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View Full Version : Need repair advice / cost estimate Kala Spruce top board crack



cyber3d
07-28-2017, 07:31 PM
Hey folks, I have a Kala Spruce top board Concert Ukulele that has a lengthwise crack. See the pic.

I had it braced and glued at our local repair shop. But, since this happened while I was in charge of the uke I need to get it fixed proper. it belongs to another.

What would the cost range be for a good repair and refinish of the top board? Any advice would be appreciated.


https://youtu.be/Ekxc86XTubg

Booli
07-29-2017, 06:36 AM
More details and close-up photos will likely help you get better advice.

How was the damage created? How long has it been like that? Did you slack the strings for storage?

Hypothetically, if the uke is valued at ~$200 new, it may not be cost-effective to get repaired unless the actual owner is ok with it and you are doing it to maintain your friendship with this person and show that you are accountable for the mistake this inflicted the damage...

Otherwise, after discussing with the uke's owner, you may end up with more esteem and able to maintain your friendship with this person by either giving them cash to replace the uke, or buying a replacement outright yourself, and then dealing with the thoughts of repair, disposal or making it a wall-hanger...

Some things in this world are priceless.

A Kala uke can be easily replaced, a very good, loyal, honest friend, not so much.

Good luck whatever you choose. :)

kkimura
07-29-2017, 07:28 AM
At this price range (and perhaps higher too) the repair you speak of may be the "proper and good" repair. Bracing and gluing is a common way to repair cracks.

Michael Smith
07-29-2017, 08:40 AM
The repiars you speak of will exceed the value of the instrument. Your best bet might be to go on ebay and try to buy a clean used one.

rappsy
07-29-2017, 09:37 AM
I have used Todd for a new of jobs, including repairs and custom work. He is good, reasonable, and does the job well. I have been very happy with his work.

Portland Fret Works
3027 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503)249-3737
www.portlandfretworks.com

It's hard to tell if it would be worth it based on the cost of the instrument, but talking to him and showing him some pictures can't hurt.

kkimura
07-29-2017, 09:44 AM
Hey folks, I have a Kala Spruce top board Concert Ukulele that has a lengthwise crack. See the pic.

I had it braced and glued at our local repair shop. But, since this happened while I was in charge of the uke I need to get it fixed proper. it belongs to another.

What would the cost range be for a good repair and refinish of the top board? Any advice would be appreciated.

Just to clarify, have you already repaired the uke by having your repair shop brace and glue the top?

Graham Greenbag
07-29-2017, 01:19 PM
Hey folks, I have a Kala Spruce top board Concert Ukulele that has a lengthwise crack. See the pic.

I had it braced and glued at our local repair shop. But, since this happened while I was in charge of the uke I need to get it fixed proper. it belongs to another.

What would the cost range be for a good repair and refinish of the top board? Any advice would be appreciated.



To me it sounds like you have had an appropriate repair carried out already and now want to consider the implications of doing something more major. From what I read on other posts in this thread the likely cost of that more complex work is beyond the value of the Uke. You do not say whether or not you have contacted Kala to see if they are willing to consider sharing responsibility for the crack, I don't claim any expertise but wouldn't expect a relatively new instrument to develop a crack.

Might I suggest that you come clean with whoever you borrowed this instrument from and offer them options. You might find that they are happy to settle with what you have already done or prefer some other arrangement to the ones you have in mind so far.

cyber3d
07-29-2017, 02:20 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the good advice. The owner of the Uke will be back in the USA in a month and a half. I don't know her enough to say something while she's so busy overseas. My inclination is to wait for her to get back and VERY GENTLY bring her attention to the situation. She's a good acquaintance but not a really close friend. Hopefully she already knew about the hairline crack.

Kinda weird situation to me. She paid $400 for it. It is a Kala KA-AS0V-S. (Soprano) I already had to re set the tuner mounting screw as something must have hit it and stripped the thread in the wood. And that was before I even played it. But, it has not been played hard by either her or me. The fretboard is really clean and very few nail scratches on the top board. Ahhh such is life.

I may have to buy it from her or find a replacement. $229 from Elderly. I guess it all comes down to the fact that it was in my care. I don't mind if I have to buy her a new one. I can certainly have fun with this one. You are right Booli . . . "A Kala uke can be easily replaced, a very good, loyal, honest friend, not so much."

Booli
07-29-2017, 04:07 PM
...
I may have to buy it from her or find a replacement. $229 from Elderly. I guess it all comes down to the fact that it was in my care. I don't mind if I have to buy her a new one. I can certainly have fun with this one. You are right Booli . . . "A Kala uke can be easily replaced, a very good, loyal, honest friend, not so much."

I'm going to go out on a limb here...

I think that if you have the financial means, and acquire a replacement in advance of her return, and then when you tell the story, present her with a NEW replacement uke, there would be little for her to object to, and likely her opinion of you and your integrity will be very high...

and might I emphasize that if you have a potential romantic interest here, anything less is likely to ruin your chances of her having an interest in you, in the same way you might be thinking of her...

Even if no romance is at risk here, if you do the right thing, and follow the path of the moral high ground, worst case scenario is that your wallet is lighter and she will not become your companion (I know I could be fantasizing and could be assuming a lot here), but you can feel vindicated in taking responsibility, and being accountable for what happened, instead of making excuses and being on the defense...and at the very least you will sleep well at night with a clear conscience. :)

I am also willing to admit that I could be reading this all wrong and could be giving very bad advice, for I cannot walk in your shoes, so maybe and please do not blindly follow my suggestions here, but rather consider how your own application of these thoughts might best serve your interests, and understand that I am no expert in these matters, nor pretend to be.

I am just trying to think of what I might be able to do, in order to achieve the greatest good for all involved, if something like this were to occur in my own life...

Truly, I wish only for the best possible outcome for you. :)

sequoia
07-29-2017, 06:32 PM
But, it has not been played hard by either her or me.

Hmmm... I'm trying to sort this out. Was it you who cracked the uke? If so, you have three options: Fix it, buy a replacement or leave a note on the uke about how sorry you are and get out of there fast before she gets back. Depending on your level of attachment to this woman, you might choose option three. However this could lead her to think that not only are you an "ukulele abuser" but a cad to boot. This could threaten your relationship deeply. This is my recommendation: Buy her a beautiful Moore Betah Uke out of Hawaii to show how much you love her. Do the right thing. Be a man. She will love the uke but maybe even you more... The link is posted below. Do it for her and most importantly for yourself.

http://www.moorebettahukes.com/FORSALE.html

Choirguy
07-29-2017, 07:20 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the good advice. The owner of the Uke will be back in the USA in a month and a half. I don't know her enough to say something while she's so busy overseas. My inclination is to wait for her to get back and VERY GENTLY bring her attention to the situation. She's a good acquaintance but not a really close friend. Hopefully she already knew about the hairline crack.

Kinda weird situation to me. She paid $400 for it. It is a Kala KA-AS0V-S. (Soprano) I already had to re set the tuner mounting screw as something must have hit it and stripped the thread in the wood. And that was before I even played it. But, it has not been played hard by either her or me. The fretboard is really clean and very few nail scratches on the top board. Ahhh such is life.

I may have to buy it from her or find a replacement. $229 from Elderly. I guess it all comes down to the fact that it was in my care. I don't mind if I have to buy her a new one. I can certainly have fun with this one. You are right Booli . . . "A Kala uke can be easily replaced, a very good, loyal, honest friend, not so much."

To make matters worse, this model, if I remember correctly, was recently on clearance (perhaps with some minor cosmetic flaws) for $99!

I know there are UU members who bought this uke, and if you put a "WANTED" post up, someone will likely be willing to sell theirs.

cyber3d
07-29-2017, 11:04 PM
Well, thanks for all the advice folks! So, I decided to buy her a new one to replace the damaged one. Walmart for $175. I can set it up for her. If she tells me the crack was there before . . then we're cool and I'll keep the new one. If there is any doubt then I'll be a good guy and give her the new one. And, BTW, she's just an acquaintance but an important one.

Graham Greenbag
07-30-2017, 05:08 AM
Well, thanks for all the advice folks! So, I decided to buy her a new one to replace the damaged one. Walmart for $175. I can set it up for her. If she tells me the crack was there before . . then we're cool and I'll keep the new one. If there is any doubt then I'll be a good guy and give her the new one. And, BTW, she's just an acquaintance but an important one.

To me that seems a very civilised and caring way forward. I think when I was as a young man I'd have wanted to do similar, take charge of the situation and correct it as I thought best, etc. Unfortunately it might not be a very good way at all.

I've been married for a long time now and the experience has altered me. Eventually I understood that my wife didn't like me making decisions in her best interest, she wanted all the facts and to make the decision herself. Me taking the burden and making a caring decision about what was best for her was unwelcome. Might I suggest that before taking any action you talk to your friend and find out which of several options she would prefer; what we perceive as helpful is sometimes far from what the recipient feels it to be.

ukeinfused
07-30-2017, 07:27 AM
... Depending on your level of attachment to this woman, you might choose option three. However this could lead her to think that not only are you an "ukulele abuser" but a cad to boot. This could threaten your relationship deeply. This is my recommendation: Buy her a beautiful Moore Betah Uke out of Hawaii to show how much you love her. Do the right thing. Be a man. She will love the uke but maybe even you more... The link is posted below. Do it for her and most importantly for yourself.

http://www.moorebettahukes.com/FORSALE.html
Sequoia: LOL!
I will pipe in here and say that I was one of several here that purchased the clearance ASOV-S (one time Ebay sale, some of them with finish imperfections).
This instrument, while not worth a re-finish, is totally worth a crack and tuner repair. Every time I pull it out I am surprised by the tone and volume (and it's "fancy"). So if you do have replace it, you are left with a very playable instrument.
If you stick with your friend, however, she should shop more carefully: even with service and set-up at HMS, these were originally offered just over $300, always at a discount from full retail...

mmfitzsimons
08-01-2017, 01:54 PM
I gave a woman a ukulele two years ago. We've been dating ever since.

It's up to you to decide whether those are words of encouragement, or warning. ;)

scottcocoabeach
08-08-2017, 11:57 AM
I gave a woman a ukulele two years ago. We've been dating ever since.

It's up to you to decide whether those are words of encouragement, or warning. ;)

Lol - this thread has been a fun read. I only let family (or friends) play my Ukuleles while under my supervision, I don't loan them out because I don't want to burden them with the possibility of being responsible for damage. If they show a lot of interest I purchase one for them as a gift and get to enjoy hearing them play :)