View Full Version : Preserving a signature on a ukulele?

06-14-2009, 10:50 AM
Google was no help. I want to keep a signature (made with sharpee) on my ukulele with gloss finish. Is there a fixative spray that I can use so that when I do routine maintainance (remove scratches via Uke Minutes method), it won't scratch off the signature as well?

06-14-2009, 11:54 AM
I don't know of any spray... But you could go get a clear pick guard and just put that over the signature

Ahnko Honu
06-14-2009, 12:02 PM
I do custom woodturning and and wood art and I'll sign with a fine point sharpie then spray on a coat clear acrylic. Is the signature on the back? You'll probably have to spray the whole side instead of just a signature if you want the clear coat to blend in properly. Only use several thin coats instead of one heavy coat or the solvents in the spray will disolve the sharpie ink and make it run or blur. Do a test spray if you can on a blank wood to see compatibility of the spray to the sharpie ink. Be careful as some spray laquers will soften or even dissolve existing plastic finishes.

06-14-2009, 12:16 PM
If you want to go the really ghetto way, just use clear packaging tape. Depends on how expensive your instrument is, you may or may not want to do that. And you won't want to take it off, because it might strip part of the signature. I use it to preserve the victorias secret catalog cutouts taped all over my guitar case. Waterproof! Yeyuh.

Jim X-S
06-14-2009, 06:58 PM
On the internet I've seen kits for making your own water based decals. You buy the sheets and then print them in your printer. They have both clear sheets and white sheets available. Maybe by a clear sheet kit and not printing anything on the sheet and just laying the decal over the signature might be a possible solution.

The one advantage of this solution that I can think of is, or at least it was when I was a kid, was that you used to be able to soak water based decals off later on. Should you wish.

Have a Great Day,

06-14-2009, 07:02 PM
Here at UU, most folks would agree that the best way to preserve a signature on a uke is to buy a new uke and play the signed one less frequently. ;)

06-15-2009, 06:27 AM
Thanks for the reply, everyone. But I don't want to ruin the potential sound of the instrument with tape, as it might mess up the resonance of the wood. It's not in an area where the pickguard would normally go (I asked for this, so it wouldn't get scratched off during playing). The signature is unfortunately on the front (the top wood was spruce, and its light color compared to the mahogany back was an easy chioce to make for a surface where a signature would be visible), and I think spraying the entire area might be a bit difficult, but worth a try.

Keep them ideas coming!


06-15-2009, 10:34 AM
You could add a clear coat to the top of the uke. Here is a tutorial from Frets.com

06-16-2009, 08:32 AM
Yikes, scratching up my uke?!? I don't think I have a high gloss polyester coating... lemme see if the signature flakes off like the owner of that guitar stated. Nope. But if flaking ever does occur, I will use the frets method.

I've looked around, and it does seem a very thin, clear pickguard is the way to go. I'm sure a piece of contact paper will do the job without ruining the tone of the wood much.


06-16-2009, 12:25 PM
Paul from Koaloha suggests spray can lacquer (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showpost.php?p=154755&postcount=4).