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View Full Version : Crack in my Mainland :(



phanzo
05-07-2010, 03:23 PM
So today I discovered a crack in the back of my Mainland Mahogany Concert. I'm super bummed. I have no idea how long it's been there or how it happened since it is only out of my case when I play it and I only play it a couple times a month or so (lately). I noticed it when I felt a bump in the white binding on the back. It looks like it somehow pushed out and cracked the wood. There's actually 2 spots where the binding bumps out (I would post a pic, but I'm at work right now). I'm wondering if it has been there the whole time and I just never noticed it...

Anywho, I'm super bummed now. What to do... :mad:

euchre
05-07-2010, 03:55 PM
As you know, it's dry in Arizona so you should probably keep your solid wood instruments in their cases with a humidifier when not playing them.

Contact Mainland for repair/replacement recommendations

phanzo
05-07-2010, 04:00 PM
Yea I use a Pez-humidifier, but I'd be lying if I said I keep it moist all of the time. It dries up super fast.

AC Baltimore
05-07-2010, 05:37 PM
this is why "FOR ME" the woes of solid wood is not worth the pleasure.

mangorockfish
05-07-2010, 06:05 PM
Not to worry my brother, contact either Mainland Mike or Uke Republic Mike and I'm sure they will take care of you to your satisfaction.

clayton56
05-07-2010, 08:11 PM
even if you elect to do nothing, a crack in the back won't change the sound much. I have a couple of old Gibson guitars with separation where the back and sides join, and they sound great.

spots
05-08-2010, 05:16 AM
Phanzo,

Sorry to hear about the crack. I second contacting Mainland to see what they recommend. Maybe they know of a good repair place in your area.

Consider getting an Oasis case humidifier. You may find that you need more humidity than the one you are currently using can put out.

I replaced the clay in my Herco humidifier with "Soil Moist" gel crystals. It holds more water now, lasts longer and works better. I use this in conjunction with an Oasis case humidifier.

hoosierhiver
05-08-2010, 06:02 AM
It is essential to always pay attention to humidity if you have a solid wood uke, especially in dry climates. Major changes in temperature and humidity during the changes in seasons can be a time to pay extra attention.
Dry winter air is probably as bad if not worse than an arid environment.

darkwater
05-08-2010, 06:52 AM
A friend of mine lives in Taos NM with multiple fine fretted instruments. They live in a room that's kept humidified to 45%.

kissing
05-08-2010, 07:14 AM
Ouch... I hope it all works out :(
Personally, I'm not a big fan of solid wood's tendency to crack unexpectedly sometimes.

phanzo
05-08-2010, 07:33 AM
Here's a pic of the crack:
12479
Thanks for the words of wisdom my friends

clayton56
05-08-2010, 12:46 PM
looks like it's just the binding pulling away from the wood, meaning it's purely decorative.

Try putting a small flashlight inside the uke, in the dark, and see if there's any separation between the back and the side. If it's all still joined, you are still structurally sound.

Good that there's no crack in the wood itself - that's what I thought it was.

You might talk to Mainland first, but you should be able to work some Duco cement into the crack, and pull it closed with tape.

Remember the binding and wood will expand and contract at different rates, this is not surprising at all.

Good luck!

cletus
05-08-2010, 02:32 PM
Hopefully, that is a minor problem and can be easily resolved by Mainland, a luthier, or you.
I think I'll go check my Herco right now!

Good luck with your uke.

dktoller
05-09-2010, 03:48 PM
Here's a pic of the crack:

I also have a mahogany concert and there are two places where the binding is slightly pulling away. Same as your pics. Mike suggested filling them in with wood glue. I doubt it effects the sound at all; basically a cosmetic problem and something to keep a watch on.

sukie
05-09-2010, 05:11 PM
Heartbreaking. Hope you can fix it, Phanzo.

AC Baltimore
05-09-2010, 09:13 PM
I would get the uke good and hydrated then do a little touch-up work with some wood glue. That is if the dealer does not take care of it. I use an old pill bottle with three holes drilled in the top and some sponge inside. Granted the "ghetto humidifier" sits right under the hygrometer, but even in just a canvas case I am running 60%.

greg_usa
05-10-2010, 06:15 AM
hey guys - i also have a mahogany concert. I just noticed a month ago that some of the binding was pulling away on the bottom. pretty much the same spot. I don't know how long it's been like that but i didn't notice it by the sound and i wasn't too concerned. but i would like to fix it. did anyone get recomendation on what glue would be safe to use there?

Lori
05-10-2010, 06:38 AM
I would recommend the Oasis humidifiers for the ukes you really want to protect. In areas where the weather changes a lot, you need to keep a close eye on your humidifier system. The Oasis humidifiers clearly show when they need to be refilled. They might be a bit more expensive than others, but knowing exactly when to refill is very important.

–Lori

phanzo
05-10-2010, 10:13 AM
hey guys - i also have a mahogany concert. I just noticed a month ago that some of the binding was pulling away on the bottom. pretty much the same spot. I don't know how long it's been like that but i didn't notice it by the sound and i wasn't too concerned. but i would like to fix it. did anyone get recomendation on what glue would be safe to use there?
mike told me to get some wood glue. put some over it, wipe it off and repeat until it is filled. preferably from the inside, but i cant get to it from the inside, so im gonna do it from the outside. I think he said to wipe it with a wet wash cloth. I'm gonna give it a shot this week sometime.

clayton56
05-10-2010, 09:56 PM
Stewart MacDonald has recommended Duco Cement for attaching binding - it binds both wood and plastic. It's what I used on the binding for a mandolin and 3 banjos. None have separated at all. Wood glue is really for wood to wood.

Another idea might be Plastic Wood, it's harmless, and would fill the crack instead of actually regluing. I think that's what the suggestion for wood glue is all about.

Paul December
05-11-2010, 04:54 AM
Can someone clarify if this is a Warranty Issue or Not?
Do you guys have the option to send it in to be professionally repaired?
If not, is it because of age, poor storage, or just not covered?

hoosierhiver
05-11-2010, 08:02 AM
Can someone clarify if this is a Warranty Issue or Not?
Do you guys have the option to send it in to be professionally repaired?
If not, is it because of age, poor storage, or just not covered?

Our warranty is on the website. This uke was bought thru a dealer and must be returned to that dealer. The issue with Phanzo's uke, by his own admission, may have been caused by not paying enough attention to the humidity in Arizona. Fortunately it is an easy fix.
Mainland Ukes are a great deal in comparison to some other brands. I have not raised our prices like many of our competitors have this year. Mainland tries to be lenient in regards to warranty issues, unfortunately I have found that some people are more than willing to take unfair advantage of us. I am not talking about anyone on this thread. I've had people try to return ukes after 11+ months wanting a brand new one because "they don't like the sound anymore" or because they simply wanted to trade up or try a different model. Fortunately, most ukulele people (especially on UU) are honest and reasonable and I have no trouble dealing with them on this level and coming to some solution while still remaining in business. I always try to be fair for everyone concerned.

Paul December
05-11-2010, 08:30 AM
OK, just looked it up....
...so 12months if not improperly stored or mistreated.
I actually was wondering if it was excluded because it was more cosmetic in nature, but I assume it would be fixed in that situation.
I've had mine for more than 12 (happy) months without damage :)

phanzo
05-11-2010, 08:43 AM
Even if it was a warranty issue, I wouldn't make Mike give me a new one. It's not a big deal and I will fill the crack, get a better humidifier and move on. I'm sure this wont be the last Mainland that I own, this is just a lesson for my future ukes. I would never be someone who takes advantage of Mainland's kindness. Mike was awesome to deal with while purchasing the uke and things like this happen.

I hope this doesn't discourage anyone from buying a Mainland either. They are fantastic ukes and more than worth their money!! However, if you live in the desert, you need to keep your wood moist....wait...what!?

Rzr
05-11-2010, 08:50 AM
Even if it was a warranty issue, I wouldn't make Mike give me a new one. It's not a big deal and I will fill the crack, get a better humidifier and move on. I'm sure this wont be the last Mainland that I own, this is just a lesson for my future ukes. I would never be someone who takes advantage of Mainland's kindness. Mike was awesome to deal with while purchasing the uke and things like this happen.

I hope this doesn't discourage anyone from buying a Mainland either. They are fantastic ukes and more than worth their money!! However, if you live in the desert, you need to keep your wood moist....wait...what!?

Sometimes I forget where I am too!

phanzo
05-16-2010, 03:29 PM
Got some humidifers in the mail today for my Mainland and my Martin. We'll see what they do. I need to fill the crack in the Mainland ASAP before it gets worse...

byjimini
05-16-2010, 09:29 PM
This talk of humidifiers interests me; so if I see ont he weather that we're in for a long dry spell, the first thing that should go through my mind is "break out the Oasis!"?

I'm in the UK, so I wouldn't have thought it would matter too much. Some great advice in here btw.