View Full Version : Making a cheap uke better? Eventual give-away?

09-05-2008, 07:55 PM
Okay, so I got my replacement Makala via UPS a couple days ago from Kala. They sent me a replacement when I told them about the decal that was flaking off around the sound hole. The decal has completely flaked off and now there is a lighter discolored ring where the decal used to be.

Anyway... I have a spare Makala soprano uke. I can never leave anything alone and I like to tinker and improve things whenever I can. I'm curious as to what I can do to make a cheap ukelele better?

I know the obvious string upgrade.

To repair the light discoloration around the sound hole, would I have to resand and restain the uke? Any other ideas?

I was thinking about upgrading the tuners? How do you address holes from the screws the previous tuners made?

Anything else?

I realize that it may not be worth it, but it gives me something to do. :) This is sort of an experiment for me to learn more about working on ukuleles. When all is said and done, I'd like to give one of my ukes away to someone in need.

On another note, the two Makala's aren't identical. The bridge on Makala #1 is square with dark stain similar to the fret board and the bridge on Makala #2 is a little fancier and stained the same color as the body of the uke. The tuners on the replacement Makala weren't installed very square either. I'm not going to complain because of the cost of the Makala and the fact that it was a free replacement. Just an observation.

09-06-2008, 03:23 AM
add a pick-up
make it an 8-string ukulele
add some crazy inlays

What a great opportunity to experiment.

09-06-2008, 06:32 AM
Put a coat of Varnish or poly on it and it will change the sound, that way you have different sounding Soprano's.

Use one as your travel Uke and the other as your home Uke.

09-06-2008, 04:20 PM
get some lighter fuild and just remove the whole decal rosette What it leaves behind in a perfect lighter brown ring that looks like a cool wood rosette.

09-06-2008, 04:50 PM
get some lighter fuild and just. . .

I thought you were going to say "light it up."

09-06-2008, 09:50 PM
I thought you were going to say...
He had me there for a second as well.

What about the "eventual give-away" part? If you are going to improve anything, do it to your player so you can enjoy the benefits. Just clean the old one up (it's new!) and perhaps you can make someone happy? Selling it wouldn't give you more cash than refraining from going to Starbucks 3 or 4 times :)

Or keep it in case the other one goes funky. Are you any good artistically? Sand it down and make it a one-off rocking machine :music:

09-06-2008, 11:24 PM
I thought you were going to say "light it up."

hahaha :D
expensive fire wood

09-07-2008, 07:34 AM
kekani never throw away a uke It can always be used for something no matter how bad.....instand birdhouse(my personal favorite) ....armed weapon...... wAll decor....parts for other ukes....Did you know for example if you had a vinatge gretch drum set and sold it as a set you would be great money for it. but if you took it all apart and sold it as replacement parts you would double that profit????

09-07-2008, 08:54 AM
kekani never throw away a uke It can always be used for something no matter how bad.....instand birdhouse(my personal favorite)

:D Ditto that!