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View Full Version : Rusted Frets On New Pono



JustUkeItOut
05-09-2010, 07:19 AM
I just received my new Pono Concert uke in the mail yesterday. I purchased it 2 weeks ago from an online dealer in Canada, whose name I won't mention. So, I admit I was really excited when it finally arrived. :drool:

It sounded great, but when I began to observe it closely, I noticed a couple minor and tiny knicks on the neck, which isn't a big deal. What concerns me are the rusted frets. When I look at the fretboard from an angle, I can actually see small water marks. The box that it came in shows no sign of water leakage. The ukulele also came in a really nice Ko'olau hardshell case which doesn't have any water leaks either. :confused:

I'm thinking of e-mailing the dealer back and either asking for a refund or exchange. Any advice?

Here are some photos:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b305/guitargrl05/uke1.jpg


http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b305/guitargrl05/uke2.jpg

KevinV
05-09-2010, 07:49 AM
If it were me, and I really liked the way it sounds, plays, and feels, I'd just polish the frets and be done with it. I don't think I've ever had an instrument that was perfect, or that didn't pick up dings over its lifetime. If you've got a good core instrument and the biggest thing bothering you can be remedied with some 0000 steel wool and masking tape, I'd say keep it.

Just my opinion from my own experience.

Ronnie Aloha
05-09-2010, 07:50 AM
Get some 0000 steel wool and remove the strings. Run the wool with the grain over the frets and it should clean up nicely. Of course, you shouldn't have to do that since its a new uke. Just giving you an option.

Oops, sorry Kevin, we replied at the same time.

clayton56
05-09-2010, 05:33 PM
by the time you ship it back it will be quite a bit of hassle and money, so I'd suggest the polishing. I bought a Pono that had been stored for a while and it needed some oil on the fingerboard.

specialmike
05-09-2010, 05:39 PM
do the wool, and call the dealer. Ask for a discount or you'll send the whole thing back... assuming you would actually do that. Personally, I wouldn't sell a rusty ukulele, even if it was easily fixable. You don't buy a car and say "oh, we can knock that dent out"

ukeatan
05-09-2010, 06:14 PM
Get some 0000 steel wool and remove the strings.

Dang, that's hardcore. I just use the tuners. :p

cornfedgroove
05-09-2010, 06:15 PM
ask for him for a discount or send it back...or take it to a "luthier" and have him buff it out. Probably be $10 or some pittance charge

experimentjon
05-09-2010, 06:36 PM
My Kamaka concert also has especially rust-prone frets for whatever reason. I don't really worry about it, and just polish them with steel wool every time I change the strings. I personally don't think it'd be worth it to ship it back to the dealer at your own expense, but it's up to you to decide how much those frets bother you. If you don't like the sound of the Koolau gold strings, and are swapping them out anyway, I reccomend just going with the steel wool method when the strings are off.

RyanMFT
05-09-2010, 07:49 PM
Is it rust or just some oxidation? I don't see rust in the pictures. If you like that uke, I would polish those frets. Take short strips of masking tape and put one piece of tape on either side of each fret to protect the wood. Then use the steel wool back and forth a few times and they will shine right up. Move the tape to the next fret and you will have it looking perfect in no time.

I agree that it would take a lot of time and hassle to send it back, but I also understand that you want a new uke to be NEW!

AC Baltimore
05-09-2010, 09:08 PM
to me... this is simply un-acceptable for a new instrument in this price range.

beergeek
05-09-2010, 11:22 PM
While I agree that having to polish the frets on a brand new instrument is not acceptable, I would give the dealer a chance to make it right by you and only you can decide what that means. Ponos are set up by the factory so perhaps the dealer didn't inspect it carefully. My main concern wouldn't be whether or not you can poilsh them but whether or not there's any pitting from the rust. How does it intonate? In any case, talk to the delaer BEFORE you do anything. You don't want to do anything that might change your chances with the dealer.

heyjude
05-10-2010, 01:30 AM
Get a pencil with a white erasure. Polish the tarnished areas of the frets. Don't remove the strings, don't detune, just hold the string out of the way while you gently polish. Play and enjoy the uke and when you do change the strings in a few months go with the 0000 steel wool and polish the fingerboard and frets. Then put some fingerboard treatment on the fingerboard. Repeat as needed every few months or so.
Fingerboard treatment-
I've used Dunlop 65 Lemon Oil and LoPrinzi with good results but something I won't do without is Fast Fret as it keeps the strings and fingerboard clean. It's a mineral oil based product and won't harm strings or finish. I've used it on all of my stringed instruments for more than thirty years.

Jude

hoosierhiver
05-10-2010, 04:43 AM
If you decide to polish the frets yourself, be sure not to flatten the crown by sanding them down. It will deaden the sound of your uke.

BadLands Bart
05-10-2010, 12:33 PM
do the wool, and call the dealer. Ask for a discount or you'll send the whole thing back... assuming you would actually do that. Personally, I wouldn't sell a rusty ukulele, even if it was easily fixable. You don't buy a car and say "oh, we can knock that dent out"

Yes I agree as well, unless you ordered the uke with rusted frets either send it back or get a partial refund!

ukulelearp
05-10-2010, 02:17 PM
Is it rust or just some oxidation? I don't see rust in the pictures.


I don't mean to be the resident science geek, but rust IS oxidation. But not all oxidation is rust. Gotta love that logic. That being said, the steel wool will take care of it. It did on my guitar.

urcuzzn
05-10-2010, 03:05 PM
Frets are usually a nickel-silver alloy and should not rust.
i have also seen brass frets over the years.
it may not be rust just oxidation.
0000 steel wool will clean them up.
good luck

bazmaz
05-11-2010, 10:19 AM
appalling at that price. I agree that shipping back is a hassle, but a decent dealer should pay your return shipping charges.

If I were you, if happy with light polishing with steel wool, I'd ask for partial refund, and threaten full return if not.

I'd be furious

haolejohn
05-11-2010, 11:05 AM
I'd be furious

and tactful...Love and logic is the key to get what you want or need from customer service.