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View Full Version : Changing a Neck Profile - Bad Idea?



Katz-in-Boots
01-06-2016, 04:31 PM
I love my Kanile'a concert K1 but wish the neck profile was thinner towards the nut. I'm thinking of asking a local luthier if he would thin it down for me, make it shallower but am worried it might affect the strength & integrity of the instrument.

Anyone had this done/done this to their uke, or have thoughts as to whether it's okay or a really bad idea?

Picker Jon
01-06-2016, 05:15 PM
It's easy enough to do, there's no truss rod channel to worry about and the string tension is low on a uke so it won't affect the strength of the neck to an adverse degree. The only problem right be renwing the finish but for a luthier that should be fine.

Talk to the luthier, get an estimate for the price and see if it's worth it for you. It might just make a uke you're not sure about into one that's a pleasure to play.

Brad Bordessa
01-06-2016, 05:23 PM
Personally, I'd get another instrument. It will be money, a hassle, and if things go bad you're out of an 'ukulele. Kanile'a made it the way they intended. If it's not your cup of tea, do a swap and try a different make. Just my 2 cents.

deschutestrout
01-06-2016, 05:42 PM
Personally, I'd get another instrument. It will be money, a hassle, and if things go bad you're out of an 'ukulele. Kanile'a made it the way they intended. If it's not your cup of tea, do a swap and try a different make. Just my 2 cents.

What the other hippie said. :agree:

Doc_J
01-06-2016, 07:00 PM
What the other hippie said. :agree:

+1 What deschutestrout said. :agree:

OR ask the Joe @ Kanile'a if they can do that.

UkerDanno
01-07-2016, 04:30 AM
yes, What the 3 other hippies said...:agree::shaka:

Kanile'a's are wider at the nut, 1 1/2" as opposed to 1 3/8" used on most other instruments, maybe that's what's bothering you.

spookelele
01-07-2016, 05:42 AM
Ive seen people do this with guitars... and it usually ends badly/ugly.
Also wrecks any resale.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-07-2016, 05:53 AM
Reducing the profile of a neck is an easy job, something that anyone with minimal skills in woodworking can accomplish. It's Basic Woodworking101. You could probably even do it yourself. Finishing it with lacquer is quite another story however and in order to achieve professional results you'll need to seek out the help of a professional. For most of us, finishing is the most difficult and time consuming thing we do.

AndrewKuker
01-07-2016, 06:54 AM
The K-1 C SF in your signature? Last year they started doing the satin finish in lacquer but previously it was Tru-Oil. If it's that older one then it's pretty simple finish to apply and it's gun stock oil so you can probably get it at a gun shop. If you want it to look best I would tape off at the body and headstock and do the whole thing. Just gotta sand the neck how you want it and then follow up to super high grit cause it will show any tiny sanding scratches. I used to go up to about 12,000 grit when I did that finish. But like others have alluded, Kanile'a definitely won't warranty it with any modification like this.

Nickie
01-07-2016, 08:57 AM
Katz,
I might be hesitant to do that with an expensive uke like a Kanilea. I might try swappin it for a Kamaka instead.
However....
I have a Kala that had a very thick neck, so thick that it hurt my hand to play it. I took it to my luthier and he shaved it down to fit my hand perfectly! Finish? To heck with that, he smoothed it off and applied wax to it. When the wax wears off, I just apply a thin coat of Johnson's wax, and off we go!
I play it all the time....but we're talking about a $300 uke, not a nice K brand from Hawaii....
If it were mine? I'd probably trust my luthier to do it.

70sSanO
01-07-2016, 09:05 AM
Reducing the profile of a neck is an easy job, something that anyone with minimal skills in woodworking can accomplish. It's Basic Woodworking101. You could probably even do it yourself. Finishing it with lacquer is quite another story however and in order to achieve professional results you'll need to seek out the help of a professional. For most of us, finishing is the most difficult and time consuming thing we do.

Thanks for the info, Chuck.

I have a tenor that has a rounded, almost baseball bat, neck radius that I have been wanted to get reshaped. Nice to know it can be done... most likely not by me... lol

John

Katz-in-Boots
01-07-2016, 02:32 PM
The K-1 C SF in your signature? Last year they started doing the satin finish in lacquer but previously it was Tru-Oil. If it's that older one then it's pretty simple finish to apply and it's gun stock oil so you can probably get it at a gun shop. .... Kanile'a definitely won't warranty it with any modification like this.

Yes, it's that one. Good to know it's the older finish. Lol on gun shops - there must be one somewhere here in Tasmania... Anyway, it's an older instrument so warranty probably isn't an issue.



Kanile'a's are wider at the nut, 1 1/2" as opposed to 1 3/8" used on most other instruments, maybe that's what's bothering you.

Nah, I know what you mean but I'm used to that by now


Personally, I'd get another instrument. It will be money, a hassle, and if things go bad you're out of an 'ukulele. Kanile'a made it the way they intended. If it's not your cup of tea, do a swap and try a different make. Just my 2 cents.

I really do love the sound of this uke, just a couple of things about it I'd change. The neck is okay, but I do prefer shallower.

70sSanO
01-07-2016, 04:50 PM
In reading through this again, I'm wondering if there will be any effect on the sound/sustain if the neck profile is reduced?

John

rappsy
01-07-2016, 05:00 PM
I would imagine that the value of the Uke would plummet as well if you ever planned on selling or trading it. The builder built it that way and to change it makes it a different Uke.

Kekani
01-07-2016, 08:48 PM
If you like the sound of the ukulele, order a custom from Joe. Custom builders have the ability to change profiles of necks to some degree (unless they're already jigged and cut during milling). I know KoAloha Customs have a different neck profile than their rack instruments.
https://vimeo.com/132847707
Sorry, I tried to embed the video, but its not showing up on my screen.

https://vimeo.com/132847707

mm stan
01-07-2016, 09:05 PM
I guess it's like saying i have an automatic camaro and I want a manual transmission, Is it worth it to you..my metaphor
Like Aaron says if you like the tone so much, you could get one made or shave down the neck yourself, they do sell nitro cellous in spray cans too.
If youre planning to keep the uke. If you do sell it, that money can go towards a new one, if you dont,
Mind depreciation value.
Uke voices to me are as distinct as every human beings voice, if you can notice the diference...keep that a
Factor in the equation. Good luck and happy strummings

Katz-in-Boots
01-08-2016, 03:11 PM
Should be an easy job for Paul, Karen.
Sound impact would be negligible if anything at all.

Caveats:
1. cost. is it worth it? at 60-80 p/hour plus refinish? might just make more economic sense to sell and buy something with a neck profile you're happier with.
2. resale. is this an instrument you could see yourself considering selling on in the future?

put one and two together....

if you love it and would not consider selling it on, then go for it. if hesitant, sell and reinvest in a different uke.

xo

Thanks Jon, Paul is who I was thinking of asking.
I've had this baby for about 3 years I guess, and got it 2nd hand from the UU marketplace because I fell in love with its sound. It cost $780 US at the time, a bargain then. I'd only sell it if I found something I love more (there's a delux Kamaka concert on the marketplace right now that'd be a candidate). Coming up with the $$ is the issue.

I guess what I'm thinking is whether a couple of minor modifications (the neck & adjust nut slot to take low G) to this uke would make it my "forever-UAS-busting-uke" and free me from the endless search for uking nirvana.

Allen
01-09-2016, 08:56 AM
Re-profiling a neck as Chuck has said is an easy job. It won't affect the sound of the instrument unless something really really drastic has changed. And in that case the neck was either way to thick, or it was taken down way to thin.