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GreatGazukes
09-17-2010, 03:53 AM
Has anyone had the nerve to reduce a gloss finish on a uke. I am contemplating buying a gloss finished uke and am thinking of attacking it with steel wool to give it a matt finish...Am I bonkers???

Pukulele Pete
09-17-2010, 04:17 AM
Yes. You are bonkers but that has nothing to do with the ukulele. I bought a damaged Mainland uke and repaired it and painted it black. It came out good. It's your uke......do what you want. Life is too short.

Skitzic
09-17-2010, 05:21 AM
Go for it. I would start with a cheapish uke though...just in case it turns out terrible. Good luck!

jordan bello
09-17-2010, 05:39 AM
Why not just buy matte?

mm stan
09-17-2010, 07:05 AM
GreatGazukes....
Why would one do such a thing when you pay extra for the finish...just buy a satin finish ukulele...they're cheaper...
Are you pulling our legs....is that a trick question....HMMMM
Anyways Welcome to the UU and our humble forums...Good Luck finding your first uke and let us in on what you get.
MM Stan...

wickedwahine11
09-17-2010, 07:37 AM
Here is a thread where experimentjon talks about removing the gloss finish on his KoAloha. Hopefully it will give you some tips. Good luck!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?23011-Satin-Finish-Neck-Experiment-on-my-KoAloha

BadLands Bart
09-17-2010, 01:42 PM
Yes why buy gloss when you really want matte?????
Don't do it man!!! :stop:

Coconut Willie
09-17-2010, 02:36 PM
Why not buy a matt finish uke instead of going through all of that and possibly ruining the uke?

oldrookie
09-17-2010, 03:15 PM
Unless there is a specific uke you want that only comes in gloss, I'd buy a matte. Plenty of them out there.

I know from experience that you can get some very good results from refinishing an instrument, but I'd be REALLY surprised if you end up being happy with just taking steel wool to a gloss finish. Takes a lot of work to get a really nice looking instrument. Takes almost no effort to entirely screw up a finish and end up with an instrument that looks far, far worse than you ever anticipated.

GreatGazukes
09-17-2010, 04:52 PM
Here is a thread where experimentjon talks about removing the gloss finish on his KoAloha. Hopefully it will give you some tips. Good luck!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?23011-Satin-Finish-Neck-Experiment-on-my-KoAloha

Thanks very much for the lead, having read that I feel mighty encouraged to do it.

Fear not all, this is not the Gloss finish Doghair Collings I drool for :drool:
way too sexy (http://www.collingsguitars.com/gallery/slideshow.php?ID=146)

Yep, unfortunately the Ohana zebrawood soprano ukulele i am coveting is only in a gloss finish, and I prefer the silky smoothness of matte on the neck, also I do prefer the look of matte finished wood on the body as well. So I intend to purchase it and de-gloss the neck, see how that goes and then do the body if I am satisfied with the finish. This will be my third Ohana, I really enjoy the others. If only this was a Zebrawood sopranino.....sigh.

Thanks all for your replies, will post pics when it arrives!!!

Cheers, Tony

Gmoney
09-17-2010, 05:32 PM
From what I understand, Zebrawood is noted as a hard wood to work with - easily splintering. Be careful, my friend, I'd hate to see your new purchase turn into a sad mess. Perhaps one of the many luthiers in our midst may give you some sage advice.

mm stan
09-17-2010, 07:25 PM
Aloha Tony,
When I used to shoot pool, and my stick had a sticky feel, I used either sandpaper, steel wool, or an old scotch brite...
to acheive a smooth feel. Maybe a good idea to use one of these instead of chemical removers to bare wood..You can
just smooth the surface and it'll work and still have the protection of the finish....after all body oils from the hand can
discolor the wood. be careful with zeba wood...Good Luck, MM Stan..

GreatGazukes
09-17-2010, 07:53 PM
Thanks Stan,

Fear not, I certainly wont be attempting to use chemical strippers, ugh, have horror stories from early home renovating days. Yes It'll be a cautious use of 0000 grade steel wool. I've been deliberating on a zebrawood uke for ages, so I've ordered one today for my birthday, may get here from the USA in 2 weeks time, may not, lol.

Cheers, Tony

Pippin
09-17-2010, 09:07 PM
Has anyone had the nerve to reduce a gloss finish on a uke. I am contemplating buying a gloss finished uke and am thinking of attacking it with steel wool to give it a matt finish...Am I bonkers???

Yes, I have done this with "0000" steel wool used ONLY WITH THE GRAIN.

heyjude
09-17-2010, 11:19 PM
Good idea starting on the back of the neck first. I use 0000 steel wool with a lubricant to knock back a gloss finish. Lemon Oil or mineral oil will do the job as a lubricant. It's kind of a reverse polishing process, do a small area, wipe with a paper towel and check your progress. You just want to knock back the gloss, not remove the finish and if you don't like it you can always polish it back up to a gloss finish.

Jude

Brewerpaul
09-18-2010, 01:42 AM
The neck is a reasonable thing to tackle and won't show that much if it doesn't look good. Get the finest steel wool (0000) and work with light pressure. You might want to mask off adjacent body parts with blue painter's masking tape (comes off easier) to avoid slips.
A large surface like the top of a uke will be very hard to get nice and uniform looking. I'd suggest sticking with just the neck.

These people are stringed instrument pros, and you may be able to call and talk to one of their tech people for more suggestions:

http://www.stewmac.com/

Pondoro
09-18-2010, 02:13 AM
Pumice powder, available at a woodworker's supply store, is less aggressive than 0000 steel wool. You might want to start with that first. It comes in two grades but I forget what they are called.

olgoat52
09-18-2010, 06:15 AM
I don't like steel wool on flat surfaces like the top back and sides. I prefer to use a sanding block. Work in in a single direction. I would start around 600 grit and move up to 1200 or 2000. You can use a water with a bit of dish soap as a lubricant. The higher grits are most readily available at auto body supply stores that sell finishing products. The hardest areas to get looking good with be around the bridge and where the heel of the neck meets the body. You can easily remove the tuning machines to make the headstock easier to do.

There are also chemical deglossers but I have never used them on a piece of furniture or an instrument.

Rockler has padded micro abrasives for not too much that will probably be enough to do what you want. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=11435&filter=micro

mm stan
09-18-2010, 06:57 AM
Higher grit sandpaper 1000 and up will give a more consistant finish than steel wool, I'd prefer to use them too...

GreatGazukes
09-18-2010, 06:55 PM
Wow, thanks guys, I will certainly be following your advice regarding the sanding block and grades of paper. I will post pics of the uke when it arrives.

Cheers and Thanks, Tony