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ps6000
11-01-2009, 02:18 PM
I just picked up my second Fluke. A Concert instead of my Tenor(daily driver). It is the flame model.

http://www.elderly.com/images/new_instruments/180N/FLUKE-FLAME_body-front.jpg

I think this design is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. Its like rock-a-billy puked on the uke. I did buy it for $75 on craigslist so I can't complain too much. It still sounds great.

The undesirable looks make me want to modify the thing and if I am going to modify it I am wondering if I could do more, than better the aesthetics. I could just remove the stickers but it seems too easy.

I read about one guy replacing the top of his fluke but it apparently didn't turn out that great. I also cannot find his contact info. http://resouke.blogspot.com/

How hard do you think it will be to replace the top on my Fluke?
I am thinking about replacing it with a hardwood top.

Any other modifications you could think about making to a fluke?
I am all ears!

mds725
11-01-2009, 02:59 PM
I read about one guy replacing the top of his fluke but it apparently didn't turn out that great. I also cannot find his contact info. http://resouke.blogspot.com/

You could post a reply to this guy's most recent blog entry telling him that you're interested in replacing the top of your fluke and see if he responds.

experimentjon
11-01-2009, 03:58 PM
Oh man, at $75 on Craigslist, you definitely cant complain! That's an awesome deal! But you don't need to replace the whole top. A lot of people here have just painted theirs, or put vinyl stickers on top. So you can probably just go at yours with a paintbrush and see what comes out. I don't know exactly what kind of paint to use though... Or maybe you can go to a custom print shop and see if they can make a sticker that would fit over the top of the uke nicely. Both of these options will probably dampen the sound a little bit, but if you use a thin sticker, or not too many layers of paint, it should be okay.

Skottoman
11-01-2009, 04:09 PM
You could sand it down, and stain it in any color you like. You got a great deal on a Fluke, so go ahead and feel free to customize!

Lori
11-01-2009, 04:30 PM
I would sand it and refinish. Maybe finish with a transparent color stain or paint a custom design on it. Looks like fun.

–Lori

NatalieS
11-01-2009, 04:33 PM
Just speaking from experience... the Fluke/Flea pine tops do not take up stain very well. I did something similar to mine, hoping to allow the wood grain to show through. Very ugly result. I'd paint it instead. :-)

ps6000
11-02-2009, 02:13 AM
Thanks for the advice on painting. I think I will sand and paint it.

My understanding of the top is that it vibrates and that affects tone and volume. Adding a sticker would deaden it. Has anyone looked at different types of paint and how they change tone? Adding clearcoat to the paint for instance.

Do you think there would be an advantage in changing the wood?

spots
11-02-2009, 02:23 AM
If you are thinking about changing the soundboard to wood, then consider contacting the Magic Fluke about sending it back and having them do the work. You could also upgrade the fretboard to rosewood at the same time.

Several people have had them make custom Flukes/Fleas with solid wood soundboards, so they are used to the request, and could probably source the wood for you, get it to the proper thickness, put any type of design on it you want, seal it, etc.

jinny
11-02-2009, 04:17 AM
one word - gearedtuners!


okay, two words made into one for emphasis.

ps6000
11-02-2009, 04:37 AM
Do you have any geared tuners you would recommend?

deach
11-02-2009, 05:24 AM
... Adding a sticker would deaden it.....

No, not really. I've spread peanut butter over my Fluke and it still sounded (and tasted) great.

haole
11-02-2009, 08:22 AM
I would sand the top down and add my own paint job, which would be even tackier than the original. Replacing the top might be more trouble than it's worth (especially considering what you paid for it); it's likely easier to have them build you a custom Fluke with the wood you supply than to un-glue everything on an existing one and rebuild it.

leftovermagic84
11-02-2009, 09:59 AM
another suggestion: add a pickup to it for about 10 bucks...
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8560

I threw one on my fluke and its a lot of fun.

Pukulele Pete
11-02-2009, 12:04 PM
don't use geared tuners. I think the black with flames looks cool , I'd keep it that way.

beeejums
11-02-2009, 12:32 PM
I've read in a few places that geared tuners don't work well on the Fluke headstock (I really wanted to do it until I saw what was involved... now I just daydream about it)... there is one guy who did it...

http://lh3.ggpht.com/FlukeMuseum/SD7anNrEctI/AAAAAAAAA2s/1s9VoMf38Ts/flea-pimped.jpg

But it says here (http://fleamuseum.blogspot.com/2007/07/custom-pimped-out-flea.html) that he had to hire a professional to do it because it was way more involved than you think it would be.

Also, I recently emailed the FMM people about sending in my flea to have the regular top replaced with their koa top... but they told me that it wasn't possible. I don't know if that has something to do with a difference in the way they're constructed or what, but I didn't think it would be prudent to ask.

I don't know what I'd recommend, but I'll definitely watch this thread for other suggestions. The custom decal idea isn't a bad idea.

ps6000
11-12-2009, 08:44 AM
So I peeled the stickers, and used goo gone and wd40 to remove the adhesive. I was very surprised at what I was left with. Looks like when the put the uke together they painted the top, put the sticker on and then sprayed clearcoat on everything. After the sticker came off I was left with a black matte finish where the sticker was and a glossy black finish everywhere else. It looks real good. I will post some stickers of it soon. Hopefully I will get my Aquila strings today. The white on black should look nice.

JT_Ukes
11-12-2009, 09:07 AM
No, not really. I've spread peanut butter over my Fluke and it still sounded (and tasted) great.

Pics or it didn't Happen!*





* Deach Clause Active: If Deach said it, It happened...

russ_buss
11-12-2009, 09:16 AM
So I peeled the stickers, and used goo gone and wd40 to remove the adhesive. I was very surprised at what I was left with. Looks like when the put the uke together they painted the top, put the sticker on and then sprayed clearcoat on everything. After the sticker came off I was left with a black matte finish where the sticker was and a glossy black finish everywhere else. It looks real good. I will post some stickers of it soon. Hopefully I will get my Aquila strings today. The white on black should look nice.

glad the decals came off with no incident. can't wait to see the photos!

ps6000
11-12-2009, 09:40 AM
Only problem I can think of is that I used a lot of wd40 and it looks like it got in the wood. Who would have thought a penetrating liquid would have done that. So it came out of the wood for a day later. Wonder if it will change the tone.

Ahnko Honu
11-12-2009, 09:55 AM
No, not really. I've spread peanut butter over my Fluke and it still sounded (and tasted) great.

Have you tried melted cheese? YUM! :drool: