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View Full Version : Is there a simple way to gloss up our ukuleles?



Bao
09-29-2011, 07:12 PM
I currently own a Lanikai which I really want to gloss up since I'm not much of a fan of satin finishes. I've handled woodwork in highschool for a year but i didn't really go so well at it.

Is there a simple tutorial anywhere that will help me?

or would there be places which will do the job for me?

KimosTherapy
09-29-2011, 07:25 PM
Aloha Bao,

There was a post started here on UU about glossing up a satin finish Kala uke. Here's the link:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?31578-Kala-Acacia-Tenor...All-Dressed-Up&highlight=acacia

From what I've read, most people are using 3M Finesse It II Finishing Polish/Material. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Bao
09-29-2011, 07:32 PM
Thank you for the link cnkguitarsandukes !

I'm curious though, did he just polish the ukulele up once? It doesn't look like he stated it.

mik55
09-29-2011, 08:46 PM
I'm curious though, did he just polish the ukulele up once? It doesn't look like he stated it.

Yes, it's done once. And as I said, the process is irreversible which means that the glossed surface cannot be turned back to the initial perfect satin finish again.

Bao
09-29-2011, 09:45 PM
That's fine, I don't really like satin finishes anyway.
I'm curious about what products can be used though
Are those guitar polishes like "D'Andrea" and "dr. ducks ax wax" able to provide me with the same results as seen in your pictures on the "kala acacia tenor" thread?

That's about all i need to know now after reading the "kala acacia" thread.

mik55
09-29-2011, 10:03 PM
Are those guitar polishes like "D'Andrea" and "dr. ducks ax wax" able to provide me with the same results as seen in your pictures on the "kala acacia tenor" thread?

I'm not sure about this. These wax polishes are ment to shine up a dull surface but might not be abrasive enough to come from a satin finish to a full mirror gloss.

Bao
09-29-2011, 10:09 PM
Ah i see. I'm hoping to get a full mirror glossy finish like the kala acacia, that was a real beauty !
I saw that you said you used a metal polish that didn't use silicone right?

mik55
09-30-2011, 01:09 AM
I saw that you said you used a metal polish that didn't use silicone right?

That's correct. Metal polish without silicone will do the job. But please do not try to speed up the buffing process by using a Dremel or another power tool.

Bao
09-30-2011, 02:03 AM
That's correct. Metal polish without silicone will do the job. But please do not try to speed up the buffing process by using a Dremel or another power tool.

Ah alright, thank you so much. I shall start looking for this metal polish soon.

Trinimon
09-30-2011, 02:24 AM
Found this if you're interested.

http://www.tomyoungguitar.com/OrsinoizingPage.html

drbekken
09-30-2011, 04:07 AM
Just a little rookie question: Does the instrument in question have to be solid wood...or does this work with laminates?

mik55
09-30-2011, 04:19 AM
Just a little rookie question: Does the instrument in question have to be solid wood...or does this work with laminates?

As the buffing removes / compresses parts of the lacquer; the wood itself is not involved in this process.

Bao
09-30-2011, 04:45 AM
Hey Mike, how long did the whole process take for you ?

I'm guessing that this will be a job which takes a few weeks to complete?

mik55
09-30-2011, 07:08 AM
I'm guessing that this will be a job which takes a few weeks to complete?

Removing the strings & tuners, masking the bridge, saddle & fretboard, buffing the complete instrument and then reinstall everything takes about one or two weekends for a soprano or a concert. (Done without any hurry.) I've started my buffing experience on acoustic guitars and if you are used to buff a whole guitar then it's a piece of cake to do that on the tiny ukulele surfaces.

raecarter
09-30-2011, 07:34 AM
Heres my attempt http://db.tt/elzJxsDr

Trinimon
09-30-2011, 08:40 AM
Just got back from the local music shop and found out they did carry the Virtuoso polish. I noticed they also carried a Virtuoso Premium Cleaner for scratches etc. Is the Cleaner too aggressive?

raecarter
09-30-2011, 10:41 AM
Just got back from the local music shop and found out they did carry the Virtuoso polish. I noticed they also carried a Virtuoso Premium Cleaner for scratches etc. Is the Cleaner too aggressive?

My post above click that link that is done with virtuoso Polish it is good, smells nice too

marymac
09-30-2011, 09:19 PM
I used the 3M Finesse II polish and it worked well. It took more work than I thought though, so while it looks glossier than before I will continue polishing it next time I change the strings.

Trinimon
10-01-2011, 03:58 AM
Thanks! I tried the link yesterday at work and it wasn't working but worked just now. Damn, looks great!


My post above click that link that is done with virtuoso Polish it is good, smells nice too

raecarter
10-01-2011, 06:01 AM
Thanks! I tried the link yesterday at work and it wasn't working but worked just now. Damn, looks great!

It has had lots of goes on it now I would get two bottles for sure as I've used it on my other uke to clean it up. It is hard work and is not an easy job but I'm pleased with the polish

Trinimon
10-01-2011, 08:56 AM
It has had lots of goes on it now I would get two bottles for sure as I've used it on my other uke to clean it up. It is hard work and is not an easy job but I'm pleased with the polish

I got to say, I got lots of respect for you for the amount of time required to get this thing to gloss. I figured since it's going to take THAT much work, I might as well do the uke I want to gloss up and thankfully I did 'cause HOLY that's a lot of elbow grease! I started polishing my Kala Acacia concert. 4hours in and I've got the headstock and 3/4 of the soundboard! Too late to stop now. lol

raecarter
10-01-2011, 10:50 AM
I got to say, I got lots of respect for you for the amount of time required to get this thing to gloss. I figured since it's going to take THAT much work, I might as well do the uke I want to gloss up and thankfully I did 'cause HOLY that's a lot of elbow grease! I started polishing my Kala Acacia concert. 4hours in and I've got the headstock and 3/4 of the soundboard! Too late to stop now. lol

Took me a while to get the technique right. I lightly worked in a circular motion applying no pressure till it became sticky after I had done this a lot I then started applying more pressure to work it in

Bao
10-01-2011, 09:41 PM
That's a nice job you've done on the ukuleles rae.
The back of my ukulele is almost as glossy as your ukulele picture. But i've still got the front and sides to do.
Would it look weird if i didn't polish the headstock though?

raecarter
10-01-2011, 10:04 PM
That's a nice job you've done on the ukuleles rae.
The back of my ukulele is almost as glossy as your ukulele picture. But i've still got the front and sides to do.
Would it look weird if i didn't polish the headstock though?

Thanks that's personal choice I guess. I didn't do my headstock properly until yesterday but I'm glad I did as I didn't realise the kala logo is cut out of the acacia and it is actually rosewood coming.through which looks really nice

Bao
10-01-2011, 10:52 PM
Oh yeah, the headstock logo, I heard that if we were to polish it up, the logo would disappear if it were painted on only?
My lanikai's logo seems to be painted on only and I wouldn't want the logo to disappear.
Would you happen to know if that's true or not?

raecarter
10-01-2011, 11:00 PM
Oh yeah, the headstock logo, I heard that if we were to polish it up, the logo would disappear if it were painted on only?
My lanikai's logo seems to be painted on only and I wouldn't want the logo to disappear.
Would you happen to know if that's true or not?

What uke are you doing? I don't understand how.polishing would do tthat?

Bao
10-02-2011, 12:53 AM
I'm doing my solid wood Lanikai SMP-TCA.
Not sure either, i just heard it somewhere, ah well.
Since it's a slot head ukulele though, i think i'll just skip the headstock polishing, seems like a lot of work.

mik55
10-02-2011, 04:01 AM
I'm doing my solid wood Lanikai SMP-TCA.
Not sure either, i just heard it somewhere, ah well.
Since it's a slot head ukulele though, i think i'll just skip the headstock polishing, seems like a lot of work.

As I said:

- Be aware that buffing is an abrasive process. You will remove / compact the outer parts of the finish which also implies that all decorations sitting on top of the finish - e.g. headstock logos or rosette decals - will be removed.

So better skip the headstock if the logo on it is a decal and it's valuable for you.

On the other hand: a slotted headstock looks gorgeous when properly buffed.

mycdavid
10-03-2011, 12:47 PM
Beautiful! Have any before and after pics?

Trinimon
10-03-2011, 03:23 PM
Some before and after pics. I don't think I'll be doing this again 'cause it took approx 10-11hrs of buffing by hand and I think it could still use some a little more buffing.

A big MAHALO to Rae for pointing me to using Virtuoso Premium Polish and info on buffing.

BEFORE:

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6027/6209162935_bb9a2e877f_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6131/6209685654_0911b7f360_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6054/6209163313_4e7029bdaa_z.jpg

AFTER:

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6011/6209171143_d952b5fa09_z.jpg

Trinimon
10-03-2011, 03:26 PM
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6037/6209169729_a860590b4c_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6004/6209684404_61872d0ddc_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6168/6209169083_8fe05c6790_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6132/6209678336_d9ec2ba5ed_z.jpg

raecarter
10-04-2011, 01:40 AM
Great job mate! Its interesting the tone of the wood varies so much mine is much darker that yours

steel rider
11-03-2013, 07:53 PM
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6037/6209169729_a860590b4c_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6004/6209684404_61872d0ddc_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6168/6209169083_8fe05c6790_z.jpg

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6132/6209678336_d9ec2ba5ed_z.jpg

Beautiful looking Acacia. Does it sound different at all?


Thanks

Bao
11-03-2013, 08:15 PM
Steel rider, it shouldn't sound different at all since all buffing is is taking away a tiny bit of the finish. The only way it will sound different is if you decide to redo the whole finish yourself (which I actually accomplished after my uke got banged up badly post-buffing by my cousin). Fortunately, my refinishing job was pretty thin so it still sounds great! Very vibrant.

coolkayaker1
11-04-2013, 01:08 PM
I've used TruOil on at least four ukes to gloss them up. No elbow grease at all, a little steel wool between coats. There's some great youtube videos on it, including a gentleman doing a guitar with TruOil. I highly recommend it...and it's foolproof. You don't like it, 0000 steel wool it off. It's very glossy stuff, and you can knock down the shine to your liking with, again, steel wool. It's not affected the tone of my ukes. I did it on solid body satins, and each of my KoOlau CE electrics. I use paper towels, as in this video.

Here's the video I'm referring to (although there are other videos, such as Gordon's for Mya Moe, this guitar video by Mr Bagwell is the best for demonstration):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6zmitxywKU

LifesShort
11-05-2013, 09:42 AM
Thanks for this. I never knew you could do that with Tru-oil. I've got a 4 day weekend coming up and a couple of ukes that would love to shine. Guess what I'll be doing?

Kevin B
11-05-2013, 11:04 AM
My inexpensive satin Makala pineapple was glossing up (neck and top) just from playing wear. So I used some rubbing compound on it like you use on lacquer and it glossed right up after some hand rubbing.

coolkayaker1
11-05-2013, 10:03 PM
I use the Tru=Oil on the fretboard, too. I bought a custom uke from Mr. Peter Hurney and the fretboar was finished and glossed. So, I got b*llsy and started glossing my fretboards. Glossed 'boards show less wear, and less discoloring from fingers (i.e. dirt). I now Tru-Oil all my fretboards, even my Martins. They look and feel superb.

I like Tru-Oil so much that I was going to use it on my dining room table, but my wife tossed a fit so I stopped.

AndrewKuker
11-06-2013, 12:27 AM
I like Tru-Oil so much that I was going to use it on my dining room table, but my wife tossed a fit so I stopped.

Or with some vinegar on salad! mmm, so ono, plus gloss the bowl!