View Full Version : My Kanile'a got scratched and chipped

05-21-2009, 07:44 PM
Ugh, I feel so sick to my stomach. I had my ukulele out to play, and then I got up to do something else. I put it down on the end table so that the cat couldn't get to it and scratch it. The moron that I'm married to then drops some notebooks on the table, they fall, they hit my ukulele, which crashes to the tile floor.

I now have about a couple of tiny chips in the back of it, a couple of scratches (harder to see) and one chip in the binding.

My fault for a couple of reasons: 1) I should have put it back upstairs on its hook, not on the table. 2) I married a moron. I almost started crying. It took me forever to get that ukulele, and now it isn't pristine anymore.

When Joe at Kanile'a installed my strap button he was laughing at me because I told him it was like getting my cat spayed, I was so afraid for anything to happen to it. When I took pictures of it out at the beach, I put things down under/behind it so it wouldn't scratch on the sand or rocks. And now, my perfect ukulele is chipped.

The moron offered to buy me a new one but said I would have to sell this one to pay for part of the new one. I don't want a new one. Scratched or not, this one is my ukulele. I will admit to one brief fleeting moment of cheating on my Kanile'a, thinking, hmm, I could get a new Kamaka out of this, but no, I'm keeping my battered ukulele.

My mom tried to cheer me up, telling me that nothing is perfect, and now it has character. You can't see the damage really from the front, and it still sounds beautiful, but still...:(

05-21-2009, 08:08 PM
Remember, your poor spouse is more important than the uke. I know you're in shock, and I know that sick feeling you get when something like this happens. But, in the end, think about the big picture, and how badly you would feel if something happened to your spouse. I have been married for 27 years. Life is full of joys and disappointments, and if you have someone you love to share it all with, that is all that really matters.

Sometimes, even when we are really careful, accidents happen. But, don't sweat the small stuff.

Maybe a luthier can minimize the damage?


05-21-2009, 08:09 PM
lol @ the use of the word "moron" ... I can feel the love.

Not to make light of your situation. I really do feel your pain.

I'm leaning with mom, here. You don't see the 'character' now, but in 20 years you will have at least 20 more character marks and each one will be a memory.

Yea....hang on to that uke. Get a new moron! :rofl:

05-21-2009, 08:10 PM
Oh man, that sucks. I remember the first time I chipped my Kanilea's finish. I was putting it back into the case, but wasn't being too careful, because I was watching a Youtube video at the same time, and was only using one hand to put the uke back in it's case. And I hit the side against one of the metal locks on the case, and it left a small chip in the UV finish. I was pretty sad for a few moments, then looked at it again, and realized that the damage was not noticible unless under intense scrutiny, and I did think that it gave my uke character.

Didn't affect the sound at all, so I was happy. I think my kanilea is going to the factory for some pickup work, probably next weekend. I trust the people at Kanilea, so I'm not worried about my uke at all. Now the damage I'm going to do to it myself when I swap out the strings and bridge pins may be a different story.

Speaking of which, sorry this is off topic, but I know you swapped out your bridge pins. I haven't even tried restringing mine yet, so I don't know what the bridge pins look like underneath. Could you give me a link to the exact ones you used? Because I know stew mac has a whole bunch of different kinds, slotted, not slotted, etc.

Don't worry, you'll feel better about your uke in no time. It's still plays like a Kanilea, and now it's really yours, and different from all the other ones out there.

05-21-2009, 08:17 PM
Consider it a battle scar!

My Kamaka has a big worn spot on the top where the finish is thinning out and turning dull, and the finish is also slowly wearing off the back of the neck. Not to mention a ding from being hit by a guitar (long story). I was upset until I realized that now I can easily distinguish my uke from anyone else's. It has character and soul. :B

I wouldn't worry about it too much, as long as there's no danger of more pieces of finish flaking off from the trouble spot.

05-21-2009, 08:38 PM
Someday it will be a story to tell...for now it's an open, festering sore. Just remember to cut the moron some slack after a little while, and then admit that maybe another, totally different, ukulele might help ease the pain a bit...

Ahnko Honu
05-21-2009, 09:07 PM
My mom tried to cheer me up, telling me that nothing is perfect, and now it has character.

Was she talking about your husband or your 'ukulele?

05-21-2009, 09:14 PM
Yeah it sucks.. I recently put a small mark on my King concert, not really a scratch or ding, but a mar on the binding area. Its not really noticable, but I felt bad anyway. I bumped into the music stand while putting the uke away. Bad part of it is that I knew it was a potential danger zone before it actually happened. :stop: After a day or two, I forgot about it.. hopefully you will too.

05-21-2009, 09:51 PM
don't feel TOO bad, I got it MUCH worse with my vintage Koaloha.

05-21-2009, 10:15 PM
Had the same reaction with the same uke, but ... hey it's life ! This doesn't affect the sound, but did you really thought it will be brand new for decades ;)

05-21-2009, 11:29 PM
It's mojo! Instruments sound better with mojo!

And it means you won't have to live in paranoia about your uke getting its first ding.

Some of the finest sounding instruments in the world have been totally mojoed up. Look at Bill Monroe's or Sam Bush's mandolins, Eric Clapton's "Blackie" strat with the cigarette burns... or Rory Gallagher's amazingly beat up strat with pretty much no finish left on it at all.

Sorry for your pain, but it's part of a natural process. Look on the bright side. Your uke got MOJO and is now an order of magnitude cooler. :D :shaka:

05-21-2009, 11:35 PM
It was bound to happen one day. The only perfect instruments are ones that are never played.

Don't worry about it. In 20 or 30 years time it will have many more dings and scratches and you'll love it even more than you did when it was perfect.

05-22-2009, 03:30 AM
Sorry, it's like that first scratch on a new car. I think you should play your husbands guilt for all it's worth. Maybe your tenor needs a new sibling - a new concert or soprano? :D Anyway, keep strumming! :music:

05-22-2009, 03:42 AM
Chill out, it is not the end of the world. Have a cold "San Miguel" and all will be better..............Howie

05-22-2009, 03:49 AM
`auwe. same thing happened with my koAloha concert. buzzed to much an den somehow another `ukulele fell on top of it and left a barely noticeable ding on the soundboard. so sick. but i just look at it this way... now you not going feel scared to get it signed.

05-22-2009, 04:20 AM
Sorry, it's like that first scratch on a new car. I think you should play your husbands guilt for all it's worth. Maybe your tenor needs a new sibling - a new concert or soprano? :D Anyway, keep strumming! :music:

:bowdown: This is what I was TRYING to say!

05-22-2009, 04:57 AM
Battle scar indeed. I think I've put some sort of dings on every one of the ukes I've spend some time playing. It's just a fact of life I guess. It used to bother me a lot to put a ding on an expensive uke, but now I just consider it battle scars that make the ukulele uniquely mine. I don't think it's really possible to keep a uke presitine if you play it a lot.

05-22-2009, 05:12 AM
I've been married for 27 years now, my wife tolarates my hobbies because she knows where I am and what I am doing, I think she knows I love her too, but accidents happen. I also build plastic scale models and they can be (have been) destroyed by similar accidents but that's what it was accidents. Trust me if she really wanted to break or damage it, I think she could. Fact is I've had my fair share of things I've done to myself and accidents that happened to her stuff too. STUFF HAPPENS!

As much as I hate to say it Ukulele's can be reaired or replaced, I would bet she can't. Cherish her and learn from the accident...

05-22-2009, 05:42 AM
I had the same feeling when I had discovered that someone had chipped my Gibson Les Paul. The anger will soon go away and over time, you will get used to the scratches and dings. They become a part of the instrument, and give it character. Plus, you will no longer have to walk over eggshells to keep it pristine.

Plus, looking at Willie Nelson's guitar always makes me feel better when I, or someone else, puts a new ding in one of my instruments or amps.


05-22-2009, 05:48 AM
Your mom is right!

A local urban legend here in L.A. (at McCabe's) is that this guy purchased a new Martin D-40 guitar with the mother-of-pearl inlay, etc. As soon as he opened the case, he too the cigarrette hanging from his mouth and made a burnt mark on its top. He then replied, "Now, I don't have to worry about getting it messed up."

05-22-2009, 06:10 AM
Could you give me a link to the exact ones you used? Because I know stew mac has a whole bunch of different kinds, slotted, not slotted, etc.

Thanks for cheering me up everyone (I laughed out loud at the McCabe's urban legend story and after seeing the Willie Nelson guitar, I felt much better).

That is why I love this place. I knew this community of fellow uke players would understand my pain, and also put it in perspective for me. In the light of day, the dings don't look as bad as they did last night (both literally and figuratively). And while I did have the thought cross my mind that I could get a free Kamaka out of this, in the end I said no because I couldn't sell this one. This is the ukulele of my life.

As for the bridge pins experimentjon, I got the koa ones from Stewart Mac with the paua abalone dots. They don't have slots though (the stock ones from Kanile'a -- either the black or white -- are slotted). I think some other people opted for the snakewood ones.

One thing to keep in mind, the koa pins are not slotted. They fit fine in the holes, and the string stays in fine (it actually goes in the slot), but they sit a little high on the bridge and aren't flush like the slotted plastic pins are. I ended up shaving mine down a little bit so they would be flush with the bridge, but I think GX9901 has the same pins, and he left his high and they look fine.

The link to Stewart Mac's koa bridge pins (they only have pearl right now) is http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Hardware,_parts/Acoustic_guitar:_Bridge_and_endpins/11/Acoustic_Guitar_Bridge_Pins_and_Endpins.html

Here is a photo of mine taken with the koa pins so you can decide if you like the koa better than the plastic ones...

Thanks again everyone for cheering me up and putting things in perspective. :)

05-22-2009, 06:12 AM
You've still got a better uke than most people here.

05-22-2009, 06:15 AM
I once owned a high-end classical guitar that I ordered new from the maker. Within the first month, I dinged the face by hitting the edge of our coffee table. I was SO pissed that I tried blaming my wife!...no luck though.... I guess I'm her moron.

BTW, I sold it five years later for more than twice what I paid for it... I guess the ding wasn't that big of a deal after all!

05-22-2009, 06:24 AM
Yeah, what other people said.

I think you made out pretty good too, considering it fell off a table -- a couple a dings is better than a trip to the repair shop...

05-22-2009, 07:27 AM
Yeah, don't sweat it! one of the reasons i love my KoAloha, i got it as a factory second, so there was already a small ding on the front. nothing huge, just large enough to notice under close scrutiny... which menas that i don't have to trip about keeping it pristine... :)

i don't know who said it, but there was a similar thread about a month ago where someone said the first thing you should do when you get a new instrument is put a ding in it, that was you won't have to worry about it...

and another person in the same thread said

"Play it like it's already dinged, and you'll be happier for it!"

i think these people are the closest to the truth... if that ding weren't in my KoAloha, i think i would have been walking on eggshells, afraid to even play it hard.... but i rip into that thing, and i'm all the happier for it :)


05-22-2009, 08:45 AM
Even if it gets a few dings, you have yourself a really beautiful ukulele! Each one is so unique, especially with the figured woods, that we somehow bond with it. So, enjoy it, and realize your spouse is perfectly primed for the idea of another uke in your future. Now the fun part... what will you choose for your next uke? It might take time, but it's fun to know what your aiming for!


05-22-2009, 09:06 AM
I was SO pissed that I tried blaming my wife!...no luck though.... I guess I'm her moron.

Craig - if you believe most American advertising, all husbands are the morons...

05-22-2009, 09:46 AM
Glad you're feeling a little better about the whole thing. Instrument damage always seems like it looks the worst right after it happens. Keep enjoying your Kanile'a; it's better to have a totally sweet uke with some battle scars than a pristine Hilo that sounds and looks bad and intonates poorly. ;)

Still, if you can play the guilt card and get a smaller sibling for your Kanile'a, go for it!

05-22-2009, 10:24 AM
I feel so bad for you. My favorite uke has a gouge in the headstock that appeared out of nowhere. After my initial reaction, cussing like a sailor, I decided to call it a "love bite." Now it just adds character.

05-22-2009, 05:32 PM
haha i know exactly what u mean, doesnt feel great when you have tried to keep ur ukulele perfect to this day, and because somebody is being careless, u pay for it. It sucks, but after all... i cnat say much because my ukulele is only worth $100, but you do get over it, especially if it doesnt affect the sound...

my experience was my new car, some1 dented the roof, i was annoyed and tryed to get him to pay for it etc... but now, lol at the dent.

05-22-2009, 05:38 PM
Glad you're feeling a better. :cool: