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PelicanUkuleles
10-19-2011, 07:22 AM
I just picked up this Kamaka Pineapple made in the 50's/60's and, as you can see from the pictures, in needs a little help. I loaded pics to show overall condition of the uke.
It looks as though it suffers from some heat damage like it may have been left in a hot car too long. As you can see the top has a small end warp and the bottom side seam has come apart.
My question to those experienced repairmen/luthiers is what would you recommend to try and fix this problem. How would you go about the repair. Any help, as always, is greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

Don

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Gmoney
10-19-2011, 08:35 AM
Saw that one... congratulations on your purchase. I bought a "well-used" pineapple myself sometime back & for me the best answer was sending it to Kamaka for repair. That was a great decision as they did an amazing job restoring my little uke to its former glory. I'll look up the thread & add it to the post here.

They do an excellent job & give you an estimate before taking it on & though they do say that it may take up to a year for repairs, mine was only about 3 months.

Previous thread:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49140-New-OLD-uke-day!&p=711431#post711431

PelicanUkuleles
10-19-2011, 09:11 AM
Thank you Gmoney. I just love the Kamaka pineapples!

Thank you for the link to your Pineapple restoration. All I can say is WOW!!:drool:
Kamaka did a beautiful job!

I was hoping someone would chime in with a few repair suggestions:o

From the pictures (on ebay) It doesn't look in too bad of condition.

Gmoney did you get a quote from Kamaka before shipping it to them?
Thank you,
Don

Chap
10-19-2011, 09:34 AM
I have a vintage Kamaka in for repair at the factory right now. It has/had significant damage, top damaged beyond repair, neck detached, fretboard broken, etc.

As expected, I had to send it to them to get an estimate. They really need to get hands-on with it.

In my case, the estimate was $250 and 6 months. YMMV.

olgoat52
10-19-2011, 09:35 AM
Looks like quite a bit of work to me.. You can't just squirt some glue in there and clamp it up. That will likely not hold. You need fresh wood surface to reglue. At a minimum it looks like, remove the back, remove the tail block (without screwing up the top) clean the glue off the sides, tail block, inside of top at tail block contact, inside of back at tail block contact and all kerfing contact points and then glue it back together being careful to maintain the neck angle or you will screw up the action.

Allen
10-19-2011, 10:09 AM
If I was to tackle the repair, the back would come off. Tail block removed, cleaned up and reattached. Back then reattached. Once inside you might find other things that have come loose though. Don't know until in there. If action is good right now, then careful measurements of neck angle should be noted so that a jig could be fashioned to hold it in the correct plain when re-glueing the back.

PelicanUkuleles
10-20-2011, 09:06 AM
Thank you everyone for your replies :cool:.

Olgoat52 and Allen I agree and thank you about the note on the neck angle. Do you think the gold label era ukuleles were put together with hide glue?
Thanks for the info Chap! That was quite helpful. I would like to send it to Kamaka and get it repaired. That might be an option as it isn't too expensive.

Gmoney
10-20-2011, 09:26 AM
I did get a quote & that quote was $275 - it came it as $295, which I think was totally reasonable. The original had several (maybe five) significant top cracks, one large crack on the back & the obvious & hidously reattached bridge using wood screws(!) Kamaka completely replaced the top w/a beautiful single piece & fixed the crack on the back & though I know where it is/was; I can't even find any evidence of that crack. I am MORE than pleased with it.

A week ago I was in Charleston visiting my son & he just love it. I noticed something about it that I hadn't noticed before (I'll take & post photos later); the original sides were "slices" of the same piece of Koa as their markings clearly show - a riff on "bookmatching" that I hadn't noticed before. I love that I got it restored by Kamaka & that its good for another run which will likely be to one of my kids or their kids.

Allen
10-20-2011, 10:01 AM
Haven't worked on one, so it's only speculation about the glue. But from the vintage it's quite possible that it's hide glue. Even if it's not, all glues will release with the right amount of heat. Disassembly procedure is going to be similar either way. If it is hide glue the re-glueing is going to be easier though as you don't need to get the surfaces down to bare wood again.

PelicanUkuleles
10-22-2011, 08:01 PM
Haven't worked on one, so it's only speculation about the glue. But from the vintage it's quite possible that it's hide glue. Even if it's not, all glues will release with the right amount of heat. Disassembly procedure is going to be similar either way. If it is hide glue the re-glueing is going to be easier though as you don't need to get the surfaces down to bare wood again.

I believe it's likely hide glue. I haven't worked with HG before and was not aware that the glue doesn't have to be totally removed prior to a glue up. Thank you for that tip. :cool:

Allen
10-22-2011, 10:22 PM
Just like the glue on a stamp. Add a little moisture and heat then stick it down. Except with repairs it's always best to add some fresh glue to the joint.

PelicanUkuleles
10-23-2011, 08:54 AM
Just like the glue on a stamp. Add a little moisture and heat then stick it down. Except with repairs it's always best to add some fresh glue to the joint.

That's what I've been thinking. I'm going to stick a lighted mirror or maybe a small video camera inside to see what it looks like.