give you a good answer.

Mattyukaholic
06-15-2015, 11:03 AM
Be careful, especially re: furniture polish etc, because of the french polish. It is delicate and not like normal gloss finishes.

WCBarnes
06-15-2015, 11:09 AM
[QUOTE=Ukejenny;1710508]I wonder how warm the package got in transit. Can you feel the marks on the surface - are they raised at all?QUOTE]

I can feel them ever so slightly when I run my fingers over the top and back.

Thanks for the input to this point! The people on this forum are great! I am going to wait until I hear from Mr. Timms before I do anything! I have been playing it and it sounds wonderful! Now to get it looking its best as well!

Tigershark
06-15-2015, 02:59 PM
The plastic & chemicals in the bubble wrap reacted with and damaged the finish. I have seen it before. You should never put bubble wrap in direct contact with an instrument or this could happen, leaving a polka dot pattern.

Wrap the instrument in newspaper or brown paper and then put the bubble wrap on.

Icelander53
06-15-2015, 03:50 PM
That was my thought. Why would someone in the know do something like that?

hollisdwyer
06-15-2015, 04:31 PM
Interesting to know about this. I have never seen this issue with bubble wrap on an instrument finished with true oil.

78er
06-15-2015, 08:16 PM
That was my thought. Why would someone in the know do something like that?

I think you may have mis read the OP. It states it was bought 2nd hand, not bought from the builder, so I'm guessing the seller wasn't 'in the know'

WCBarnes
06-15-2015, 08:16 PM
The plastic & chemicals in the bubble wrap reacted with and damaged the finish. I have seen it before. You should never put bubble wrap in direct contact with an instrument or this could happen, leaving a polka dot pattern.

Wrap the instrument in newspaper or brown paper and then put the bubble wrap on.

Do you know if anything can be done to repair the finish?

spongeuke
06-15-2015, 08:28 PM
Yes, bubble wrap does react with a french polished finish. It happened to a Martin I shipped to Arizonza and was left in a delivery truck over a weekend. The entire face was effected. I had to refinish the top. Not that hard a job but it meant reshipping. Live and learn.

Pukulele Pete
06-16-2015, 12:16 AM
I wouldnt touch it until hearing from Mr. Timms. My guess would be to try some alcohol on a soft cloth.

WCBarnes
06-16-2015, 03:40 AM
I heard back from Mr. Timms overnight:

"Recommend a very light buffing with 0000 steel wool and beeswax polish."

I have no doubts in Mr. Timms knowledge/expertiese and I have seen it recommended before, but to be honest, buffing a ukulele with steel wool makes me a little nervous! Any technique suggestions?

strumsilly
06-16-2015, 03:50 AM
I heard back from Mr. Timms overnight:

"Recommend a very light buffing with 0000 steel wool and beeswax polish."

I have no doubts in Mr. Timms knowledge/expertiese and I have seen it recommended before, but to be honest, buffing a ukulele with steel wool makes me a little nervous! Any technique suggestions?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85HxidMLf5Y

Icelander53
06-16-2015, 04:15 AM
I think you may have mis read the OP. It states it was bought 2nd hand, not bought from the builder, so I'm guessing the seller wasn't 'in the know'

Thanks for clarifying that. I guess that's a mistake I could have made. But not now. This place rocks. ;)

UkerDanno
06-16-2015, 04:42 AM
I heard back from Mr. Timms overnight:

"Recommend a very light buffing with 0000 steel wool and beeswax polish."

I have no doubts in Mr. Timms knowledge/expertiese and I have seen it recommended before, but to be honest, buffing a ukulele with steel wool makes me a little nervous! Any technique suggestions?

keywords being "very light buffing"...not like the heavy handed guy in the video!

hollisdwyer
06-16-2015, 04:42 AM
I heard back from Mr. Timms overnight:

"Recommend a very light buffing with 0000 steel wool and beeswax polish."

I have no doubts in Mr. Timms knowledge/expertiese and I have seen it recommended before, but to be honest, buffing a ukulele with steel wool makes me a little nervous! Any technique suggestions?

A VERY light buffing, with the grain, not against it, is a good idea. I understand you can also use 0000 steelwool to cut back a gloss finish to a satin finish. I was thinking of doing this to the neck of one of my instruments to make it slicker/faster.

Also recommend this very fine beeswax: http://watchpolishing.ipower.com/beeswax.htm
I use it for my watchbands but it is also good for wood. A little goes a long way but suggest the extra large (lol), 2 Oz, container for polishing something the size of a Uke.

Doc_J
06-16-2015, 04:58 AM
I heard back from Mr. Timms overnight:

"Recommend a very light buffing with 0000 steel wool and beeswax polish."

I have no doubts in Mr. Timms knowledge/expertiese and I have seen it recommended before, but to be honest, buffing a ukulele with steel wool makes me a little nervous! Any technique suggestions?

An alternative to steel wool is the Scotch-Brite 3M abrasive pads. The white pad is similar to steel wool 0000, but doesn't leave little bits of steel. That was recommended to me by a piano finish repair man. Although, he suggested using wool lube instead of beeswax for a nitro finish. I've use that successfully.

coolkayaker1
06-16-2015, 05:34 AM
Jeezum crow, this is an edge-of-the-seat thread.

wCBarnes has been instructed to, not first try Virtuoso Violin Polish, or naphtha, or even a wet rag, but to get some steel wool and Burt's Bees lip wax and take a crack at it.

I'm grabbing the popcorn. Lol. Godspeed, WCBarnes.

PS I've used 0000 steel wool in my Tru Oil Mya Moes w no issues, as Aaron uses it, too; even with that, on a gloss finish? I'm shaking over here and I'm not even the one doing it! Great thread WCB, esp about the bubble wrap damage. Thanks. And thanks for guinea-pigging the steel wool and bumble bee stuff, too.

hollisdwyer
06-16-2015, 06:34 AM
I use 0000 steelwool to clean my fretboard and frets every time I change strings. I follow that cleaning with an application of Lemoil.

I also wipe down the strings and fretboard everytime after I play. Talk about OCD! LoL.

hollisdwyer
06-16-2015, 06:47 AM
PS I've used 0000 steel wool in my Tru Oil Mya Moes w no issues, as Aaron uses it, too; even with that, on a gloss finish? I'm shaking over here and I'm not even the one doing it! Great thread WCB, esp about the bubble wrap damage. Thanks. And thanks for guinea-pigging the steel wool and bumble bee stuff, too.

Only to be used on a gloss finish if you want to turn it into a satin finish as per advice from a Luthier.

UkerDanno
06-16-2015, 08:08 AM
An alternative to steel wool is the Scotch-Brite 3M abrasive pads. The white pad is similar to steel wool 0000, but doesn't leave little bits of steel. That was recommended to me by a piano finish repair man. Although, he suggested using wool lube instead of beeswax for a nitro finish. I've use that successfully.

+1 on the 3M pads...I was wondering if there was an equivalent...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-16-2015, 08:09 AM
Do not ignore the advice to work wax into the 0000 steel wool pad. This is how I used to achieve a high satin buttery sheen when I was into such things. With the wax as a lubricant it's difficult to screw things up.

stevejfc
06-16-2015, 01:26 PM
The dangers of shipping an instrument without a proper HARD case.............................

robedney
06-16-2015, 08:54 PM
Just a couple of quick thoughts if you've not taken the leap yet:

Stick with steel wool. I've used bags of the 0000 variety and have also tried the Scotch 3M abrasive products. They don't cut the same in my experience. Also, stick with the beeswax - nothing about it will soften or dissolve the finish.

What you are having to do is level the finish. With most modern finishes this is done with increasingly finer grits of wet sandpaper, followed by finer and finer rubbing compounds. Instead of all that you're using the 0000 and wax, a good way to stay out of trouble. I would suggest wrapping the steel wool snuggly around a small, flat wooden or rubber block to start with. What you want to do is take down the high spots without rubbing through the low spots. Take your time, go with the grain (as suggested above) and stop frequently, hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to see what progress you've made. You can make something like a Q Tip by tightly winding a bit of steel wool around the tip of a small screwdriver. With plenty of wax applied that will get you into the tight corner at the bridge and fingerboard where it extends on to the top. Not enough wax is bad. Too much was just means more work buffing.

Good luck with it all, and let us know what happens!

Tigershark
06-17-2015, 07:36 AM
Do you know if anything can be done to repair the finish?

This happened to one of mine. I just left it alone and a year later it looked a lot better, but not perfect. Maybe the plasticizers in the bubble wrap evaporate or whatever they do.

Just playing it and using it will wear the finish slightly, maybe that will be enough to make it less noticable. I'm not sure how eagerly I would jump in there with steel wool, it doesn't always come out right.

jksk8in
06-17-2015, 09:37 AM
In my experience, not all 0000 steel wool is the same. The stuff from your local hardware store pales in comparison to Lustersheen steel wool out of Germany. Although Lustersheen is a bit more expensive, it is much less abrasive! The folks at Mya-Moe ukuleles turned me on to this brand; it doesn't disappoint! You can buy it directly from their website lustersheen.com
Best of luck!

robedney
06-17-2015, 11:07 AM
In my experience, not all 0000 steel wool is the same. The stuff from your local hardware store pales in comparison to Lustersheen steel wool out of Germany. Although Lustersheen is a bit more expensive, it is much less abrasive! The folks at Mya-Moe ukuleles turned me on to this brand; it doesn't disappoint! You can buy it directly from their website lustersheen.com
Best of luck!

Good to know. Thanks!

WCBarnes
06-18-2015, 10:14 AM
Thank you to everyone who added to this conversation! UU is a wealth of knowledge!

I have thought about leaving it alone as it still sounds and plays great (as you would expect from a Timms), but it looks like the Prom Queen broke out in hives the night of the dance! As beautiful as it is, these marks just make you shutter. I have done a little digging and have found a local guitar luthier who specializes in restoration and have sent him an email. If this happened to my Ohana, I would have no problems using the information provided here to give it an attempt. With an instrument of this quality I would feel much better leaving it to the pros. I will update once I hear from him.

strumsilly
06-18-2015, 10:26 AM
Thank you to everyone who added to this conversation! UU is a wealth of knowledge!

I have thought about leaving it alone as it still sounds and plays great (as you would expect from a Timms), but it looks like the Prom Queen broke out in hives the night of the dance! As beautiful as it is, these marks just make you shutter. I have done a little digging and have found a local guitar luthier who specializes in restoration and have sent him an email. If this happened to my Ohana, I would have no problems using the information provided here to give it an attempt. With an instrument of this quality I would feel much better leaving it to the pros. I will update once I hear from him.
Safer is probably better. I bought a vintage Favilla baritone off the bay, and it was not disclosed the uke had been [horribly] refinished. Drips and waves everywhere. I ended up wet sanding it with wet and dry automotive paper.I think I started with 320 and went to 1000. It isn't perfect but it is now the best looking out of the 3 I have. Favilla's beautiful one piece mahog is hard to see through the yellowed checked finishes on my others. You probably could do this yourself, but I understand your apprehension .

coolkayaker1
06-18-2015, 11:08 AM
Follow-up question, if I may, WBC, for anyone.

Would it be reasonable that simple naphtha be tried in this situation?

e.g. 1:14 min in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBKSrfFKIPg

e.g 1:50 min in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCIwyIhQs9E

stevepetergal
06-18-2015, 01:27 PM
Follow-up question, if I may, WBC, for anyone.

Would it be reasonable that simple naphtha be tried in this situation?

Naptha would be alike chicken soup. It wouldn't hurt. But the naptha is used to disolve residue, like oil, dirt, sweat,.... The plastic of the bubble wrap actually effects the chemistry of the finish itself. The shellac on the Timms in question needs to be rubbed out (at minimum) to smooth out the surface again. Left wrapped up in that stuff, I've seen Lacquer finishes destroyed. Even seen it wreck polyester.

Glad to read that WCBarnes is taking it to a professional.

Nickie
06-18-2015, 01:46 PM
I wonder how hot that uke got in transit....
The 0000 steel wool and beeswax is exactly what I would have done. If it failed to give me the results I wanted, that's a trip to the luthier. If I succeeded, I'd WHOOP WHOOP it up!

wayfarer75
06-19-2015, 02:41 AM
I'd probably take it to a pro, too. Whatever method they use, at least they'll know what they're doing. I'd be all ham-handed and mess it up.