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View Full Version : An urgent Urge to deface my Uke.



UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 04:19 AM
Now I love my Ukulele. I have an Oscar Schmidt OU5 and a Ohana CK35S. The Ohana is the one that gets played ALL THE TIME and I love it with a passion. However, I have got the urge to personalise it by scratching drawings into the wood and filling the in with standard ink from a ballpoint pen with my own design. Am I mad or should I just do it. The only think that is stopping me is the fact that I paid more than 100 for it. What do you reckon fellow Ukuleleists?
Comments welcome.

barefootgypsy
10-08-2012, 04:27 AM
Now I love my Ukulele. I have an Oscar Schmidt OU5 and a Ohana CK35S. The Ohana is the one that gets played ALL THE TIME and I love it with a passion. However, I have got the urge to personalise it by scratching drawings into the wood and filling the in with standard ink from a ballpoint pen with my own design. Am I mad or should I just do it. The only think that is stopping me is the fact that I paid more than 100 for it. What do you reckon fellow Ukuleleists?
Comments welcome.Wow - I mean, are you artistic? Because, if I were to do that - it would be RUIN. And instantly regretted. But for somebody with real artistic ability running through their veins....the urge to personalise it must be pretty strong. And could be rewarding! I can understand it. I did it with my cookery apron at school - dyed it orange and embroidered "Elvis" all over it......but nobody else would wear it afterwards! If you do it - you'll have to show us! :D

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 04:53 AM
Wow - I mean, are you artistic? Because, if I were to do that - it would be RUIN. And instantly regretted. But for somebody with real artistic ability running through their veins....the urge to personalise it must be pretty strong. And could be rewarding! I can understand it. I did it with my cookery apron at school - dyed it orange and embroidered "Elvis" all over it......but nobody else would wear it afterwards! If you do it - you'll have to show us! :D

No but I am a doodler and my idea was this uke is staying with me forever and a little doodle here and there, well, it couldn't hurt could it? When I was a school kid many many years ago my books were covered in doodles and my teachers weren't best pleased. Its the rebel in me I think. If I do decide to start scratching / doodling on it I know I could regret it but I also know I might actually like it. Its a real dilemma for me. I wonder if there is anyone out there who has actually regretted doodling on their Uke or likewise anyone who has actually dared to draw or etch into the wood and are actually pleased with it. Oh I really don't know. I almost feel like I "must" do it. Perhaps I am a doodle obsessive. lol

MisterRios
10-08-2012, 04:53 AM
It's yours, you can do whatever you want with it. Just note that the resale value will go waaay down because it won't be in (near) original condition, and maybe no one will want the customization. So it will be your for life. Which isn't that bad. However, you have to make sure you do a good job, otherwise people might think you paid 10 instead of 100.

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 04:58 AM
It's yours, you can do whatever you want with it. Just note that the resale value will go waaay down because it won't be in (near) original condition, and maybe no one will want the customization. So it will be your for life. Which isn't that bad. However, you have to make sure you do a good job, otherwise people might think you paid 10 instead of 100.
Good advice. It will NEVER be resold its mine for all-time so that isn't an issue. Good point about others seeing it too. I'm not bothered about how valuable or not it looks but I suppose would hate people to think I'd made a mess of it. Its all down to a subjective choice really I suppose. Thanks for your comments.

Pukulele Pete
10-08-2012, 04:58 AM
It's yours, you can do whatever you want with it. Just note that the resale value will go waaay down because it won't be in (near) original condition, and maybe no one will want the customization. So it will be your for life. Which isn't that bad. However, you have to make sure you do a good job, otherwise people might think you paid 10 instead of 100.

Hey MisterRios , just had to say your avatar is the best I've seen on this site. I've been wanting to say that since the first time I saw it.

Skitzic
10-08-2012, 05:08 AM
I seem to remember someone drawing all over their Yamaha with a sharpie.

It's your uke, have fun with it. If you're afraid you'll mess up sketch it out on paper first.

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 05:11 AM
I seem to remember someone drawing all over their Yamaha with a sharpie.

It's your uke, have fun with it. If you're afraid you'll mess up sketch it out on paper first.

What a great idea. Thanks Skitzic

ukeeku
10-08-2012, 05:13 AM
My first uke was a OU2 and I painted it. of any uke you can go nuts on it would be the OU5. It is nice to play but has no resale value. I am not trying to make you feel bad about the OS, I love mine and many love theirs.
It is yours, do what you want to it.

000Kanaka000
10-08-2012, 05:17 AM
Would say it's sort of like getting tattoos -- it's your body and you are the one that
has to live with it and enjoy it. If you enjoy it then why not. Go for the gusto.

dhoenisch
10-08-2012, 05:24 AM
I second (third, forth?) the thought that it's your uke, and who cares what others think. If doodling on the uke makes you happy, that's all that counts, ultimately. Heck, here's a picture of a guitar I purchased a few years ago. The original owner loved it, but couldn't sell it, so I took it off of his hands really cheap and restored it. Of course, he used paint marker and permanent marker, so it was easier to reverse, with the exception of an "etching" on the back, which I was able to somewhat hide with stain.

http://www.danhoenisch.com/images/69H941_04.jpg

http://www.danhoenisch.com/images/69H941_06.jpg

I have an OU2 as well. I love it. Recently, the top had just about caved in, so I took the back off of it, removed the cheesy bridge plate, replaced it with a maple one, and fan braced it. Then, while I had it apart, I added electronics with a built-in chromatic tuner. Hey, it's my uke, and though it's a cheapo, I don't see ever getting rid of it. It's a great uke.

Dan

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 05:28 AM
My first uke was a OU2 and I painted it. of any uke you can go nuts on it would be the OU5. It is nice to play but has no resale value. I am not trying to make you feel bad about the OS, I love mine and many love theirs.
It is yours, do what you want to it.

I think it would have to be the Ohana as that doesn't have a lacquer finish unlike my OU5 so that really would be ruined if I started scratching it.

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 05:29 AM
Would say it's sort of like getting tattoos -- it's your body and you are the one that
has to live with it and enjoy it. If you enjoy it then why not. Go for the gusto.

Thats a great analogy. I'm liking your thinking.

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 05:37 AM
I second (third, forth?) the thought that it's your uke, and who cares what others think. If doodling on the uke makes you happy, that's all that counts, ultimately. Heck, here's a picture of a guitar I purchased a few years ago. The original owner loved it, but couldn't sell it, so I took it off of his hands really cheap and restored it. Of course, he used paint marker and permanent marker, so it was easier to reverse, with the exception of an "etching" on the back, which I was able to somewhat hide with stain.

http://www.danhoenisch.com/images/69H941_04.jpg

http://www.danhoenisch.com/images/69H941_06.jpg

I have an OU2 as well. I love it. Recently, the top had just about caved in, so I took the back off of it, removed the cheesy bridge plate, replaced it with a maple one, and fan braced it. Then, while I had it apart, I added electronics with a built-in chromatic tuner. Hey, it's my uke, and though it's a cheapo, I don't see ever getting rid of it. It's a great uke.

Dan

Thanks Dan. Yes this is the type of thing I had in mind.

Dwjkerr
10-08-2012, 05:47 AM
I seem to remember someone drawing all over their Yamaha with a sharpie.

It's your uke, have fun with it. If you're afraid you'll mess up sketch it out on paper first.

Might be an idea to get a hold of a cheap uke to practice on.

hammer40
10-08-2012, 05:51 AM
I say go for it as well, as long as whatever you do to it doesn't affect the actual sound of the uke. You have already said it won't ever go up for sale, so you won't have that issue to be concerned with.

mds725
10-08-2012, 06:46 AM
My one concern about your plan would be if you dug into the soundboard, which would probably weaken the soundboard (which is under a fair amount of tension, which is, in turn, why soundboards have bracing) and could affect the sound. Good ukemakers try to make the soundboards as thin as possible to maximize vibration, and digging into the soundboard might make the area where you dig too weak to withstand soundboard tension. I think digging ruts into the back and sides is probably less likely to affect the structural integrity of your uke.

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 06:46 AM
Might be an idea to get a hold of a cheap uke to practice on.

Yes I've got a cheapy so will try that first. Thanks.

UkeyDave
10-08-2012, 06:49 AM
My one concern about your plan would be if you dug into the soundboard, which would probably weaken the soundboard (which is under a fair amount of tension, which is, in turn, why soundboards have bracing) and could affect the sound. Good ukemakers try to make the soundboards as thin as possible to maximize vibration, and digging into the soundboard might make the area where you dig too weak to withstand soundboard tension. I think digging ruts into the back and sides is probably less likely to affect the structural integrity of your uke.

Good point and I'd actually considered that. I was thinking more of a scratch than a dig because I am aware of the thinness of the soundboard. I suppose it depends at what point a scratch becomes a dig though.

OldePhart
10-08-2012, 07:22 AM
Well...if you do a "proper" job of it you won't ever have to worry about the uke growing legs at a meetup... :biglaugh:

Roselynne
10-08-2012, 09:52 AM
Ballpoint pens are skippy and prone to poop out in mid-tattoo.

My old classical guitar has (what I thought were) weird flaws in the woodgrain on the neck. One day, the light hit it just right and I saw the "flaws" were actually numbers that marked certain frets. Ballpoint, more gouge than ink. The gouges were too shallow to feel.

No real harm done; the guitar isn't gonna be resold and it's not intended as an heirloom. It's the neck, so no structural/sound issues. Still, I really-really wish my unknown predecessor hadn't done that.

But I do relate to the urge to personalize. I'd suggest being choosy about the pen, and keeping extras handy. Dwjkerr's idea of practicing on a cheap uke is terrific; hopefully, its wood and finish will be similar to your Ohana's. And, of course, a sample mark in a not-too-conspicuous spot is always good.

ksiegel
10-08-2012, 11:07 AM
Now I love my Ukulele. I have an Oscar Schmidt OU5 and a Ohana CK35S. The Ohana is the one that gets played ALL THE TIME and I love it with a passion. However, I have got the urge to personalise it by scratching drawings into the wood and filling the in with standard ink from a ballpoint pen with my own design. Am I mad or should I just do it. The only think that is stopping me is the fact that I paid more than 100 for it. What do you reckon fellow Ukuleleists?
Comments welcome.

Are you mad?

...if you have to ask....

Should you just do it??

Again, if you have to ask...



You know that the answer to both questions is "Yes".



-Kurt

OldePhart
10-08-2012, 12:02 PM
My old classical guitar has (what I thought were) weird flaws in the woodgrain on the neck. One day, the light hit it just right and I saw the "flaws" were actually numbers that marked certain frets. Ballpoint, more gouge than ink. The gouges were too shallow to feel.


I bought my wife a pretty nice 88-key electric piano several years ago. Imagine my horror when she wrote the note names (in indelible Sharpie marker) on all the white keys for our granddaughter...

She didn't believe me when I told her she'd never get it off, until she tried. Yeah...now instead of black note names they're gray...still quite visible, though...oh well, it's hers...and it does go with pretty much everything else in the house... :(

John

000Kanaka000
10-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Thanks happy to chime in.


Thats a great analogy. I'm liking your thinking.

ukegirl
10-08-2012, 03:30 PM
Like this???

http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/ukuleles.php?id=344

Scroll down a bit for a better shot of the engraving...

Ukuleleblues
10-08-2012, 03:47 PM
I always wanted to wood burn one and then coat it with Tru oil

pootsie
10-08-2012, 07:09 PM
Would say it's sort of like getting tattoos -- it's your body and you are the one that
has to live with it and enjoy it. If you enjoy it then why not. Go for the gusto.

Honest to god, I knew a dude who traded for a tattoo machine (trading illicit stuff, no surprise in this story) and doodled on his arm with it. Like the kind of stuff you would do while talking on the phone waiting to write down information. Like a cube-shape and a swirly and such, and not very nice. PERMANENT DOODLES!

I have some ink myself and am happy to have it. But this dude just put a doodle forever on his arm!!!

He was an idiot in a lot of other ways, though.

So, yeah, just sketch out a couple drafts before you start digging

UkeyDave
10-09-2012, 04:02 AM
so why not just get a "decorator" uke to practice on and see what happens to the urge.

I think that is exactly what I'm gonna do Bill1.

Thanks everyone for your input. I've enjoyed reading all the suggestions and it has given me plenty of food for thought. I still haven't touched the Ohana but have already customised (or at least practiced on) a cheap Uke and I no longer have an immediate urge to deface my lovely Ohana. Thats not to say that I won't in the future but for now it stays intact. Thanks All.

Roselynne
10-09-2012, 04:12 AM
I bought my wife a pretty nice 88-key electric piano several years ago. Imagine my horror when she wrote the note names (in indelible Sharpie marker) on all the white keys for our granddaughter...

She didn't believe me when I told her she'd never get it off, until she tried. Yeah...now instead of black note names they're gray...still quite visible, though...oh well, it's hers...and it does go with pretty much everything else in the house... :(

John

Ouch. Personally, I'd go for Avery labels or somesuch, but adhesives can be tricky too. (Tooth marks are the ownership mark of choice around here. All instruments are kept carefully out of hounds' way.)