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View Full Version : Bridge problems with Ohana ukes?



Stormin1155
03-02-2018, 09:41 AM
I am a guitar tech/luthier, and within the last couple of days these two tenor Ohana ukes came in (different customers), both with detached bridges. Several months ago I repaired another with the same issue. So I'm wondering if this is an issue with Ohana ukes... They seem well constructed, both solid cedar tops, and the break tore out wood.. In other words, the glue bond didn't fail, the wood did. In both cases the tear-out is thinner in the back and thicker toward the front. So the grain run-out seems to be at that angle, which would make failure more likely. Anyone have experience, good or bad, with Ohana ukes?

In both cases, the instruments are still under warranty, and they would have been repaired or replaced by Ohana, but the owners didn't want to wait for who knows how long when I can fix them in a couple of days for not a lot more than the cost of shipping.

107001

Booli
03-02-2018, 11:07 AM
I am a guitar tech/luthier, and within the last couple of days these two tenor Ohana ukes came in (different customers), both with detached bridges. Several months ago I repaired another with the same issue. So I'm wondering if this is an issue with Ohana ukes... They seem well constructed, both solid cedar tops, and the break tore out wood.. In other words, the glue bond didn't fail, the wood did. In both cases the tear-out is thinner in the back and thicker toward the front. So the grain run-out seems to be at that angle, which would make failure more likely. Anyone have experience, good or bad, with Ohana ukes?

In both cases, the instruments are still under warranty, and they would have been repaired or replaced by Ohana, but the owners didn't want to wait for who knows how long when I can fix them in a couple of days for not a lot more than the cost of shipping.

107001

Your photo does not show for me.

Also, you are likely to get a better response with more luthier-useful answers if you post this question over in the luthiers section of UU, here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/forumdisplay.php?30-Ukulele-Building-Luthier-s-Lounge

Stormin1155
03-02-2018, 02:36 PM
Your photo does not show for me.

Also, you are likely to get a better response with more luthier-useful answers if you post this question over in the luthiers section of UU, here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/forumdisplay.php?30-Ukulele-Building-Luthier-s-Lounge


Sorry about the picture... it just shows two near identical ukes with the bridges off.

I'm not really looking for luthier advice... I know how to fix them. I'm curious if others have had bridge problems with Ohana ukes... so more directed to owners. Since 81 folks have read the post, and nobody has responded, I guess not...

Booli
03-02-2018, 02:50 PM
Sorry about the picture... it just shows two near identical ukes with the bridges off.

I'm not really looking for luthier advice... I know how to fix them. I'm curious if others have had bridge problems with Ohana ukes... so more directed to owners. Since 81 folks have read the post, and nobody has responded, I guess not...
Thanks for the reply.

In 4 yrs being a member here on UU, I do not recall any such problems like this with Ohana ukes.

It could be that this issue is either very recent in Ohana's production, or just very marginalized, and those effected are not UU members.

Also, there are lots of folks who likely are not online on this Friday (here in USA) and there currently is a massive blizzard ravaging the entire northern East Coast of the USA will lots of power outages which also means no internet access.

So right now, the lack of replies could just be a coincidence with folks put out by Mother Nature from this part of the USA, but not sure about the absence of replies from elsewhere, since UU has a global membership.

Jim Hanks
03-02-2018, 03:33 PM
If you're really curious you could contact Mim's Ukes who sells more Ohana ukes than anyone. If there was a rash of problems recently she probably would have heard of it.

And FWIW, I wouldn't read anything into thread view counts, positive or negative.

UkerDanno
03-02-2018, 04:53 PM
A lot of people I know have Ohanas and I've never heard of any problems with them whatsoever. Jim has good advice, contact Mimsukes.com...

Jarmo_S
03-03-2018, 01:49 AM
I agree with Jim Hanks suggestion if possible to get an opinion from a respectable dealer.

Of course with customers these days getting the message that everything needs be replaced from electric stuff, people might not even easy complain and just get a new one with ukes too. So they might not know much either, unless some more expensive higher end model in question.

I have been strumming my Kala concert uke, knowing it can be replaced, quite different from say my guitar that is 40+ years old. These stories of how long people's ukes have lasted are quite interesting to hear. Please all post more of these experiences when some failure has happened to you, or if only the bridge has shifted to a bad intonation.

Dansimpson
03-03-2018, 02:29 AM
Just about to get a cedar top uke made for me, advice from the luthier "With cedar I would use a through-the-bridge stringing arrangement since cedar is very soft and cannot take as much shear stress as other woods."

Croaky Keith
03-03-2018, 02:31 AM
I've had 3 Ohana solid mahogany ukes for about 6 months & have had no problem whatsoever with them. :)

It does sound like damage caused by excessive string tension, from what I've read, so maybe the fact that they didn't want to claim under warranty means that they know it was their own fault. ;)

BlackBearUkes
03-03-2018, 06:34 AM
My experience has been that if the top is cedar, and the runout of the wood is poor, the bridge failure is more likely. I have seen this in classical guitars over the years, mostly with imports. Also, since a tenor uke has more string pressure and tension, failure is likely with a tie block type of bridge.

SailingUke
03-03-2018, 06:53 AM
I really like Ohana Ukuleles, I have had and have several through the years. The quality has never been an issue.
I have had two cedar tops with bridge issues. One popped off cleanly the the other just started coming up when I saw it and took all the tension off the strings. Both instruments were easily repaired and are fine now. Ohana would have done the work at no charge, but my luthier is local and did them very reasonably. As some have stated cedar is very soft, gives it that nice warm sound. One of my expensive custom Ukes with a cedar top had a major issue with a top crack as well.

gus_rocket
07-08-2018, 05:53 AM
Hey,

My sister got me this Ohana Uke SK-15MR for my birthday a few years ago and I was having a lot of fun playing it and improving myself while months past.

However, I came back to my place a few days ago only to find that the bridge had unglued itself on its own (without hit or fall or anything).

I am now looking with Ohana if I can receive any after-sale services/warranty...

Choirguy
07-08-2018, 07:17 AM
Hey,

My sister got me this Ohana Uke SK-15MR for my birthday a few years ago and I was having a lot of fun playing it and improving myself while months past.

However, I came back to my place a few days ago only to find that the bridge had unglued itself on its own (without hit or fall or anything).

I am now looking with Ohana if I can receive any after-sale services/warranty...

There are a lot of things to be said here; the original post in the thread was from a guitar repairman who saw a few Ohanas in a short amount of time with detached bridges; one that apparently took some wood with it. It has been half a year since that initial post, and there hasn’t been a series of “Me, too” posts—so it can’t be a massive issue with Ohana.

As for the SK-15MR, it isn’t a current model, and the key words of Gus’ post were “a few years ago.” Other than KoAloha, I don’t know of any ukulele company that stands by its products for a lifetime. I think it is six months to a couple of years with most manufacturers.

And all that said, a popped bridge is one of the most common problems on a ukulele (along with a tuning machine that may stop working) and it may not be the direct fault of the owner. I have read cases of people opening ukulele cases with humidifiers being surprised by a loose bridge! It isn’t necessarily due to excessive tension—there are many causes from too little glue used originally to a lack of humidity (drying out wood and glue).

As long as the bridge came off cleanly, it can be reattached...check with the luthier lounge for the latest recommended glue. You can also take it to a luthier, and it is possible that Ohana will take the ukulele back and repair it for you (I don’t know how they handle shipping). Do understand that you can buy a new SK-15MR for $79 (shipped), so you may want to keep that in mind as you decide what to do.