View Full Version : New uke lacquer repair

10-22-2016, 04:53 AM
Finish schedule on my latest tenor includes pore fill with medium ca, sealer coat of shellac, 5 coats cardinal lacquer, flat back with 600 grit Abranet, 3 coats lacquer, flat back, 3 coats lacquer. I have worked up to 4000 abralon pads. I'm going to let it rest, then buff in a week.

The problem is, in removing the plastic disc covering the sound hole, I seem to have peeled back a little of the lacquer, maybe a piece with a 1/16" radius, where it wraps around the rounded edge of the sound hole. It looks dead skin on a blister where it has delaminated. I'm looking for repair advice. If I have to, I know I can remove the lacquer and start over, but yikes.

I've had three ideas. In order of preference:

1. try to wick in a little shellac with a q-tip from behind to glue the finish back down.

2. try to wick in a little thin ca from behind to glue the finish back down.

3. try to wick in a little lacquer from behind to glue the finish back down.

Any advice from the experienced?



10-22-2016, 05:26 AM
I'm not a luthier. Without photos of your situation, hard to assess. I'm adding a video that I recall, and it's only for your reference. This old goat seems to know what he's babbling about.

Perhaps you can pilfer some ideas from it that would apply to your situation. Then again, perhaps not. But, it's only four minutes of your life to find out, Yank.



PS. I'm kidding about the presenter...he's a world famous luthier, of course. I'm the goat.

Vespa Bob
10-22-2016, 05:27 AM
I have had a similar problem and I found that #3 worked well. I used a fine paint brush soaked with thinned down lacquer and worked it under the edge, then pressed it down with my finger. In my case, though, I still had a couple of coats to spray on. As a matter of interest, how long between coats did you wait before flatting back? I have read one should wait at least a week before final sanding, but I tend to get impatient!


Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-22-2016, 07:29 AM
You might even try just wicking some thinner under the lifted area. If it's a small area this might be enough to re adhere the lacquer. Thin ca glue also works well.
To Vespa Bob, you can flatten the lacquer any time after the final coat. Some builders believe that in doing so early you "open up" the coat, allowing it to cure faster. And since you are removing lacquer it should dry faster too.
Buffing, however, is a different story. Depending upon the specific lacquer, 2 to 3 weeks drying systems to be the sweet spot for drying. If you attempt to buff within a week it won't take on as much of a shine as if you waited. If you wait over a month the lacquer will be very hard and it will take much longer to buff to a good shine. I usually wait three weeks before sanding flat or buffing.

10-22-2016, 08:07 AM
Thanks, Chuck. I'm just a little leery of dissolving the flake of lacquer. I'll try to be careful.


Vespa Bob
10-22-2016, 12:03 PM
Thanks from me, too, Chuck. In the past, I have always sanded as soon as the lacquer was dry, because it was easier to do so than later. but StewMac's finishing book suggested to wait a week, or so after the final coat before sanding. I like your method better!