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View Full Version : Seam separation on Kanile'a SC



ukeinfused
07-26-2016, 03:10 PM
92898

I've bonded with this four year old "new" Kanile'a K2-SC-DLX-SF which comes at a (twice) reduced price. I love, love, love the way it sounds and plays and feels and looks. Perhaps because of the oil finish, it feels like there is nothing between me and the vibrating wood.

Sadly, I have to decide in the next week whether to return it: there is a seam separation starting between the heel and the neck. I can insert a tiny corner of a piece of paper just behind the fretboard, and can see that whatever is happening probably involves more than just that quarter inch, as it is darkened about half-way along the seam. (See attached photo of the heel joint.)

I wrote to Kanile'a, who says it is covered by warranty only if they inspect it and determine that it's not caused by lack of proper humidity while hanging on the wall of the music store for four years. (I have no idea how they determine that and they have to see it to make that decision.)
Of course, I don't really want to buy an instrument that has to be sent to Hawaii, but it would have been nice to have had that reassurance that if something really bad happened, they'd fix it.

What do you builders/fixers make of this? Given Kanile'a's neck build, is this something that could turn out really bad, or is it essentially a cosmetic issue that should pretty much stay put if the instrument is properly humidified?

I can send it back for a full refund (and there are those on this site who think I'm crazy for not already having done that).

But thought I'd see what the wisdom out there actually thinks about the problem at hand. It will help my heart separate if needed, and I might learn something. ;>)

ukeinfused
07-26-2016, 03:22 PM
P.s. I was going to upload a picture of the front of the uke for those who were curious, but weirdly, the site is telling me my second photo is too large...

BlackBearUkes
07-26-2016, 05:38 PM
IMO, I would be more worried if the seam was opened on the point of the heel. Where it is now is no big deal. If you like, keep it and play it.


92898

I've bonded with this four year old "new" Kanile'a K2-SC-DLX-SF which comes at a (twice) reduced price. I love, love, love the way it sounds and plays and feels and looks. Perhaps because of the oil finish, it feels like there is nothing between me and the vibrating wood.

Sadly, I have to decide in the next week whether to return it: there is a seam separation starting between the heel and the neck. I can insert a tiny corner of a piece of paper just behind the fretboard, and can see that whatever is happening probably involves more than just that quarter inch, as it is darkened about half-way along the seam. (See attached photo of the heel joint.)

I wrote to Kanile'a, who says it is covered by warranty only if they inspect it and determine that it's not caused by lack of proper humidity while hanging on the wall of the music store for four years. (I have no idea how they determine that and they have to see it to make that decision.)
Of course, I don't really want to buy an instrument that has to be sent to Hawaii, but it would have been nice to have had that reassurance that if something really bad happened, they'd fix it.

What do you builders/fixers make of this? Given Kanile'a's neck build, is this something that could turn out really bad, or is it essentially a cosmetic issue that should pretty much stay put if the instrument is properly humidified?

I can send it back for a full refund (and there are those on this site who think I'm crazy for not already having done that).

But thought I'd see what the wisdom out there actually thinks about the problem at hand. It will help my heart separate if needed, and I might learn something. ;>)

hawaii 50
07-26-2016, 08:31 PM
like Blackbear says I would not worry about it.....if you like the uke keep it...the odds of it separating from 4 years on a wall is pretty good.....I have been to Sylvan and they keep the humidity pretty good there..but 4 years is kind of long not to get some humidity in the winters and summers there in Santa Cruz...IMO

coolkayaker1
07-26-2016, 08:43 PM
Isn't the neck bolted on? Or some other rodding or fixture beyond just animal glue/Titebond? I don't know, I'm asking.

hawaii 50
07-26-2016, 08:56 PM
Isn't the neck bolted on? Or some other rodding or fixture beyond just animal glue/Titebond? I don't know, I'm asking.

not a bolt on neck.....cool
I wonder if the sellers should fix it for the buyer as they are the ones selling it like that....or give it a better discount

coolkayaker1
07-26-2016, 09:00 PM
not a bolt on neck.....cool
I wonder if the sellers should fix it for the buyer as they are the ones selling it like that....or give it a better discount

I see. Thanks. Good idea about seller fix or discount.

ukeinfused
07-27-2016, 02:58 AM
Thanks all... would a "fix" at this point just mean getting some glue in there as is, or something more involved?

little timber
07-27-2016, 06:01 AM
is it a Spanish heel joint? seems like if it is you could fix it with a shim.

Booli
07-27-2016, 06:48 AM
I'm confused, and please pardon me if this is obvious to everyone but me...

I recall seeing at least 2-3 other threads elsewhere in the forum, on the same topic, same uke, from same member in the past week and thought that this issue was either resolved with the seller OR luthier, or the OP had concluded the matter otherwise...

Is this thread about a NEW issue, or this this a continuation of the previous matter? :confused:

RPA_Ukuleles
07-27-2016, 07:08 AM
Kanile'a use a slot and compressed wood biscuit joint for their necks. The neck is glued and the oval shaped biscuit adds strength. It's essentially a floating tennon. The compressed biscuit expands and fills the space tightly when glued. Can be a quite strong joint.

I suspect this Uke came pretty much this way from the factory. There may be some exaggeration over time. But certainly if it came that way it would account for why it hung on the wall for years.

Unless the fingerboard extension has come unglued from the top, I can't imagine any way for that joint to open up. Separation at that location is against string tension not with it.

ukeinfused
07-27-2016, 01:33 PM
I'm confused, and please pardon me if this is obvious to everyone but me...

I recall seeing at least 2-3 other threads elsewhere in the forum, on the same topic, same uke, from same member in the past week and thought that this issue was either resolved with the seller OR luthier, or the OP had concluded the matter otherwise...

Is this thread about a NEW issue, or this this a continuation of the previous matter? :confused:
This is the same uke, but different focus. Given that the seller is still willing to take it back OR reduce price to $580 AND I'm in love with the thing, I wanted to ask this community of luthiers specifically what they make of the seam separation (this time attaching a photo) in terms of the build and risk. And I am receiving new opinions from knowledgeable folks here, much appreciated. (You guys rock!)
I did already explain my error with the double post earlier, having been unable to delete my original.
If I'm taking up too much real estate, feel free to remove my original post... thanks.

Booli
07-27-2016, 01:44 PM
This is the same uke, but different focus. I asked the community of luthiers specifically what they make of the seam separation (this time attaching a photo) in terms of the build and risk. And I did receive new opinions from knowledgeable folks here...

Ohh. Ok.

Sorry if I caused any trouble as none was meant. I was just worried that the situation was not resolved yet and wanted to be clear if you were still debating the proper solution.

Best of luck for a happy end result !

hawaii 50
07-27-2016, 03:00 PM
looks like the dealer knew they sent you a flawed uke...$580.00 sounds good..maybe it is their cost....and I think the separation will not hurt the tone...IMO

sequoia
07-27-2016, 05:55 PM
Here we go with the perfection thing again... I'm looking at the picture and thinking: where is the problem? Am I missing something here? Sure it ain't perfect, but structurally there is no problem I can see. Pretty nicely done if you ask me. Also: Wood moves. It is a living breathing thing that expands and contracts to a surprising degree. Live with it, because it is the nature of wood. You love the way the uke sounds so just play it and enjoy.

ukeinfused
07-27-2016, 06:07 PM
Here we go with the perfection thing again... I'm looking at the picture and thinking: where is the problem? Am I missing something here? Sure it ain't perfect, but structurally there is no problem I can see.

Actually, it was never about being perfect... I don't know alot about uke building/repair and just wanted some reassurance that the neck isn't going to be a problem. Based on what I'm learning from you all, think I'll keep her!

Timbuck
07-27-2016, 09:15 PM
Dont worry about that small defect...look at this one ;) still holding up after 654 years in Chesterfield UK
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/spire_zpsnvl7ppup.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/spire_zpsnvl7ppup.jpg.html)

The spire was added to the 14th-century tower in about 1362. It is both twisted and leaning, twisting 45 degrees and leaning 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 m) from its true centre. The leaning characteristic was initially suspected to be the result of the absence of skilled craftsmen (the Black Death had been gone only twelve years before the spire's completion), insufficient cross-bracing, and the use of unseasoned timber.

It is now believed that the twisting of the spire was caused by the lead that covers the spire. The lead causes this twisting phenomenon, because when the sun shines during the day the south side of the tower heats up, causing the lead there to expand at a greater rate than that of the north side of the tower, resulting in unequal expansion and contraction. This was compounded by the weight of the lead (approx. 33 tons) which the spire's bracing was not originally designed to bear. Also it was common practice to use unseasoned timber at the time the spire was built as when the wood was seasoned it was too hard to work with, so as unseasoned wood was used they would have made adjustments as it was seasoning in place.

coolkayaker1
07-28-2016, 06:47 AM
Actually, Based on what I'm learning from you all, think I'll keep her!

Cheaper to keep 'er. I'd do the same. Nice price. Sounds like a class dealer, too.

Pete Howlett
07-28-2016, 10:19 AM
This is not seam separation - it is joint separation which is highly unlikely. Without knowing the full history of this instrument I'd say it left the factory looking like that. I have no idea why you are posting this. Your issue should be directed at the retailer who should take it up with the manufacturer. If you bought it pre-owned then you have no claim on the warranty and should have thoroughly inspected it before purchase. As has been said already - if it plays OK, and is structurally sound, what's the beef?

ukeinfused
07-28-2016, 04:27 PM
This is not seam separation - it is joint separation which is highly unlikely. Without knowing the full history of this instrument I'd say it left the factory looking like that. I have no idea why you are posting this. Your issue should be directed at the retailer who should take it up with the manufacturer. If you bought it pre-owned then you have no claim on the warranty and should have thoroughly inspected it before purchase. As has been said already - if it plays OK, and is structurally sound, what's the beef?

Pete,
You guys are tough!
There is no beef. The seller did initially represent the uke as brand new when I bought it on-line a week ago, but they offered both a total refund/return or a substantially reduced price when I shared my concern about the condition (separation, scratches, and age per the serial number). It's not used but has been on the wall for four years.
I inquired here because I didn't know if this... joint separation (thanks)... represented a potential structural problem. I first tried to get the answer from Kanile'a, but since that didn't work, I hoped to gather intel from your collective wisdom to help me make my decision.
Did I tromp on sacred ground in my effort?
BTW, despite the fact that I don't know much, I am lucky enough to play a gorgeous little soprano with your signature on the inside...

sequoia
07-28-2016, 07:44 PM
You guys are tough! Did I tromp on sacred ground in my effort?
...

Well you might have hit a tender spot. At least with me. I re-read my reply and I think it was harsh. The reason might be is that I was just fighting a neck to body connection before I replied. It isn't easy. All good in the end, but I spent hours fiddling. I was looking at some high end commercial guitars the other day (Martins, Taylors, Takamines, etc.) and the neck to body joints were absolutely flawless. The tolerances must be measured in microns or 10 thousands of an inch. All done with lasers, computers and CADCAM or whatever you call it. I can not match these tolerances. I use hand tools and I'm a bit tender on these questions. Sorry.

ukeinfused
07-28-2016, 08:17 PM
I use hand tools and I'm a bit tender on these questions. Sorry.[/QUOTE]
Apology accepted (takes a corageous person to make one), and right back atcha if I wasn't clear:
I admire you all for tenacity and talent and knowledge, and really, I just wanted to pick your brain about whether the neck of this uke was going to fall off, LOL.
Maybe if I'd asked the technical question without sharing my angst and the whole sob story, it might have gone better.
I'm grateful for your willingness to share with others in a public forum, grateful there are people who contribute their time to make sites like this work.
Astonishing amount of generosity to players and wannabes.
I'd better quick make a financial contribution, since I'm neither expert nor teacher...

Mezcalero
09-15-2016, 05:54 AM
I am not sure about proper etiquette here regarding reviving older threads, but I felt like I should share my experience regarding the purchase of this exact instrument. So, I saw it on Reverb advertised as new old stock, made an offer of $800.00 which was immediately accepted. I paid for it decided to research the model number a bit, and came across this thread after I had already bought it, but before it arrived. Long story short, I noticed the issue immediately along with a few other issues on this instrument; sunken top between bridge and sound hole and some sharp fret edges. I contacted the seller to discuss and we worked everything out and I decided to keep the instrument. Without kissing and telling details of refund, the price point makes it a very attractive little uke that will be a keeper as I don't want someone else to go through what original poster did. Based on the whole of the experience I can recommend Sylvan music as a professional and stand up dealer. I am thankful I found this post, because the input from the group here helped me to determine confidently that the issues were not major enough to make the uke a throw away, but rather, primarily impacted resale value. Ultimately I am glad I found this cool little uke.

ukeinfused
09-16-2016, 05:27 PM
Omigosh!!
I chickened out and returned this uke when I realised it had the slight bellying ("No belly, no soul"?), but had in the meantime quite fallen for the tone and all around beauty, so grieved giving it up...
I'm SO, SO HAPPY this uke is in someone's loving arms, and that Sylvans continued to give great customer service.

Patrick Madsen
09-16-2016, 07:14 PM
Mezcalaro, Did Sylvans mention the deficiencies before selling it to you. If not, I feel it was rather unprofessional of any shop selling an instrument to someone knowing it was flawed and not saying anything.

DownUpDave
09-17-2016, 03:52 AM
Omigosh!!
I chickened out and returned this uke when I realised it had the slight bellying ("No belly, no soul"?), but had in the meantime quite fallen for the tone and all around beauty, so grieved giving it up...
I'm SO, SO HAPPY this uke is in someone's loving arms, and that Sylvans continued to give great customer service.

I have come to the realization that GREAT sounding instruments that you bond with are very few and far between. I have kept two that have had visible defects but sounded so fantastic they were staying right here with me. Unless the thing is ready to implode I go with sound quality all day. Willie Nelson's guitar trigger is the perfect example of sound over looks.......enough said.

You have taken the lose like a true gentleman and I am sure another great instrument will come your way.