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View Full Version : Uke Minutes 49 - How to Remove Scratches (Pimp Your Uke!)



anaka
06-13-2009, 01:15 AM
Hey all you cool Underground hipsters - it's time for another episode of Uke Minutes!

Uke Minutes 49 - How to Remove Scratches (aka Pimp Your Uke!) (http://ukuleleunderground.com/2009/06/13/uke-minutes-49-how-to-remove-scratches-aka-pimp-your-uke/)

Granted, if you've got some deep scratches in your uke (the kind that have penetrated all the way through the finish and down into the wood) this technique won't do you a bit of good ... although it will still make the rest of your ukulele look pretty nice.

Call this an introduction to ukulele pimpage. We've actually seen a LOT of amazing uke mods and uke-tastic alterations on this Forum in the past - so if you've got some Pimp-worthy pics, tips or polishing tricks of your own, or if you want to bitterly chastise us for even suggesting that anyone should use chemicals on their ukulele at all, post your comments below!!

ukulele2544
06-13-2009, 01:34 AM
Thanks for another uke minutes!

deach
06-13-2009, 01:36 AM
The first thing I do when I get a new uke is drag it through a parking lot full of broken glass. It removes any anxiety of getting that first scratch. If I wanted a perfect uke, I'd stick it in a glass case and admire it like a museum piece. How fun.....but that's just me.

LindsayOfSaturn
06-13-2009, 04:40 AM
that lumanog is so pretty, even with scratches.

RevWill
06-13-2009, 04:56 AM
If I wanted a perfect uke, I'd stick it in a glass case and admire it like a museum piece. How fun.....but that's just me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the normal wear and tear that goes along with being played.

Honest scratches are cool.

specialmike
06-13-2009, 05:31 AM
Hey, Aldrine did you intend for the rubbing compound to be used in place of restore/polish compound and lemoil?

Or is the rubbing of the "scratch remover" stuff only for when you feel the need to be extra pimptastic?

Anyone else know?

haole
06-13-2009, 08:31 AM
Nice! I may have to try that with some of my guitars.
A little worried about scrubbing my Kamaka like that, because the finish is thinning in the parts where my arm touches. :(

Deach, you should buy a big shipping crate full of Martin S-O's, give them the parking-lot treatment, and sell them as Martin's new pre-aged "relic" line for $800 each. Someone will bite! ;)

DaveVisi
06-13-2009, 09:18 AM
I would not do this as part of a routine cleaning. This stuff is designed to remove material. What you're really doing is reducing the finish down to the level of the scratches. Or at the very least you're "rounding off" the edges of the scratch so they don't show as bad.

This is a "rescue" technique for a really badly scratched instrument. Rub long enough and you'll reach bare wood.

Of course, with the loving care about our instruments that I see among our members, this should never be an issue.

anaka
06-13-2009, 10:42 AM
Hey, Aldrine did you intend for the rubbing compound to be used in place of restore/polish compound and lemoil?

Great suggestions! In this episode we were using the rubbing compound strictly to remove surface scratches from your finish and as a way to clean your fretboard. Polish compound is awesome if you really want to restore the shine to your finish and lem-oil (or mineral oil, or bore oil) is great for moisturizing and protecting your fretboard.

Rubbing compound is a very, very fine abrasive and you'd probably have to work pretty hard if you wanted to get all the way through a gloss finish with it (unless, of course, you used power tools :D). Definitely don't use it on spots where your finish is already wearing thin, but don't be afraid to go over your uke a couple times with it if there's a surface scratch that's really irking you either. Use clean cloths, take your time, and it should be all good. :shaka:

GrumpyCoyote
06-13-2009, 11:30 AM
I like a dirty uke... Matches my dirty playing.

Great tip though!

holytoledo72
06-15-2009, 10:55 AM
i was wondering can what i should use on a uke thats not glossy. its just koa wood. any suggestions?

bt93
06-15-2009, 04:07 PM
what kind of uke is that, aldrine?

DaveVisi
06-15-2009, 06:21 PM
i was wondering can what i should use on a uke thats not glossy. its just koa wood. any suggestions?

You'd be hard pressed to find one that's truly unfinished. Most likely it's a satin finish. I wouldn't use this technique on anything but a gloss finish.

If it is indeed raw wood and you have a scratch, obviously it's damaged the wood not the coating (since there isn't any), so this wouldn't work anyway.

holytoledo72
06-16-2009, 03:40 PM
ya i think it is a satin finish. should i not use anything at all? just like a microfiber cloth?

anaka
06-16-2009, 08:12 PM
what kind of uke is that, aldrine?
The ukulele we pimped in the video was a Lumanog from the Phillipines, made by luthier Emilio Lumanog.


ya i think it is a satin finish. should i not use anything at all? just like a microfiber cloth?

For satin / matte finishes, using rubbing compound or polish can eventually make your finish turn glossy (sometimes in uneven spots). So yup, the best way to clean or spruce up a matte finish would be to use a clean, slightly damp cloth, and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth to remove smudges.

Tonman
06-16-2009, 10:57 PM
I have a Kala KA KC CT Concert w/ a cedar top and there's no glossy finish. What kind of tips do you have for cleaning it? I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

yomommaslover
06-24-2009, 01:32 AM
so... for those of us who do have satin finishes and attempted to use the rubbing compound... umm is there neway to get the stuff out?!?! i think i really screwed this up.... ne help would be amazing....

anaka
06-27-2009, 01:05 AM
so... for those of us who do have satin finishes and attempted to use the rubbing compound... umm is there neway to get the stuff out?!?! i think i really screwed this up.... ne help would be amazing....

Wash and dry your hands, then gently rub the surface of your ukulele. You should see the compound coming off as dust, so dust off your uke as much as possible. If you like, follow up by going lightly over it with a slightly moist cloth and finish with a dry microfiber cloth. Relax - even on satin finishes, this process doesn't do much harm even if you go over it a couple times. Just don't go overboard and you'll be all good. :shaka:

Olive Oyl
11-07-2011, 01:47 PM
Would it be safe to use the 3M rubbing compound on a vintage (60's) Martin?