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UkulelesRcooL
05-07-2017, 05:43 PM
I have a concert pineapple that I inherited,
the sides and back are KOA.. its not finished, the body was built, the neck shaped but not attached..
My Father-in-Law who got me into Ukuleles told me that I would have to finish it as he was getting weaker due to his cancer. He didnt tell me much about it, just packed it up and i took it home.. He has since passed away so I cant ask him what he used or what he tried to do to fix it..
I noticed while looking it over that he braced the back with 3 horizontal braces.. he radiused the back by radiusing the braces.. The lower and longest brace popped up on one end and it looks like he tryed to reglue it without success.
Im pretty sure he used Titebond. There is a 1/4 of an inch space between the end of the brace and the back where it should be glued down. The soundboard is spruce.. and he did a fairly nice job on the binding and purfiling, so I really wouldnt want to take the top off.. even though that would be the easiest thing to do to get at that brace.
I cant get my fingers in there, I could possibly use a "L" shaped lever to push the end of the brace down to the back..
Im not sure if its possible to glue it using the same glue as Ive read that the titebond will not stick to itself.
Ive also gathered that you need to remove the glue that is there first.. If it was hide glue It would be a lot easier since that can be reactivated but its not.
Any suggestions would be helpful..

Here is an out of focus pic of it...but it may help give an idea of what the problem is.
Thanks in advance...99968

sequoia
05-07-2017, 06:19 PM
Stewart MacDonald sell tools to fix just such problems and even has videos on how to to it. Check it out.

UkulelesRcooL
05-07-2017, 06:46 PM
Stewart MacDonald sell tools to fix just such problems and even has videos on how to to it. Check it out.

Thanks sequoia... Ive looked at their scissor jack which I believe it a tad bigger than I can fit in the sound hole..
Ive also looked at the deglue goo.. which Im thinking would be a good item to use... just getting in there to scrape it out after its dissolved the glue may be tricky..
Also they have a brace glue wedge tool that would be more for a loose brace,, something you can slide in underneath the brace and shoot the glue inbetween it and the top or bottom..

My issue is that the brace has warped away from the back.. the scissor jack would be ideal but like I said.. It seems to be designed more for guitars not sure if it would fit inside a concert uke... I could and most likely will email them and ask.. Ill check out their tips section too while Im at it... maybe I missed something..

sequoia
05-07-2017, 07:25 PM
My issue is that the brace has warped away from the back.. the scissor jack would be ideal but like I said.. .

This might be a situation where you would be better off taking the instrument to a capable repair person rather than spending tons of money on all sort of tools. Might be cheaper in the end. A brace that has warped away from the back rather than just come unglued is a tricky situation.

Mutantmoose
05-08-2017, 04:11 AM
For glue removal, you would take something thin and stiff, and glue some sandpaper to one side. I like to use gift cards for this. You cut a long thin strip off whatever you used, and get it in the joint and work back and forth to remove the glue.

For bracing your glue job when you are letting it cure, you get a piece of wood and notch it, then cut it to length to fit in the space and hold the brace down.

You also need to add a small reinforcement to the side where the brace is, which will keep it from popping up again.

I don't have picture for you, but I can come up with some later.

UkulelesRcooL
05-08-2017, 01:01 PM
In looking at the brace again.. and thinking about it some more... an L shaped lever wont work... Like Mutantmoose said... maybe a caul cut to length inside with a lever on top of that might force the brace down... I was able to push on it a bit and there is a tremendous amount of spring in it. So even that maybe a no go....
Not to mention the kerfing isnt covering the end of the brace which is one of the reasons it was allowed to pop up or at least it didnt give it any resistance...
I also saw that probably the best way to get access to the area is to take off the back of the box which has been trimmed.. so I dont know if Ill be able to reuse it..I guess it depends on how I take it off...
heat and a spatula of some sort maybe...
I understand Sequoia about getting it to a full time luthier and having them take a gander at it..
Just dont know if I want to pay the professional price to fix it..Ill have to think that one over... it may be worth it just to get an idea of what they would charge. and if its reasonable.. It would be worth it to not have the headache or possible heartache of ruining it..
I think if I get the back off... take the brace completely off and replace it with a new one... and augment the kerfing where the brace fits in... That would be a fix...
Id hate to trash that koa back though...
I guess thats one problem with Ukes.. they be soo tiny compared to their big bad brothers the Guitar...Or maybe cousins... not sure where they fit in the family..

Or... I could just leave it alone and finish the uke... see if it buzzes... its a pretty thick brace... it doesnt move... Not sure what strings and strumming will do to it..




Thanks for all the input... It helps.. believe me..100004100005

Or.............................I could have them pop the back off...and take it from there.........................I could replace the brace and glue the back on again.. thats doable and probably wont cost me 120 or so candy bars..

UkulelesRcooL
05-10-2017, 02:49 PM
Thanks for your opinions... it helps me to see the problem in a different light..
Opens my mind to other alternatives...

BlackBearUkes
05-10-2017, 03:56 PM
You could try and get the back off and do the repairs yourself, if you can get the back off in good condition. However, if you try this job yourself and screw it up and then take it to a luthier don't expect much sympathy and it will cost you more. The luthier will now have to correct your mistakes too. I don't know how many times I have gone through this very situation. Good luck!

Graham Greenbag
05-10-2017, 06:19 PM
You could try and get the back off and do the repairs yourself, if you can get the back off in good condition. However, if you try this job yourself and screw it up and then take it to a luthier don't expect much sympathy and it will cost you more. The luthier will now have to correct your mistakes too. I don't know how many times I have gone through this very situation. Good luck!

Can't but help agree with the above. I like craft work and hate having to pay someone else to do something that I can sort of do given enough time and a few more tools but have found that it's more sensible let some tasks be done for me by a craftsman. A bit of time spent checking out who does a good at a fair price helps get a good end result, and whilst they're doing the work for you you can get on with other tasks.

UkulelesRcooL
05-12-2017, 06:09 PM
You could try and get the back off and do the repairs yourself, if you can get the back off in good condition. However, if you try this job yourself and screw it up and then take it to a luthier don't expect much sympathy and it will cost you more. The luthier will now have to correct your mistakes too. I don't know how many times I have gone through this very situation. Good luck!

I havent had the pleasure of removing backs or tops at this point in my experience...I know he used titebond to glue it together... Im thinking heat and a fine putty knife but.....................and thats a big but...
I believe I would rather speak to an experienced luthier and at least find out how doable it is..I know if they get it off with little damage to the back as possible I would be able to take it from there..
even if the back was messed up a tad I could glue it back on after replacing the brace and route a channel for some binding to fix the damage..
I just wouldnt want to damage it myself... Not enough luthiery under my belt... This instrument was one of the last ones that he worked on before the cancer made it impossible for him to continue.
So Id hate to lay waste to it..
Thanks for the input and advice.

Mutantmoose
05-13-2017, 05:39 AM
It will be really difficult to get that back off and back on without damage, and it will be a major challenge to get the back on again and aligned properly. If you are taking the back off, you are most likely going to either replace the back so that you can trim and fit it in place, or do some binding.

I would instead think about making small tools that can get in to the hole and do the job. You really can do it, it will take a LOT of time, and will result in some major cussing, but you can do it, and the best thing is, if you fail, you can THEN go to a luthier for advice.

I would go buy some 1/4" dowel stock, and make a few tools. One would be a wedge to pop the brace up a bit for working on it. One would be a dowel with a piece of shim stock or gift card on the end with sandpaper to clean up the mess. One would be a dowel that you can get some blue tape around to tape off the area around the brace for gluing. Get a popsicle stick and cut it down, notching the end so that you can wedge it between the top and back to hold the brace down while it dries. A mini chisel will pull the kerfing block above the brace. A new block can be glued in place to hold it in. REally long needle-nose pliers can help too.

You CAN do this. It will be terrifying, and you will feel that you are in over your head, but you can do this, and you will come out with a really significant set of mental tools for how to approach these kinds of crazy problems.

If you want some inspiration for doing insane repairs, spend a couple hours looking at frets.com, where Frank Ford has shown how to do lots of repairs.

UkulelesRcooL
05-13-2017, 05:49 AM
It will be really difficult to get that back off and back on without damage, and it will be a major challenge to get the back on again and aligned properly. If you are taking the back off, you are most likely going to either replace the back so that you can trim and fit it in place, or do some binding.

I would instead think about making small tools that can get in to the hole and do the job. You really can do it, it will take a LOT of time, and will result in some major cussing, but you can do it, and the best thing is, if you fail, you can THEN go to a luthier for advice.

I would go buy some 1/4" dowel stock, and make a few tools. One would be a wedge to pop the brace up a bit for working on it. One would be a dowel with a piece of shim stock or gift card on the end with sandpaper to clean up the mess. One would be a dowel that you can get some blue tape around to tape off the area around the brace for gluing. Get a popsicle stick and cut it down, notching the end so that you can wedge it between the top and back to hold the brace down while it dries. A mini chisel will pull the kerfing block above the brace. A new block can be glued in place to hold it in. REally long needle-nose pliers can help too.

You CAN do this. It will be terrifying, and you will feel that you are in over your head, but you can do this, and you will come out with a really significant set of mental tools for how to approach these kinds of crazy problems.

If you want some inspiration for doing insane repairs, spend a couple hours looking at frets.com, where Frank Ford has shown how to do lots of repairs.

Advice noted and appreciated...
Probably the first thing I should try as you said.. if anything it will give me some more cussing time... like I havent had enough of that.. jk...;)
Thanks for the encouragement..Ill look at this as a long term project....and work on it little by little that way I wont be in a rush to push it out..
Thanks...
I really really dont want to ruin it...