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View Full Version : Possible warning re Fremont cases



Teek
07-16-2011, 06:44 PM
Two of my ukes cased in rectangular Fremont hard cases have not only new discoloration but raised grain right at the area neck join on the body where they have the most contact against the case. On my Kamaka it's starting up the neck too. It was so subtle at first I thought it was just a thinner spot in the finish on my Kamaka that I somehow never noticed before, now it's actually looking bleached. I expect it's Chinese crap glues outgassing and reacting with the finish in the way that rubber or neoprene does to nitrocellulose. In both cases the fit of the tops of the ukes' upper bouts is snug. I would imagine this is something to watch for in any Chinese made case.

Melamine, toxins and bacteria in the food; substandard dangerous steel, toxic drywall driving people from their homes, lead in toys, contaminated heparin that killed a lot of people (probably including my ex husband).. a case that damages an instrument it is supposed to protect is just another brick in the great wall of dishonor. Don't even get me started on China.

EDIT AND NOTE: I AM GOING TO REITERATE RIGHT HERE AT THE FRONT THE WORDS "POSSIBLE" AND "WATCH FOR" (as in "FYI" and "Just in case" pun intended). YES, TWO OF MY UKES HAVE DAMAGE AND THE KAMAKA IS F*CKED UP JUST FROM SITTING IN THE CASE. IS IT THE CASE? I DON'T KNOW, BOTH ARE STILL IN THE SAME CASES. IS IT HUMIDITY? I DON'T KNOW, THE CASES ACTUALLY KEEP THE UKES AT A LOWER AND BETTER HUMIDITY THAT THE AMBIENT WHICH RUNS 80%. NONE OF MY OTHER CASED UKES HAVE ANY DAMAGE. I ACTUALLY LIKE FREMONT CASES THE BEST FOR DESIGN AND PROTECTION. I'M NOT CRYING OVER THE UKE, IT'S ONE OF MY TOP THREE BUT IT IS JUST A MATERIAL OBJECT. DON'T BOTHER FLAMING ME FOR BEING DISGUSTED WITH CHINA! I'M GENERALLY DISGUSTED WITH THE LACK OF MORALS AND ETHICS ALL OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD! :rolleyes:

oteonghn
07-16-2011, 07:12 PM
Thanks for the warning ! My china made Ohana sopranino
Had it's bridge come off !!
Moral of the story - avoid all china made stuff


Two of my ukes cased in rectangular Fremont hard cases have not only new discoloration but raised grain right at the area neck join on the body where they have the most contact against the case. On my Kamaka it's starting up the neck too. It was so subtle at first I thought it was just a thinner spot in the finish on my Kamaka that I somehow never noticed before, now it's actually looking bleached. I expect it's Chinese crap glues outgassing and reacting with the finish in the way that rubber or neoprene does to nitrocellulose. In both cases the fit of the tops of the ukes' upper bouts is snug. I would imagine this is something to watch for in any Chinese made case.

Melamine, toxins and bacteria in the food; substandard dangerous steel, toxic drywall driving people from their homes, lead in toys, contaminated heparin that killed a lot of people (probably including my ex husband).. a case that damages an instrument it is supposed to protect is just another brick in the great wall of dishonor. Don't even get me started on China.

Pippin
07-16-2011, 11:19 PM
Chinese manufacturing is as good or as bad as the raw materials that go into the products. We have some really nice ukuleles and guitars coming from China. The issue is manufacturers of clothing and everyday household items, not so much musical instruments and recreation equipment where cutting corners kills performance.

Quality assurance of "Masterbilt" guitars, for example, is better in the Chinese factory than it is at Gibson in Bozeman, Montana. The same holds true with Eastman and Blueridge guitars. Ohana, Kala, and Mainland all are very nice quality ukuleles at affordable prices.

guitharsis
07-16-2011, 11:24 PM
Agree with you Pippin. I've had some Kala ukes that were very nice. Also Eastman mandolins that were excellent.

garyg
07-17-2011, 02:49 AM
Teek, thanks for the warning and yes China, like the US produces both poor quality and high quality items. I made a post several weeks ago about a noxious odor emanating from two new hard cases that two vintage ukes that I had just purchased were mailed in. I left the cases open in my garage which gets 90+ temperatures here in GA during the summer, hoping that the heat would drive off all the emanating fumes. After about two weeks the odor is much reduced. I also got some of those baking soda refrigerator deodorizer packs (about $1.75 @) at the market and then put them in the cases with the lid shut. What scared me is that the ukes smelled like the case and I also was worried about damage to the finish or gluing. Most of the smell is gone now although after what you've reported I may put them back for another week or so. Sorry to hear about the damage to the ukes, that's everyone's nightmare. Aloha, g2

ksiegel
07-17-2011, 05:57 AM
I've only got the one Fremont tenor rectangular case, and it has my Kala Gloss Tenor; I think I'll put a microfiber cloth between the neck and the case.

Thanks, Teek.

-Kurt

joeybug
07-17-2011, 06:08 AM
Thanks Teek for the warning, I'll be sure to steer clear of those cases...I hope you're able to get the damaged repaired!

Huna
07-17-2011, 06:29 AM
sure glad I have a formica uke lol

hmgberg
07-17-2011, 07:05 AM
NOOOOOO!!!! I'm sorry to hear about the damage to your ukulele. I hope that something can be done to fix the damage. I'm also worried because I have two of these cases and have to very expensive ukuleles in them. I bought the first case about a year ago. It didn't smell when I got it. The second one came about 2 months ago and it smelled awful. Like garyg writes, the ukulele cased in it has begun to smell like the case. The odor has begun to dissipate and I see no discoloration, but I'm very concerned. I'll, at least, get something to put between the neck and the case; but I'm not sure that this is enough.

OldePhart
07-17-2011, 07:57 AM
Hmm, I've got one in tweed that I ordered with my Kiwaya longneck. It didn't smell and so far so good but thanks for the heads up - I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

John

Teek
07-17-2011, 09:09 AM
@ the posts regarding the quality of Chinese made ukes and guitars, I posted regarding specific cases of which I have two, pointing out other far more egregious lack of standards or concern in China because most people aren't aware of the myriad problems with Chinese imports, beyond killing animals and people with melamine in food or antifreeze in toothpaste. (http://wtdevflnt.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/product-quality-problems-in-china/) Regarding the instruments made there, most factories are well supervised and the builders can do incredible ukes and guitars. The other issues are society based and won't go away any time soon. They are still finding melamine in milk and infant formula.

I have two rectangular Fremonts, both concert sized, the black is two and a half years old and has been a super case and was the basis for my recommending them to others, the other is newer, tweed, and has my Brad Donaldson custom in it. I had to send the first tweed back because it was next to impossible for me to close the latches. The newer tweed one is not as well made and was stinky.

Both ukes had slightly thinner finish at the necks, that's a difficult spray area and not a problem on the part of the uke at all or with the build. Both are showing damage, it was just so slow and I've had the Kamaka out so little I would wonder WTF is that but thought it was just my imagination, until it became much worse since the last time I had it out. The Amy just has a slight raised grain feel after over a year, but the Kamaka looks bleached and is very raised feeling. The photo is my white label Kamaka, which when I bought it was lovely. A new production uke with a thicker finish (I'm thinking actually like a Pono say which I feel are too thick, I had one) would probably be ok for a longer time.

Just to note I will have to refinish that part of the Kamaka at some point because it's irritating when I see it and it has damaged the resale value, but it's filed it under shit happens and I'm not griping about that, just wanted to give a head's up to everyone as it is also probably something to watch for in a number of the newer stinkier cases of any brand. If it smells it's outgassing, and if it is outgassing it is likely reactive.

I have some awesome instruments that were made in China and am pro Chinese instruments for the most part now, as long as the factory conditions are not abusive to the workers. I don't want a uke made by basically slave laborers. It's great that it supplies jobs to people in China and good instruments to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford them. Regarding the other issues, that is a whole societal mindset and it still happens here in the US and all other Western countries in different ways. For some reason Time Warner Cable comes to mind, but I was also thinking stuff like runaway Toyotas, rollover Ford Explorers, Firestone tires, Taco Hell "meat", the pet food industry in general, medical insurance companies etc. etc.
25734

guitharsis
07-17-2011, 12:47 PM
Hi Teek,
Sorry you've had so much trouble with those cases. Thanks for the heads up you gave to the rest of us. I did agree that the Chinese made ukuleles and mandolins that I had were good quality and well made. However, some of the imported toys and products you mentioned should be banned.

coolkayaker1
03-22-2012, 10:12 AM
..Late reply to older thread, but Teek, thanks! I'm wondering, since I just bought this case for my tenor uke, what's the latest skinny. Oldephart et al., anyone having issues with this Femont rectangular case since watching for it since middle 2011 from Teek's helpful warning? Thanks.

hmgberg
03-22-2012, 11:25 AM
I was quite concerned when I read Teek's post as I have 3 of these cases - all holding Martins. I've been monitoring them and have not had any problems. The tweed case in particular gases quite a bit when it is new. The black one seems tighter as well, i.e., holds moisture inside, thus, I think it is important to air out the ukuleles (play them), especially during the summer.

OldePhart
03-22-2012, 11:32 AM
I've had mine for over a year and I haven't seen any issues. Of course, mine never had a really noticeable smell, either, so it might be different glue or what have you from different manufacturing batches...

John

Plainsong
03-22-2012, 11:35 AM
Oh that picture breaks the heart. I would have sent a picture of that and a picture of the guilty party to Kiwaya and see what they had to say. I have a Fremont relative case, my Steady gigbag, and no weird smells from it. Speaking of cases, I had an Oahu that I never really inspected much, just happily used it. Then I got the Steady, and was deciding which uke to go in there and which hard case to phase out. I thought it'd be the cheap and cheerful one that came with my Koaloha. But then I noticed, in the Steady case and in the cheap and cheerful hard case, my ukes could lie completely flat, and in the expensive Oahu case, the neck support was too shallow and the ukes lie at a steep angle. So much for price = quality! That's the case that was phased out.

Anyway, I never saw this thread, so thanks for necromancing it. It touches on something that no one ever wants to talk about, and that's just what the hell are the conditions in these uke factories? The evidence of the better ukes coming out of china would suggest that the factories are nice places, but all we hear is a rumor here or there. If these brands had real pride to them, you'd think they'd let us see who builds the ukes, let them know how highly we think of the work that goes into them. Seriously the Western factories get that recognition why can't these? Yeah yeah, culture.. doesn't make the isolation right.

And if these factories aren't nice places, then that's something that needs fixing, but no one knows, no one talks about it. Thanks Teek for bringing it up. Who wants a slave labor land fill uke? Who wants suffering so that they can save 20 bucks?

There's two types of made in China. There's made in China with pride, like that guy who pioneered solar panels, or that group of audiophiles looking to build an earbud that would sound like full size monitors. Then you the better uke factories which might also be made in China with pride. Then you have the other side of the coin. We criticize not because we are against China, but because we are for humanity. Ok, that last bit isn't supposed to sound like a manifesto, I just get a bit wary of the closet xenophobes who hop on the anti-made-in-China bandwagon, when all most of us want is to not exploit anyone, and to not be poisoned. It's a small wish, really. :)

Gwynedd
03-22-2012, 12:27 PM
I wasn't happy with pets getting offed by melamine. When it was dry wall rotting out houses, I got a bit concerned but I wasn't worried. Infants and children drank tainted milk, but heck, that was in China so it wasn't affecting me. BUT NOW IT'S POISONED UKE CASES?????


We must institute an embargo immediately. I will settle for nothing less.

osogris
03-22-2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the warning ! My china made Ohana sopranino
Had it's bridge come off !!
Moral of the story - avoid all china made stuff

I just had the bridge pop off an Ohana soprano, with Southcoast strings on it, so low tension. Did you fix yours? I have been mulling over how much I want to pour into mine...

ksiegel
03-22-2012, 01:38 PM
Just checked my Kala, in the Fremont Black Tenor case I got from Elderly last year - no staining, still good. I keep two home-made humidifiers in the case, and it has been at 50%RH all winter (according to the paper humidity indicator from Damp-it.)

And no smell, either.



-Kurt

austin1
03-22-2012, 02:33 PM
Thank you for the heads-up regarding the cases, I'm sure plenty of Fremont case owners appreciate the warning so they can make sure theirs are still in proper working order. However, your anti-China remarks rubbed me as possibly being offensive to Chinese uke players or uke players of Chinese heritage, of which there are many.

As others have pointed out, there are plenty of really great ukes and uke products made in China. Two defective cases do not reflect on China as a nation, in the same was that two defective Martins do not reflect on all of America and it's territories. If you want to raise the question of Chinese social and economic policies (and that is a completely valid question that should be, and is being, raised), it seems to me that the best place to do it wouldn't be in a thread like this.

Just my two cents.

Plainsong
03-22-2012, 02:55 PM
Jeez, did you even read the thread? No of course not, you have a fine track record of specifically not reading before you post. Teek clarified her stance to state she was anti exploitation of NOT just the consumer, but of the workers as well. How could she be anti-China if she is pro Chinese people being treated well in the factories?

I suppose this stance is offensive... if you're the manager of a factory with slave conditions.

It is EXACTLY the right place to talk about this.

You skimmed it, thought you might see a xenophobic vibe and posted away. Read post #11 it's all there.

Nickie
03-22-2012, 03:53 PM
Teek, sorry to hear about that. Ukulele damage always makes me sad. I read here somewhere that an orange in the case is good. I wonder if that would soak up the toxins, then you could send the orange back to China.
JK.
There is hardly anything you can buy that didn't come from there, except mabye real estate, firewood, some vegetables and friuts. I'm pretty sure they even make our insulin. Hell, prabably even our nuclear bombs!

Jon Moody
03-22-2012, 03:57 PM
Good to know. My Boat Paddle uke came with a Fremont case. However, I use that case only to transport it as that uke sits atop my dresser when not being gigged.

haolejohn
03-22-2012, 04:32 PM
I'm moving to China in 18 months.


















oh...and my freemont case is fine. Had it for over 2 years. No issues.

austin1
03-22-2012, 07:06 PM
Jeez, did you even read the thread? No of course not, you have a fine track record of specifically not reading before you post. Teek clarified her stance to state she was anti exploitation of NOT just the consumer, but of the workers as well. How could she be anti-China if she is pro Chinese people being treated well in the factories?

I suppose this stance is offensive... if you're the manager of a factory with slave conditions.

It is EXACTLY the right place to talk about this.

You skimmed it, thought you might see a xenophobic vibe and posted away. Read post #11 it's all there.

I read the entire thread twice, including post number 11, before I stated my opinion. I don't appreciate being attacked for posting. I believed my post was fairly neutral and not inflammatory, in that all I tried to say was I don't find it very fair to take two defective cases and use them to judge every product coming out of an entire country. While I appreciate the OP's heads-up on the product, and agree with her on her pro-worker stance, I believe my opinion is still valid. If you want to discuss my choice of words or my personal opinion, feel free to PM me, but otherwise, I would appreciate having the same right to post that everyone else enjoys.

Thanks,
Tina

Plainsong
03-22-2012, 10:47 PM
You weren't called names, I just stated what it is that you usually do, and pointed out the post that adressed your issues. If you read the thread then it was not at all clear in your post. You can be offended about lots things if you want to, but no one is out to get you or your race. In fact up until this point there's just been concern about conditions and quality. Certainly that shouldn't be considered a hot button topic, or else no one is allowed to talk about a uke or related product going wrong? If you just relaxed and realized no one is out to get you, then maybe this would solve itself.

Teek
03-23-2012, 12:12 AM
Austin Please don't exaggerate. NOT a whole country and NOT an entire people, I was pointing out DANGEROUS MANUFACTURING PRACTICES.

It's not personal, it just is. You might note I mentioned that this all happens all over, though it apparently happens nowhere else to this large an extent and with such apparently intentional disregard for the welfare of others as an accepted part of the process. Poison in toothpaste? Pesticides in dumplings? Formeldahyde in blankets?

My stepson has been working in China for the last six months, we've really enjoyed hearing about his adventures and he's had a few. It's a gorgeous country in many ways, it's a shame about the Yellow River (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/05/china/yellow-river/larmer-text) though. Here we just set our rivers on fire (http://www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2009/06/cuyahoga_river_fire_40_years_a.html). And now with fracking, we can set our tap water on fire (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904060604576570771877713378.html?m od=WSJ_hps_PhotosModule_1#slide/1).

Anyway he wanted to quit and come home. I really felt he should stick out his contract. Then I did a quick Google search for general safety issues with China's exports to answer your post, as it was the only reason I originally thought it might be something involved in the manufacturing of the cases, because there is a track record here.

1 (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385024,00.asp)
2 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11656278)
3 (http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/category/issues/china/china-and-product-safety)
4 (http://www.who-sucks.com/business/made-in-china-2007-danger-timeline)
5 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/business/worldbusiness/22iht-safety.4.7214297.html)
6 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/business/worldbusiness/22iht-safety.4.7214297.html) Pages 2 and 3 are helpful for anyone dieting.
7 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20254745/ns/business-consumer_news/t/mattel-issues-new-massive-china-toy-recall/#.T2w9HDEgdtU)
8 (http://www.chinalawblog.com/2011/08/chinas_contaminated_food_already_arrived_at_a_groc ery_near_you_1.html)
9 (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chinese-drywall-problems-health-effects-32402.html)
10 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/04/business/worldbusiness/04iht-food.5.6497264.html)
11 (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/china-food-risk/)

That's just the tip of the iceberg. It was swept under the rug a long time and now the truth is coming out. No disrespect is intended. It eventually comes out in the US, Europe, and Africa too, it doesn't matter where.

That just is, too.

PS: I forgot to mention US beef being banned for mad cow, and the despicable manufacturing process for US meat overall. Absolutely appalling, and then there are all the recalls and the deaths from e-coli as an example of big corporations not giving a damn here, but that's old news. Still going on too.

ukeeku
03-23-2012, 01:21 AM
I skimmed most of this and did not find the answer to this question. did anyone contact Takumi Ukulele company yet? http://takumiukulele.com/
They "make" the cases and they would probably like to hear about this issue. If you have contacted them or you are not sure who to talk to, please feel free to PM me and I will get you the proper contact information.

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 01:19 AM
Austin1, I found your post completely innocuous and well-intentioned. I find nothing at all political about what you wrote, and those who spend their time politically-motivated will see it through their particular looking glass every time. I appreciate your view: a couple of bad cases, or Martins or anythings, does not damn them all.

This thread seems to reveal that teek's sad issue may be unique. Tim has a lovely idea to call Kiwaya Takume and share your experience with them. If you do, please keep us in the loop of what you find out.

I don't humidify in the case. I think, theory only, that may loosen glues and fabric dyes? I don't know. I just don't want a gym locker smelling case. But, don't know if that was a factor in this case. Still a case issue, not a owner issue, even if it was done by op.

Appreciate everyone's updates. I'll use my new Fremont, which had no odor at all, btw, and watch my uke neck and woods intently.

garyg
03-24-2012, 02:10 AM
Greetings strummers, I didn't find Teek's post xenophobic and I can understand why she supported her opinions with other examples of poor manufacturing standards when challenged, even though they are not uke-related. As the owner of two stinky "generic" cases I appreciated her bringing up the subject again and it is a general issue for uke owners as two previous posts on the issue have brought up
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49562-icky-case-smell&highlight=garyg
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?53673-Do-you-have-a-uke-case-that-smells-very-lemony-%28over-powering%29&highlight=stinky+cases

As someone who has two years of college chemistry behind him I think that it’s likely that the smell is being caused by some noxious chemical that is not good for either ukes or uke players. I still worry about possible damage to my ukes although I haven’t seen any. OTOH, I aired both of these cases out for two weeks in my hot garage and then put those baking soda boxes in them for another two weeks but if the cases aren’t periodically opened then the noxious odor still builds up. My cases came with used ukes from a private party so there was no point in contacting the manufacturer because I had no standing. I do worry about uke damage and so have to rotate ukes in and out of those cases, which are quite well made aside from the stink.

As a general comment, I don’t really think that flaming someone gets anywhere regardless of whether it’s deserved or not. Most times these strong reactions come about because someone makes a comment on an issue that is really important to someone else and they respond accordingly, but frequently the OP was just imprecisely phrased and the OP’s original intent was not what the flamer is responding to. Perhaps starting out “Maybe this is not what you meant but this is how I interpreted your post” or responding with a PM first rather than a flame will lead to better communication. The board is fantastic and although I probably sound pretty pompous, I don’t want to hijack the thread and turn it into netiquette, but it seemed worth a mention given that I respect everyone involved in these exchanges.

Kayak Jim
03-24-2012, 02:35 AM
Coming from a long career in the chemical industry I can add that there's a huge difference between off gassing levels that result in a odour (often low parts per million) and those which would result in damage to the finish as shown. I would expect a smell from a new case (just like I expect a new car or new carpet or fresh paint smell) but not finish damage.

+1 for contacting the company

Gwynedd
03-24-2012, 03:03 AM
Coming as well from almost 30 yrs in chemistry industry (I retired to non-smelly finance) I can agree except; people's sense of smell is variable. For example, despite years in the lab as a young person, I still can smell down to PPB. (My ex husband called me Fang. I could tell if someone we didn't know had been in our apartment, what sex they were and what they had been doing. Walked in the door one day with ex, and told him, some guy has been in here, he fixed the sink. I could smell male sweat and machine oil all they way from the kitchen in back.) Other people can't even smell a skunk next to them.

Secondly, the gases, if they are heavier than air, can stay close to where they outgas and cling to an area, thus concentrate and damage finish.

However, in general, I agree with you that a new case will smell but not cause a problem. But I have also seen foam products from overseas that have too much solvent left in them and produce a lot of solvent vapour.

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 03:28 AM
Well, since I have over 100 years in the chemical industry....

sorry, I couldn't resist...lol


My ex husband called me Fang. I could tell if someone we didn't know had been in our apartment, what sex they were and what they had been doing.
Yes, but could you smell if they were having sex in your apartment? lol

Hey, seriously, for those chem quants out there, wouldn't humidifying a case to, say, 50%+ relative humidity in a closed space potentially soften some glue or fabric stain guard or something that could damage a wood finish?

garyg
03-24-2012, 03:31 AM
But we're not talking about smells or off-gasssing that goes away after a week or two, we're talking about aerosols that are persisting for months and years. I can't conclude that off gassing is damaging my ukes (although my scientific intuition tells me that it can't be good when a uke out of the case smells like a chemical factory) but I can say that my generic cases were not properly constructed when they still emit a strong residual odor of what smells like some noxious compound after having been left open literally for months at a time and also sealed with odor absorbing materials for weeks, and 8 months later it's still occurring.

Gwynedd
03-24-2012, 03:44 AM
Well, if the one guy had had sex, yeah, I would have known. FORTUNATELY he came to screw in a tap, not screw in a flat.

uke4life
03-24-2012, 04:15 AM
Back on the Fremont Case topic. I've had Freemont rectangular cases for years with no issues at all to the finish on my instruments. I kept my K-ukuleles in them for year with no adverse effects. Now, I could be lucky or blessed, but I really like them a lot and will continue to purchase them. However, I will keep a closer eye on the areas talked about.

Gwynedd
03-24-2012, 04:22 AM
When companies change factories or outsource to (you know where) to save money and stay profitable, they have to specify the product, inspect it and do qa/qc on the results. If the person there assures them all is well and proves it, but then they don't keep up the standards of mfg after the foreign bosses leave, you can get garbage. I have gotten commode seats with bolts that are made of metal containing slag (bad steel) defective this and that, moldy stuff. It is no mean trick to manufacture overseas and transfering manufacter or changing who or what is making your stuff can change the product from great to ghastly. The brand name these days may be an assurance of quality or it may not be.

I suspect everything. When we went to buy a foam bed a few years ago, I could tell there were now cheap copies being made (you know where) and that more solvent was in the foam and it was outgassing a lot. I estimated that more solvent probably got a higher level of finished foam molded beds without failure loss, but the downside was too much vapor thereafter. I nixed the beds as unhealthy due to too much VOC.

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 04:23 AM
Well, if the one guy had had sex, yeah, I would have known. FORTUNATELY he came to screw in a tap, not screw in a flat. LOL Thanks, Fang.

uke4life
03-24-2012, 09:53 AM
I was going through some of my guitar cases and the residual chemical smells from Calton Cases are probably the worst and they cost anywhere from $500+ dollars depending on the size. After years of use there seems to still be the Calton smell, but not as strong. I even think my Pegasus Case from across the pond had a faint odor, but I sold those off with my mandolins. I also checked my Fremont Case again and granted mine is for a concert, but that contact point is not where the finish damage appeared on the OP's uke. Until reading this thread, I never worried of case smells to possibly cause finish damage.

ukulelelalala
04-17-2012, 02:45 PM
I own a Fremont case and I don’t have any odor in mine. I think the advice to contact the manufacturer is good advice. So far, with the exception of the occasional odor (which is not specific to any particular brand of case), no one else has experienced what the OP has experienced with regard to damaging of instruments from Fremont cases. Therefore, I think it is fair to point out that it may be a slippery slope to assume that the damage is from the case at this point. It may also be unfair to the manufacturer (and the Chinese workers who made them) to infer that the damage may be from the case. At least one poster here has said they will now “be sure to steer clear of those cases”. We have no proof that the damage is from the Fremont case. I’m just saying…. no disrespect intended to anyone….

Joe

ukulelelalala
04-17-2012, 02:59 PM
I just sent an e-mail to Takumi Ukulele Company asking them to respond to this thread...

Joe

coolkayaker1
04-17-2012, 04:15 PM
"Therefore, I think it is fair to point out that it may be a slippery slope to assume that the damage is from the case at this point. "--Joe

I couldn't agree more. Sounds like an isolated "case" (LOL), and frankly, many factors (is there a humidifier in the case causing humidity damage, is there a finish on the uke causing issues, etc.). Point well taken, Joe.

I will say, though, that I doubt Takume will have much more to say than, in essence, never heard of this before.

But, we shall see. I will say, my tenor Fremont from Elderly from two months ago had no odor (and never will, b/c I do not humidify in my cases).

Cheers!

ejnovinsky
04-17-2012, 04:20 PM
Just got my Soprano fremont case from Elderly as well, and there is definitely an odor (akin to a new shoe sort of smell) its pretty weak, and in the week or so my uke been in there no issues at all. Hopefully it stays that way......

ukulelelalala
04-17-2012, 04:27 PM
Here is the reply from Takumi Ukulele Co. I thanked him for the quick reply. I will post when I hear back from him:

Dear Joseph

Thank you for let us know.

We've been selling the Fremont cases for 4 years now. We never get the problem or complains before.

We order the cases through Japanese company. They contract with chinese manufacture and making all kind of cases. They also sell same kind of cases in Japan.

I don't hear any problem. But I'd like to find out what's cause the problem. I'm asking the company in Japan right now. They will contact with manufacture in China.

I'll let you know as soon as I get the answer.

Thank you again for let us know.

Hitomi Kato
Takumi Ukulele Co.

ejnovinsky
04-17-2012, 04:41 PM
Wow, that was quick...those guys are no joke.......Kamakas have lacquer finishes right? I wonder if this could be as simple as someone got some glue inside the case during assembly and used acetone to clean it up leaving some residue in the case that ate through a thin spot in the lacquer. Acetone is even used as an ingredient in some glues as well, you mix bits of plastic with it and it makes a glue that dries as the acetone evaporates. It would be interesting to know whats in the glue.......course now that I think on it acetone would eat a poly finish as well..........hmmmmmm

ukulelelalala
04-19-2012, 02:44 PM
Here is the response from Mr. Kato of Takumi Ukuleles:

Dear Joseph

I talk to the case company in Japan.
They also talk to the manufacture in China.

I wanted know what kind of glue they use for the cases.
They just use regular glue for wooden craft.
The case company is selling same kind of cases over 10 years
they don't have any problem.
We sold over thousand of cases but we didn't get any claim.

Moisture or finish on the ukulele? I'm not sure.

I couldn't help you much.

Best regards,
Hitomi Kato
Takumi Ukulele Co.

Ronnie Aloha
04-19-2012, 02:52 PM
That was quick. Perhaps its the glue manufacturer that has changed their process and not the case maker.

ukulelelalala
04-19-2012, 03:08 PM
If it is the glue, we should hear of more problems. I guess time will tell. For the time being, it seems to be isolated to this one complaint. Neither the manufacturer nor other owners of these cases who are on these forums have reported this problem. Maybe the OP should examine other possible causes for the damage in the interim...

MGM
04-19-2012, 04:00 PM
I have sold tons of fremont cases from Hitomi at Takumi and have never ever had 1 complaint of bad smell or finish being affected by it....I am amp to think it was the problem with the chemical composition of what was on the uke rather than what the case did. Misapplied and mixed lacquer or poly finishes can be mixed wrong...Without botht the uke and case i cannot make a good judgment or determination but the numbers seem to indicate this is a very isolated incident.

coolkayaker1
04-19-2012, 06:03 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5-NF6awsPE

Thanks, ukulalalal for checking into it. That's great that you got a reply. Hitomi is a "she" (u couldn't tell by the name, huh? lol)--here she is on the UU video for 2012 NAMM. Hey, man, Kiwaya KTS-4...yess! Nice see the faces of Kiwaya (or Takume, with is a lousy name, but whatever).

ukulelelalala
04-20-2012, 05:57 AM
Sorry Hitomi! (If you read this) :)

coolkayaker1 - Yes, I love my Kiwaya! Wow, a Master Series Koa Tenor... must be sweet!

SailingUke
04-20-2012, 06:34 AM
Since they get the cases from a manufacturer that makes many brands of cases, I also doubt it was a case issue.
I have had cases with a funny smell, but usually a day or so of leaving the case open cures the problem as the glue gases off.

hoosierhiver
04-20-2012, 07:36 AM
"As a general comment, I don’t really think that flaming someone gets anywhere regardless of whether it’s deserved or not. Most times these strong reactions come about because someone makes a comment on an issue that is really important to someone else and they respond accordingly, but frequently the OP was just imprecisely phrased and the OP’s original intent was not what the flamer is responding to. Perhaps starting out “Maybe this is not what you meant but this is how I interpreted your post” or responding with a PM first rather than a flame will lead to better communication. The board is fantastic and although I probably sound pretty pompous, I don’t want to hijack the thread and turn it into netiquette, but it seemed worth a mention given that I respect everyone involved in these exchanges. "

Nice post Gary

callmemario
06-09-2012, 05:57 AM
OMG!!! So I'm not the only one freaking out about guitar/uke cases?!! I had just received my new Kala tenor solid spruce top and asked the store if they had a harshell "Uke crazy" tweed case fot it, (LOVE those tweed cases) sure enough they did BUT THE SMELL/STENCH emanating from the case once opened was enough to get high on! It actually smelled TOXIC. Really! I said to myself well I'm going to take it anyway and let it "air out" a few days in the sun outside, which I did, but it did not remove the smell. So I tried baking soda powder put some in small open containers inside the case and closed it, changed the soda every day for 3 days, it did not change anything. Went to the pet shop and got myself aromatic natural cedar wood chips and did the same thing for 3 days, somewhat improved but not to my saticfaction. There was NO WAY I was going to get my brand new uke to smell like the case, the reverse is better, right? So I returned the case and ordered the "Uke Crazy" alligator finish hard shell case, (smelled another one like it in the store and it was fine). Must have been a particular glue they had used for those tweed cases. Anyways, I'm hoping they are not all like that. WORST would be for the case to damage my uke ESPECIALLY now that I have just treated myself to a Kiwaya KTS-4. Anyway, guitar cases always emanate a little smell but usually it's nothing overwhelming or annoying. But I certainly would not want it to affect my ukulele's natural and wonderful wood smell. So I don't know what I should get now, hardshell or soft shell or just a soft uke cover of somekind or Nothing?!... Actually the hardshell was more for winter storage as I can put a Oasis humidifier inside the uke...Anyways. I'm sorry to hear about TEEK's ukes! :-0

callmemario
06-09-2012, 08:11 AM
Wow, that was quick...those guys are no joke.......Kamakas have lacquer finishes right? I wonder if this could be as simple as someone got some glue inside the case during assembly and used acetone to clean it up leaving some residue in the case that ate through a thin spot in the lacquer. Acetone is even used as an ingredient in some glues as well, you mix bits of plastic with it and it makes a glue that dries as the acetone evaporates. It would be interesting to know whats in the glue.......course now that I think on it acetone would eat a poly finish as well..........hmmmmmm
__________________________________________________ ____________

Hmmm...that would seem to make sense! Good point!

callmemario
01-13-2014, 09:45 AM
It's been a while, just wondering IF THEY HAVE CORRECTED THE PROBLEM?...I had bought one of these beautiful tweed cases for my tenor uke BUT it stank SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH that I had to return it. I put it out in the summer sun for days, I used aromatic cedar wood chips, etc...but to no avail. There was NO WAY I was going to put my beloved ukulele inside one of these stink tanks, besides the stench, WHO knows, WHAT damage it could have caused to my uke!. I don't know what kind of glue they use in the making, but something needs to be revised here for sure. Ended up buying these foam cases covered with black nylon fabric. They are inexpensive, light, but not as pretty but. They are GREAT to control humidity levels during those long and dry winter months! :-) So this bad deal turned into something good for me. :-)

it could have
Hmm, I've got one in tweed that I ordered with my Kiwaya longneck. It didn't smell and so far so good but thanks for the heads up - I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

John

ukulelelalala
01-14-2014, 12:28 PM
I have had mine for about two years now and there was no smell when I got it, and there is no smell now. There seems to be an inconsistency in how many are actually defective. I wonder if there are such things as Fremont case "knock-offs"? Or maybe they have different factories and one uses a different glue?

callmemario
01-14-2014, 04:02 PM
Well, I don't know about you but I ain't putting my Kiwaya KTS-4 in no stinking case!. I don't care WHAT their reason or excuse is. A stinking case is a stinking case and will always smell and worst the instrument will absorb the smell and maybe damage the uke on mid to long term basis. It's funny though, when I 've got a problem...it always seems like I am the only one, " We never heard of this problem before!..."

Conclusion, I found those great (but not so pretty) uke case made of hard foam covered with this nylon black fabric with a zipper to close the case. NO smell and they are inexpensive and are great to conserve relative humidity inside the case with in case humidifier for those long and dry winter months. So I've got a super great uke...but with a not so pretty case. But at least it does the job very well.





I have had mine for about two years now and there was no smell when I got it, and there is no smell now. There seems to be an inconsistency in how many are actually defective. I wonder if there are such things as Fremont case "knock-offs"? Or maybe they have different factories and one uses a different glue?