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View Full Version : Torn...What to do with my Kumalae?



ejnovinsky
10-26-2011, 04:11 PM
So, Ive had this 1915 Jonah Kumalae soprano kicking around. I discovered it in my grandmas attic awhile back in fact it was what got me into playing the ukulele. It was in bad shape with multiple cracks, and the bridge off. I managed to put some band aids on it and make it somewhat playable. Later I upgraded (somewhat) to my lanakai, and since it sounded and held tune so much better it pretty much took over though I did still play the Kumalae now and again. recently I discovered the cracks in the Kumalae are back, and I found additional cracks along the sides that look like an old repair giving out. So Ive set it off to the side while I try to figure out what to do with it. My grandma in all her sentimentality told me to "just throw it out". (so much for heirlooms) Obviously Im not doing that, but now what do I do with it? Im not interested in making a big investment to have it fixed, If Im going to spend that kind of money Id rather buy a more modern ukulele thats an upgrade from my cheapo lanakai. So do I sell the Kumalae? Heres a better question is it even worth anything? Is it even fixable? Or do I strip it for parts? I have been wanting to build a cigar box ukulele, and I could use the neck (though the tuners are totally useless...) Any opinions welcome. I Included some pics of the damage. 2940029401294022940329404

rem50
10-26-2011, 04:14 PM
reminds me of willie nelson's guitar! That baby has character!

ejnovinsky
10-26-2011, 04:17 PM
Thats funny because when I first saw it I thought the same thing....looks like that old classical willie plays with the big hole in the top...

Hippie Dribble
10-26-2011, 04:18 PM
keep it and get it repaired. It's got family history in it! :)

RyanMFT
10-26-2011, 04:21 PM
As a lover of vintage instruments, I feel it would be a shame to break it up into parts when you have a very repairable uke there. It's your uke and you can do what you want. However, I would consider selling it as is, then take the money and buy something you like. Kumalae made a lot of these but not so many that they are throw aways.....IMHO.

If it has meaning to you, loosen the strings, and hang on to it. Maybe someday you will wish you had it and you will want to have it repaired properly. If it doesn't have a lot of meaning to you, get it in the hands of someone who will really love it. Perhaps consider posting it for trade and see what people offer. I would trade for it if I had something you wanted!

If you want to build a cigar box uke, go to Mainland and get a neck and other parts and go from there, but don't break up a great vintage uke! Again, it's your uke so you can do what you want.

mm stan
10-26-2011, 04:34 PM
Ahhhhhh break it up and use it for parts....hey man you're killing me....you got to be kidding...if it has a nice tone you like or it has sentimental value keep it...because in that condition it is
not worth to sell in my opinion...I Like Ryan I am a lover of vintage ukes too...sad to hear you are even thinking of letting it go or worse, using it for parts..Ukulele God forbids that...if you don't
have the money now, hold on to it...maybe in the future you will be able to, after all it is a family heirloom and treasure...if not sell it to me....hee hee:):)

ejnovinsky
10-26-2011, 04:39 PM
Thats part of my question...from the pics is it repairable? if not then it can live on in pieces on another ukulele, but if its fixable then yeah Id love someone to have it and fix it up. Like I said though Im not putting the money into having it fixed. As for meaning or family history it doesnt have nearly as much as I thought. When I talked to my grandma about it turns out this ukulele was part of a huge lot of stuff cleaned out from the home of one of my grandmas friends who passed away. So it was just something she collected by default and not some treasured family heirloom at all. Hence her advice to simply pitch it :) A trade may be a good idea...honestly as bad shape as its in Id feel bad about taking someones money for it, and having it wind up being junk.......what would be a fair asking range for it in the condition its in? I would have no clue....perhaps Ill post it for trade and see what comes up....

mm stan
10-26-2011, 04:55 PM
If You take this uke out to repair..it will cost way more than it it is worth...and repaired vintage ukes are not valued as much.....it looks like the cracks all need to be sstablized and fixed and
the surface refinished, that may cost alot...if the neck is bowed...it is shot... if the neck is straight and the price is right, I might be intrested...Stan

ejnovinsky
10-26-2011, 11:28 PM
If You take this uke out to repair..it will cost way more than it it is worth...and repaired vintage ukes are not valued as much.....it looks like the cracks all need to be sstablized and fixed and
the surface refinished, that may cost alot...if the neck is bowed...it is shot... if the neck is straight and the price is right, I might be intrested...Stan

stan, the neck is fine, very straight. looking at it again the way the neck meets the body Im not sure I could salvage the neck. the last fret is basically in the joint between neck and body, Im not sure I could get it apart and recreate that joint on another piece. Im going to post it for swap for now, and see if anyone is into it, if not Ill just loosen the strings and hang it on the wall till a better idea comes along I guess....like you said it would cost way more to fix than its worth and honestly Id rather put that money into a better ukulele rather than taking a chance on repairing a vintage one...