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View Full Version : Please humidify your Kamaka



Teek
05-04-2011, 08:14 PM
It will be grateful (http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Hawaiian-Koa-Kamaka-Soprano-Ukulele-/150599606462?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23106fa0be).

Thanks.

janeray1940
05-04-2011, 08:16 PM
Ouch! That was painful to look at.

mr moonlight
05-04-2011, 08:21 PM
I actually thought about bidding on that uke. Doesn't look like a hard repair, but then I noticed the heel was off-set from the center of the back. Looks like bad news to me.

mm stan
05-05-2011, 04:18 AM
Thank Teek,
This one is not really that old...1976-1982.. sorry to see it in that condition...not really that bad...though..two hundred would be a good price..

molokinirum
05-05-2011, 04:53 AM
Ouch!!!!!!!!

OldePhart
05-05-2011, 06:22 AM
I actually thought about bidding on that uke. Doesn't look like a hard repair, but then I noticed the heel was off-set from the center of the back. Looks like bad news to me.

Oooh, good eye - I didn't spot that the first time. A hard look at the neck join closup shows it's already been reset once, and poorly. If they used the wrong kind of glue there basically is no fixing that...

Close look at the back also reveals what looks like a repaired crack just to the right of the seam that is opening up.

Doc_J
05-05-2011, 07:28 AM
Did you see the other Kamaka on ebay with a crack? ..... Kamaka Concert Ukulele White Label (http://cgi.ebay.com/Koa-Kamaka-Concert-Ukulele-White-Label-Hawaii-/260779151306?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb7a60fca)

Skitzic
05-05-2011, 08:12 AM
That's a shame.

...now I'm going to go home and check all my humidifiers.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-05-2011, 08:59 AM
Thank you for that. That goes for all solid wood instruments.
Does anyone know if Kamaka builds in a climate controlled environment?

Teek
05-05-2011, 09:53 AM
Pictures say it best.

I read the other thread about keeping a uke hanging on the wall for ease of access, and people were talking about hanging up some nice ukes like it was a good idea. One was a Kamaka and I could just see it a few years down the road.

Just in my observations of ukes for sale over the last couple of years, Kamakas especially seem vulnerable to separations along the book matched seam top and back, and often the edges lift at the sides. Also they crack vertically from the bottom edge along the heel block.

I have two Kamakas. When I bought the white label concert the owner disclosed that it had had a very slight separation on the top along the seam from the soundhole to the bridge, so he humidified it for a few weeks and it closed back up. It has been fine since. I left the vintage pineapple with a generally respected luthier (who I later discovered is extremely dismissive of vintage ukes especially) to reglue the bridge, and it came back with a bottom separation and the bruises it had had turned into cracks, because he had it in the San Fernando Valley and it was not humidified. He had actually set it aside and forgot about it on several occasions, so it just sat in it's case cooking and drying out.

CoLmes
05-05-2011, 09:57 AM
Seeing this made me go refill my humidifier. It's like watering plants.

ksiegel
05-05-2011, 12:21 PM
Ouch!!!!!!!!


The exact word I used, several times!


-Kurt

hmgberg
05-05-2011, 12:28 PM
Pictures say it best.

I read the other thread about keeping a uke hanging on the wall for ease of access, and people were talking about hanging up some nice ukes like it was a good idea. One was a Kamaka and I could just see it a few years down the road.

Just in my observations of ukes for sale over the last couple of years, Kamakas especially seem vulnerable to separations along the book matched seam top and back, and often the edges lift at the sides. Also they crack vertically from the bottom edge along the heel block.

I have two Kamakas. When I bought the white label concert the owner disclosed that it had had a very slight separation on the top along the seam from the soundhole to the bridge, so he humidified it for a few weeks and it closed back up. It has been fine since. I left the vintage pineapple with a generally respected luthier (who I later discovered is extremely dismissive of vintage ukes especially) to reglue the bridge, and it came back with a bottom separation and the bruises it had had turned into cracks, because he had it in the San Fernando Valley and it was not humidified. He had actually set it aside and forgot about it on several occasions, so it just sat in it's case cooking and drying out.

"generally respected" What!!! Your instruments should not come back from the luthier worse than when you brought them in. No excuse for that, regardless of how he feels about vintage ukuleles. I'd shove a telecaster ... Is he still in business? Did he make good on the damage?

About the Kamaka on Ebay: I saw it, cringed - GUNGA DIN!!!

crowsby
05-05-2011, 01:03 PM
The humidity here in Portland rarely gets below 45%, so I think we're kind of lucky in this respect. When I lived in Phoenix, anything that required moisture was a pain to manage, whether it was cigars, guitars, or otherwise.

experimentjon
05-05-2011, 01:26 PM
Older Kamakas in Hawaii pop up on Craigslist in that condition once in a while. It's a combo of that dryness and sitting in a house that gets really hot when everyone is at work during the day, and that gets cold again at night when the AC comes on. It adds up over the years. Good news is that Kamakas did not cost thaaat much back then, even in real dollar terms. But still very sad indeed.

Plainsong
05-05-2011, 01:31 PM
During the summer we're never below 45%, so the ukes can come out and enjoy themselves. I have a better room humidifier now, so it can pick up the slack if needed. But in the winter, no no no no way. Even right now, even though it's generally been warmer, we're not there yet. The humidifier keeps the room at about 43% right now which is fine if I want to take a uke out and leave it out for the day. But the minute the humidifier shuts down it plummets to 25% in here. And that's two gauges in different parts of the room, and the humidifier's gauge, all agreeing with each other.

I have a local luthier that is very uke-friendly. Friendly enough to be building his own. The first time I went there, he showed me some vintage Martins a local celebrity left in his care.

But even if he hated ukes - what gives that guy the right? I'm glad he can just feel free to abuse customers like that. What if it had been a big burly bass player? Would he have done the same thing?

quiltingshirley
05-05-2011, 03:26 PM
Does anyone know if Kamaka builds in a climate controlled environment?

To answer, no. They open the entire side in the back and it's almost like they're outside. They said when they move to their new location, "There will be air conditioning". We took their factory tour April 19th. I was set to buy a humidifer for my uke and they said "no". Seems we live where the humidity is plenty high. (a block from the ocean in lower central California) No AC and not too much of the heater. Looking at the Kamaka pictures was painful to the eyes.

chiefnoda
05-05-2011, 06:09 PM
Hello

After I got over the shock, I started to wonder and am curious to hear other's opinions on this - Do you think the lack of humidity did that?

The back is separated at the center but the back is also warped and the warp is symmetric. If the wood is too dried up, it shrinks. Also the neck appears to be off center but could it be possible that the back was damaged somehow (maybe water damage?). The back was then removed and glued back improperly? And the neck was still in the neck block (not reset) and the backs were glued off-center?

I have a nagging feeling that this was not simpy due to the lack of humidity. Without actually seeing the ukulele, it's really hard to tell, and I am not going to buy another ukulele (I'm a tenor person) but I'm curious if anyone can comment, please?

Cheers
Chief

ConspiracyUkeist
05-05-2011, 06:56 PM
Does anyone know if Kamaka builds in a climate controlled environment?

Yes. It's called Honolulu.

OldePhart
05-06-2011, 06:36 AM
yes. It's called honolulu.

bwaaaa-haaaa.