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UkerDanno
12-11-2015, 07:53 AM
I posted about my strumming finger getting black from strumming Living Waters strings before and no one else had a problem. Well, it seems it's not just Living Waters. One other lady in our group had black from Living Waters, but another guy playing an 8 string with Worth clears had a very black finger and another guy with Worth Browns also had black dust on his finger, his uke and strings were new!

No one else has ever had this happen? I played Martins for a couple years on my C1K and never noticed this happening.

spookelele
12-11-2015, 09:10 AM
Are you sure it's from the strings?

There's nothing chemically in a clear flourocarbon that should be black.
But.. most frets are some kinda brass, which can produce a black oxide.
If you ever tried to polish brass.. you'll know what it looks like.

70sSanO
12-11-2015, 09:12 AM
I've been using fluorocarbon strings, including Worth Browns, for a long time and this has never happened to me.

What we need here is a chemist that can go through the composition of the polymers and figure out if there is something that will cause this.

Maybe the hot temps in AZ?

Maybe it's the music selections (lol)?

John

macfish
12-11-2015, 09:47 AM
Wow this is strange. I've had nothing but fluorocarbons, including Fremont blacklines ;-) and never a hint of color or residue. An early indicator of the zombie apocalypse?

blodzoom
12-11-2015, 09:55 AM
I posted about my strumming finger getting black from strumming Living Waters strings before and no one else had a problem. Well, it seems it's not just Living Waters. One other lady in our group had black from Living Waters, but another guy playing an 8 string with Worth clears had a very black finger and another guy with Worth Browns also had black dust on his finger, his uke and strings were new!


I think we can figure this out. Just a couple questions to help us deduce:

1. Did you serve any donuts or pastries at this meeting?
2. In addition to playing ukulele, did the group also do any automotive repair?
3. Was the man with the black finger an african american?

spookelele
12-11-2015, 10:54 AM
What we need here is a chemist that can go through the composition of the polymers and figure out if there is something that will cause this.

I have a degree in chemistry....
Flourocarbons are very inert.

That's why I think it's something else... and was pointing at the frets. We often strum on the frets.
Next time you re-string.. take a white paper towel and rub your frets and see if it comes off black.

spookelele
12-11-2015, 11:39 AM
Also.... some ukes.. esp cheaper ones... dye/paint the fretboard to make it black.
Maybe that's what's rubbing off?

It just doesn't seem like clear flourocarbons have anything in them that could turn black.

UkerDanno
12-11-2015, 12:08 PM
It just doesn't seem like clear flourocarbons have anything in them that could turn black.

It's Fluoro "carbon"!

Also, don't think it's the frets or fingerboard, 2 of the ukes are Kanile'a the other 2, Ohanas. I didn't have any problems when I had Aquilas on my Kanile'a...


I think we can figure this out. Just a couple questions to help us deduce:

1. Did you serve any donuts or pastries at this meeting?
2. In addition to playing ukulele, did the group also do any automotive repair?
3. Was the man with the black finger an african american?

NO, NO and NO! :shaka:

spookelele
12-11-2015, 12:14 PM
I still think it's the frets.

Brass is copper and zinc.
Copper oxide is black.

kohanmike
12-11-2015, 10:00 PM
I've had fluorocarbon strings on a few of my ukes and have never noticed any black on my fingers. I just played one tonight for about two hours with the Los Angeles Music Center Christmas Ukulele Orchestra and no black.

Brian1
12-11-2015, 10:45 PM
I'll try,

What do you keep your ukulele in when you are not playing it ? Is it a case with black plush lining ? Because the oil left on the strings from you hands could be rubbing against some cheap chinese dye on the plush material and resting on the strings... Then when you strum your ukulele it could transfer onto your finger.

You might also want to check some other things you touch when playing your uke maybe your tuner or case.

Second theory, Do you play from a book that has been photocopied or printed ? It could be toner or ink from the jam book you are using.

Jeffelele
12-11-2015, 10:54 PM
I think the zombie guy is right.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-12-2015, 05:57 AM
I still think it's the frets.

Brass is copper and zinc.
Copper oxide is black.

The vast majority of ukulele frets are made of a nickel silver alloy. Although they do exist, it is rather rare to see them made of brass, copper alloy or stainless steel.

Brian1
12-12-2015, 08:49 AM
Do the ukes you are experiencing this with have a truss rod ?

UkerDanno
12-12-2015, 08:58 AM
Do the ukes you are experiencing this with have a truss rod ?

NO


What do you keep your ukulele in when you are not playing it ? Is it a case with black plush lining ? Because the oil left on the strings from you hands could be rubbing against some cheap chinese dye on the plush material and resting on the strings... Then when you strum your ukulele it could transfer onto your finger.

I've thought about that, it's a possibility...I rubbed the case lining, nothing came off. I'll check what the other people are keeping their ukes in.

Brian1
12-12-2015, 09:05 AM
I've thought about that, it's a possibility...I rubbed the case lining, nothing came off. I'll check what the other people are keeping their ukes in.

It could be dust / fluff in there you might try to use a dust buster or something and see if that helps.

spookelele
12-12-2015, 10:22 AM
The vast majority of ukulele frets are made of a nickel silver alloy. Although they do exist, it is rather rare to see them made of brass, copper alloy or stainless steel.

Hmm..

Ok.

Nickel oxide is black.
Silver oxide is black.

lots of metal oxides are black.

blodzoom
12-15-2015, 09:13 AM
I think the zombie guy is right.

Even a blind squirrel finds his nuts sometimes.

hoosierhiver
12-15-2015, 09:21 AM
Could it be wood dust from the fretboard?, I've wiped down fretboards before and seen a black film on the cloth afterwards.

pritch
12-15-2015, 09:45 AM
I recently changed a set of strings on an ukulele, Living Waters to Fremont Blackline. I didn't clean or polish the frets but I did oil the fret board. When I wiped the fretboard down before fitting the new strings the cloth went black and the frets became shiny. From this extremely unscientific evidence I decided that the blackness came from the frets.

On which hand do the fingers go black?

Shooters of my acquaintance refer to some people having "bad hands". If these people touch a gun there is a higher risk of subsequent rusty finger prints than normal. Maybe there's something like that going on here?

UkerDanno
12-15-2015, 11:14 AM
Could it be wood dust from the fretboard?, I've wiped down fretboards before and seen a black film on the cloth afterwards.

It's probably carbon dust from the strings...;-D

UkerDanno
12-15-2015, 11:18 AM
Not to mention the Living Waters strings are almost worn out, I've only had them on for 2-3 months...granted I've been playing at 2-3 jams a week, but Martins have lasted me 6 months easily. The strings are getting a rough feel where I strum and where the strings touch the frets, they are getting grooves. I love the sound of the Living Waters, but not real impressed with the durability.

UkerDanno
01-03-2016, 09:38 AM
So...went to a jam yesterday and took my "new" Pono with fresh Martin strings on it, I was getting some black on my strumming finger. It was barely noticeable, but there was a little black "dust" on my finger. I can't believe anyone else has never had this happen, other than a few others in my circle of ukulele friends!