View Full Version : New DIY scratchplate for Kiwaya K-Wave

09-30-2011, 05:06 PM
I recently picked up this little used Kiwaya K-Wave 'telecaster' ukulele.
I'm not usually a big fan of 'mini-guitar' ukuleles, but couldn't resist this one going very cheap on ebay germany.

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The original black scratchplate was quite a poor fit around the neck socket and lifting a bit around the cutaway. Also the glossy black is a crazy fingerprint magnet, so I decided to have a go at replacing it.

I've always been a fan of pearloid and its slightly tacky, retro charm, so I picked up a sheet of self-adhesive 0.7mm acoustic guitar pickguard blank from allparts.com
The full sheet measured 9 1/2" x 12", so enough for two tries if my cutting hand wasn't up to it.


First step was to remove the old scratchplate. I heated the 'plate with a hairdryer and as it was already lifting slightly, I slid a plastic spatula carefully around the edges and with the glue softened, it came off pretty easily.
Removing the sticky residue was another matter. I found that a little metal polish paste did the trick.

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I used the old scratchplate as a guide and carefully cut the pearloid to shape using several sharp snap-off craft knife blades and then smoothed off any flat spots with sandpaper. I left the area around the neck pocket untrimmed and cut it to fit after the new scratchplate had been stuck down, then smoothed the curves with some fine sandpaper wrapped around a pencil.

Pretty pleased with the end result.