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View Full Version : Finish touch-up on c.1950's Martin Style 0?



mwaller
11-10-2009, 06:35 AM
Hello!
I just picked up a lovely c.1950's Martin Style-0. Structurally, everything is very sound. The edges of the instrument, however, have been rubbed bare of finish. In some places, the wood looks a tad chewed up. I'm concerned that without finish, they will continue to deteriorate. Is there a clever way to add finish to the exposed wood? If so, what products should I use?
Thanks,
Mika

ukestang
11-10-2009, 08:15 AM
Don't know about ukes, but with vintage guitars touch ups typically cut the value in half.

Pukulele Pete
11-10-2009, 11:17 AM
Unless it is in really bad condition ,you are better off leaving it as is. I'm not sure what you mean about " chewed up wood" but unless the uke is in really bad shape you should leave it alone. If you really have to finish the parts that are worn clear lacquer is probably your best bet. You really have to know what you are doing . If you are not familiar with this type of repair you might ruin the value and sound of your uke. Any repair could affect the value of the ukulele.

ukantor
11-10-2009, 12:34 PM
I think Martin used to French polish their ukes. I'd try to confirm if yours was originally French polished, and if so, it should not be too difficult to rub some finish back onto the bare areas. I can't see that that would hurt the resale value, but it would not be a big consideration for me. I buy ukes to play them.

Ukantor.

ecosteel
11-10-2009, 02:45 PM
I think Martin used to French polish their ukes. I'd try to confirm if yours was originally French polished, and if so, it should not be too difficult to rub some finish back onto the bare areas. I can't see that that would hurt the resale value, but it would not be a big consideration for me. I buy ukes to play them. Couldn't agree more. French polish is a really beautiful and fairly easy finish. It's perfect for touch ups like this.Cheap as you like if you mix your own. Have a look at youtube vids on the subject.

Pete Howlett
11-10-2009, 03:18 PM
Stopped french polishing in the 30's when they discovered cellulose lacquer - the real instrument finish of choice.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-10-2009, 04:25 PM
French polishing is difficult and very time consuming when done right. It is a real art in itself. It also doesn't wear well.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-10-2009, 04:26 PM
Stopped french polishing in the 30's when they discovered cellulose lacquer - the real instrument finish of choice.

I had no idea you were that old!

ukantor
11-10-2009, 10:49 PM
So French polishing is out - OK, I'd touch up the bare areas with lacquer. If you do it carefully it will look a hell of a lot better than bare wood.

It was said that refinishing can reduce the value of an old instrument to half - but half of what? Half of the value if it had been in nice original condition, or half of the value of a heavily used uke with bare wood at the edges? Sweeping generalisations don't help.

Ukantor.

RonS
11-11-2009, 04:11 AM
Before you refinish anything it is important to know what type of finish is already on the wood.

NOT ALL FINISHES ARE COMPATIBLE WITH EACH OTHER.

French Polish is not hard to learn, it just takes a lot of practice. Your public library is a good source for books on this subject.

Or your can try this >> Click Here << (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+to+french+polish)


Some of the top selling luthiers still fench polishing thier instruments.
All the top selling manufacturers of instruments use lacquer.

Without see the instrument it is hard to give you good advice, so generally speaking it is best not to refinish an instrument