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Ame
06-03-2008, 07:53 PM
So, I got my uke signed and plan to get more sigs in august haha I was wondering, how can I "preserve" them (is that the right word?)? I basically don't want them to fade away from rubbing against things, exposure to light, etc.. Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Thanks is advance! :)

ricdoug
06-03-2008, 08:24 PM
That's a tough one, Ame. Varnishes and shellacs tend to deaden the resonance of stringed acoustic instruments. Just clean your uke with a dust cloth and no polishes/detergents. Have artists sign it in places that won't be affected by your strumming. I know many who have their ukes autographed, but I don't know how they preserve the signatures. Ric

Ame
06-03-2008, 08:35 PM
Oh I dont mind something that might affect it's sound a little since it's not my primary uke anymore. And I already got my uke signed all over the back, so that idea is out the window for that uke haha Thanks though! :)

cMejilla
06-03-2008, 08:55 PM
preserving autographs on an instrument can be really tricky business. if you look around at some places on the web, some might suggest putting on a thin, clear lacquer coating over the signature. one drawback to this, however, is that a lacquer that doesn't adhere or bind properly might be subjected to cracking and peeling over time.

i've seen a buddy use a clear coated matte finish though. it started with him spraying a clear coat matte finish over the autographed area so that it doesn't smudge the signature on the first time around. after that he did it again a second time (still spraying over) and a third time (a bit more direct to the autograph) to ensure a good coat and stick.

to break it down to a technical level and the appropriate amounts to use, i wouldn't be able to give it to you. i'm no luthier and i'm definitely not a painter. haha sorry ame, hope that helps

Ukulele_Junkie
06-03-2008, 09:16 PM
clear nail polish haha. If there is no Gloss on ur uke then that autograph should be ok, i have a jake siggy on my jus plain wood uke and its still on there after intense strumming on it.

Kekani
06-03-2008, 10:02 PM
My son had one of our KoAloha Concerts that was originally built for Raiatea Helm signed by Raiatea, and later by Nina Kealiiwahamana, both with magic markers. After a few months, I sprayed a few coats of McFadden's Nitro, paying particular attention to doing a tack coat first, then followed by the basic 3 coats over 3 hours. Of course I had to sand and buff it out. No problem.

KoAloha uses a catalyzed varnish finish, and the lacquer did not react with it - this would be your main concern with using lacquer: compatibility. This is why its always said to test on scrap. Normally, if lacquer is not compatible, you'll know right away, or at least the next day because it will eat through your current finish. If it cracks after time, then its really crappy lacquer, or its sprayed on too thick.

I'll have to disagree with ricdoug on the shellac issue - this would be one of the thinnest, some argue best (if French Polished) traditional finishes on an instrument. As I understand, its still the way Dave Means does it, and he's very good at it.

That being said, shellac will go over (or under) most anything. The only problem would be longevity, as it is a soft finish and requires white glove care if you want it to last.

-Aaron

ricdoug
06-03-2008, 10:27 PM
I'll have to disagree with ricdoug on the shellac issue - this would be one of the thinnest, some argue best (if French Polished) traditional finishes on an instrument.

How much shellac should be added to a finish? It's easy to overdo, when "clearcoating" an instrument. It may not even stick to the current finish. I agree that french polished shellac finishes are mighty thin, but my concern in Ame's situation is polishing or melting off the signatures. Now that Ame's stated that it's not a primary uke and sound is not an issue, I'm wondering if an acrylic might provide more durable protection. Might be something to practice on a http://www.grizzly.com/products/Ukulele-Kit/H3125 . I agree with you on testing on some scrap, as a damaged signature is not repairable. Ric

seeso
06-04-2008, 04:29 AM
Chronos uses some kind of clear sticker. It looks like something that you'd use to laminate a photo.

GX9901
06-04-2008, 04:58 AM
Chronos uses some kind of clear sticker. It looks like something that you'd use to laminate a photo.

Did he use this?

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Pickguards/Pickguard_materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials.html

I think applying this mylar pickguard over the signatures would be a good way to preserve it.

I asked Jake Shimabukuro to sign my cigar box at a location where it shouldn't get touched while playing. Hopefully it lasts.

seeso
06-04-2008, 05:01 AM
Did he use this?

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Pickguards/Pickguard_materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials.html

I think applying this mylar pickguard over the signatures would be a good way to preserve it.

I asked Jake Shimabukuro to sign my cigar box at a location where it shouldn't get touched while playing. Hopefully it lasts.

I don't know if that's what he used or not. I'll ask him.

Ame
06-04-2008, 06:44 AM
Thanks everyone! a lot of suggestions are over my head haha but Phillip's idea seems something I could do. xP Screen protectors, eh? I'm gonna need a lot of them haha I have 5 sigs that I need to cover and getting possily 5 more. haha xP

deach
06-04-2008, 07:16 AM
....I'm gonna need a lot of them haha I have 5 sigs that I need to cover and getting possily 5 more. haha xP

Name drop pleeeease.

davoomac
06-04-2008, 11:21 AM
wow thanks for the tip philip! I have jake sigs on my uke and i was wondering myself how to preserve it.

Does it matter what kind of finish the uke has whether the screen protector will stick on or not?

Craig
06-04-2008, 04:55 PM
I've got two signatures on my cigar box ukulele. We just got a new digital camera, and once I figure it out, I'll post a photo. The two are my teacher, Howard Heitmeyer, and the other is Laurence Juber. Juber is a famous fingerstyle guitar player.

Plainsong
06-06-2008, 09:40 PM
I wonder how the gloss finish on Lois (the kala aqua tenor laminate) will do for being autograph-friendly. That pickguard protector seems like a good plan.

MGM
06-06-2008, 10:03 PM
Heres my custom Kala tenor sprcetop with Solid cocobolo sides and back and of course Signatures....

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0794.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0795.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0796.jpg

Okay that didnt work How do you get the link on??? hmmm better go eat some mango sorbet and ponder...

Plainsong
06-06-2008, 11:05 PM
You use img instead of link, like this:

[ IMG ]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0794.jpg[ / IMG ]

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0794.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0795.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/IMG_0796.jpg

ricdoug
06-07-2008, 12:45 AM
The [ link ] format is the only one allowed on fleamarketmusic . My daughter taught me how to publish photos on to forums a couple of years back. You're never too old to learn. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/OceanHouse.jpg

MGM
06-07-2008, 06:30 AM
Thanks you all... now I got it.... HTML I still think of as a bus line in Hawaii LOL

Ame
06-07-2008, 06:49 AM
Woah, you have a ton of sigs! O_O How do YOU keep them on there?

These are the sigs i'm trying to protect:
http://a574.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/30/l_2a51e0225170de4321c1074dd50ac3d5.jpg (Don't pay attention to the other stuff haha This was a picture I took for my myspace to show some recent happenings, which just shows the sigs on my uke prior to it fading away...)
and the one in the middle is starting to fade already.. >.>;;
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/2558958006_7e12971cb4.jpg

So there's no gloss on my uke, what would be the best way to do it then? O_o;; My friend suggested this spray thing, which I didn't entirely understand, but I think someone mentioned it here too haha Though I still don't know what it is..

seeso
06-07-2008, 07:33 AM
There are spray lacquers and brush lacquers that you can use. A spray lacquer requires less skill to apply, but you have to apply a few layers.

Drop in on any hardware store and they should have some. Bring your uke in to show them what you're trying to do. They may have some tips for you, and they might know which type of lacquer would be best.

Russ Buss is building his Papa's Box right now, and I believe he's spray lacquering some of it. You may want to ask him what he thought of the process.

Kekani
06-07-2008, 07:59 AM
MGM, that `ukulele looks familiar.

Options:

If you want the next best thing to doing it right and don't want to buy spray equipment (or don't know anyone who has some), you can get a Preval Sprayer. However, you still need the finish to apply, so this may not do you any good.

You could rub some TruOil on it, which is how a lot of budding builders finish their instruments. Only thing is, it'll be somewhat glossy, and I stress somewhat. Think of the finish on wooden gunstocks, since that's what TruOil is for anyway. Very easy process though.

The fact that this discussion is so long shows some that there is some importance in preserving the signatures for one reason or another, which I totally understand.

Dare I say this, but I will anyway, only because I think it'll be a cleaner way to go than a screen saver (no offense to those that are using them). Seeso mentioned it as well. Deft makes spray lacquer in both gloss and satin finishes. I've known a few builders that have gloss finished their instruments with Deft. Tape off the sides (and neck) of the instrument with painters tape (the blue one) - you shouldn't have to do the top, but may want to if you have a lot of overspray. Spray 3 coats, at least 30 to 45 minutes apart, overlapping 50% on each side to side spray. Don't be fooled - even though lacquer dries fast to the touch, this will not fully cure for a few days. This means, don't put in in the case for a week.

Bottom line? Practice on scrap first.

-Aaron

Plainsong
06-07-2008, 08:14 AM
How about on a glossy laminate? There's such a lack of hardware stores locally that getting any like this is more than a bit of a challenge.

Bassukuguy
06-07-2008, 11:48 AM
im not sure how it will effect the resonance or acoustic instruments, but i have an old Crate guitar that came in a starter pack that i have had signed and such, and i have taped off diffrent things and used this

http://63.210.199.180/08/51/9/85196.jpg.fpx?qlt=80&wid=265&cvt=jpeg

it seems to have worked, but again it may make your Uke Sound dead but just a thought
Bassukuguy

MGM
06-07-2008, 11:56 AM
I like Watco nitro lacquer over deft as deft doesnt dry as hard if you must use a can also lays down nicer and doesn't blush as much.

Ame
06-07-2008, 01:06 PM
Oh wow, thanks guys! I'll try to find some of that stuff and give it a go. :)

Kekani
06-07-2008, 05:31 PM
There you go, MGM to the rescue. Personally, I wouldn't use Deft either, especially since I have McFaddens on the shelf. I didn't know Watco made a can.

Okay, for gloss, cheap, and short of doing it with good spray equipment - buy a Preval Sprayer, and spray on some Behlen's Instrument lacquer. Its sold in quarts. I think you can get both the sprayer and the lacquer from Stew Mac and/or Woodcraft.

Plainsong
06-07-2008, 05:57 PM
I'm going to bet money neither of those will be available in Finland. And those stores certainly aren't in Finland. I'll just have to go with the flow and see what I find. You can't find a hardware store in Helsinki much less one that stocks things that are useful or are decent quality.

I speak as a girl who worked summers at Lumber and Building materials store.

MGM
06-07-2008, 11:56 PM
Check out the automotive supply shops for other lacquer clear sprays in foreign countires May not have our brands but I almost guarentee they will have clear coat lacquer sprays for car touchup...

Plainsong
06-08-2008, 01:48 AM
I never thought of that MGM! I'll check out the automotive isle and see what I find!