View Full Version : some minor issues with my ukulele

06-27-2017, 04:54 AM
hello everyone
Some years ago I got a Lanikai LU-21C
I'm fine with it, it's lovely
but I got 2 minor issues:

1) the outer corners of the bridge are not completely attached to the body. It's always been like that from the first day. Never had a problem with it, but now I'm wondering if I should fix it (also because I'm going to use low G strings, so they should have more tension on the bridge).
I was going to put some Titebond glue on there (of course with strings removed), but then I thought that maybe it was better to ask first, maybe that gap should be present, or maybe if I put some glue on there, the excessive tension could lift the bridge again and this time scratch the body.

2) the logo on the headstock is slowly fading away, is there something i can do about it?



thank you,
and sorry for my bad english :)

Graham Greenbag
06-27-2017, 05:20 AM
I quite like the naturally worn logo on the headstock, the me it says: 'I'm loved and I'm used'.

If this was my Uke I wouldn't risk putting more load on the bridge but the choice is yours. When I had a chance I'd put masking tape onto the bridge and the sound board, see if I could slip something into the gap to clean the surfaces and then see how much wood glue I could some how inject or push into the gap. I'd do that with the strings under tension (as that pulls the bridge up from the soundboard) and then after I'd got glue into the gap I'd slacken the strings completely and place a weight onto the bridge - removing the saddle might be helpful then, and be careful about how you position the weight and how heavy it is. Another option would be to investigate and consider through bridge stringing, not that easy to get right and, of course, the additional holes will create a permanent and visual change.

I'm not a Luthier or particularly expert in anyway, but have used hand tools through all of my adult life. Good luck, I hope that you get some better answers.

06-27-2017, 06:23 AM
The gap on the bridge shouldn't be there. There is a chance that the bridge is screwed in place too though, but if not, continued tension could see it come off. I've seen lots of bridges pop off, but thankfully they are usually easy to fix.

To avoid that I would be looking at putting some titebond in the gap then clamping it down to hold it with a long reach G Clamp - leave it to set for 24 hours minimum.

Michael Smith
06-27-2017, 07:45 AM
When you talk about fading I think how is this guy storeing this instrument when not in use. Fading is caused by UV rays. If stored in a case when not in use you won't get fading. Could that uke have ever been left in direct sunlight (even through a window)? That could cause the bridge seperation as well.

06-27-2017, 09:33 AM
I'm sorry folks, but putting glue into the open space under the bridge and hoping that will hold is a bad idea. The bridge needs to be removed, cleaned up on the bridge bottom and top plate, and then re-glued with proper clamps. Get someone who knows how to do this right.

06-27-2017, 10:19 AM
Both Michael and Duane are spot on. Store in a case out out of the direct sunlight and heat. And Bridge must come off to be cleaned up and re-glued. Easy job when you are set up for it.

06-27-2017, 12:29 PM
with regards to the fading logo, are you using a clip on tuner? If so, this is probably the cause, and clip it elsewhere away from the logo.

06-27-2017, 07:13 PM
then after I'd got glue into the gap I'd slacken the strings completely and place a weight onto the bridge - removing the saddle might be helpful then, and be careful about how you position the weight and how heavy it is. I'm not a Luthier or particularly expert.

This idea is not going to work and if you want the bridge to be flat to the top it has to come off and be reglued. This is also not a slam dunk project for the beginner and should be left to a qualified repair person. It is not so much getting the thing off as it is not completely gouging damaging your top in the process. A job for a luthier.

Here is another idea. Ignore the problem. String it up and play away. It may never really be a problem if you like the uke. Sometimes it is better to not look too close.

Graham Greenbag
06-27-2017, 11:30 PM
There's no arguement from me about my suggested course of action: if perfect structural integrity is the most important thing then the best way forward must surely be to have a Luthier remove and then properly re-affix the bridge.

For a moment let's just question a few things:
Does the OP have a Luther that they can readily use?
How much would the Luthier charge for the work?
How much would it cost the OP to replace the Uke with another or new LU21C?
Is the crack increasing in length or has it always been much the same?
Is just using the Uke indefinitely as it is (only fix the bridge joint when it is completely broken) an acceptable option?

I don't know the answers to the above, but pragmaticism does alter the the outcome of decision making.

06-27-2017, 11:35 PM
It's a 40 quid ukulele. I was judging repair to match the price of the thing. You are not going to drop big money on a luthier to fix on a 40 quid ukulele surely??

Croaky Keith
06-28-2017, 12:06 AM
If it isn't an expensive uke, using a luthier will likely cost more than it is worth.

If it were mine, I'd either just play it as is, or I'd modify it to a string through body by carefully drilling holes through the bridge & body.

Use large knots or tie small beads to secure the string ends.

06-28-2017, 02:57 AM
I would leave it alone, as previously mentioned having a professional redo the bridge will probably cost you more than what you spent on the thing. Restring it if you like, maybe the extra tension will cause the bridge to pop clean and then it is an easy fix that you can repair for yourself.