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View Full Version : What would be the best uke for this situation?



haolejohn
02-01-2013, 03:15 PM
I'm a teacher in Alaska. Not on a road. In the middle of nowhere. I travel quite a bit from village to village. I have already had three ukes damaged by the extreme temps (low of -43 so far). I am thinking about getting a flea or fluke for next school year. Is there any other recommendations? I have damaged two mainland red cedar ukes and a plastic top dolphin. I carried all three ukes in a gig bag when I traveled. I have traveled with a solid mahog uke in a case and it has been fine so far. But i really don't like traveling with the hard case b/c of the extra weight.





Mods if you want to move this to buying section you can. I didn't realize I had posted it in uke talk.

Doc_J
02-01-2013, 03:32 PM
Wow John. -43F degrees is pretty extreme. Maybe the graphite fiber composite ukes might be ok . But they are pricey. Maybe you need a metal uke.

Pondoro
02-01-2013, 03:40 PM
Wood hates low humidity. Plastic becomes brittle at low temperature. I would recommend a wood uke in a hard case with a humidifier, but the humidifier will freeze and probably break. Maybe try a laminated wood uke? They tolerate low humidity better than solid wood.

itsme
02-01-2013, 03:57 PM
What about a solid body electric? Risa stick, Eleuke, Peanut or whatever? Seems they would be pretty impervious to the elements.

Guicgaspar
02-01-2013, 05:01 PM
I think an all-carbon fiber uke would be perfect,but they aren't cheap http://www.blackbirdguitar.com/ukulele.html

remy26
02-01-2013, 05:14 PM
Not that I've played one, but I would have to agree with the carbon fiber option. I have played a couple of CF guitars and enjoyed them quite a bit. They are expensive, but, if you figure how fast you're going through ukuleles now, it'll pay for itself in a relatively short time.

I can't imagine a metal uke in that kind of cold....BRRRRRR! You might even stick to it if you're not careful! :D

haolejohn
02-01-2013, 06:58 PM
I thought of the carbon fiber uke, but it is pricey. More pricey than I want to spend. Funny thing is, I was thinking of one of those fleas or flukes, but they are plastic:) LOL!! DUH!!

The mainlands are ok. Just have cracks now (one already had some repaired cracks) and one is missing the bridge. I won't be out in the extreme extreme temps. Coldest it has been while traveling is -24 and that was when my last uke busted. I may just need to invest in an eleuke or a laminate one?

consitter
02-01-2013, 10:00 PM
I thought of the carbon fiber uke, but it is pricey. More pricey than I want to spend. Funny thing is, I was thinking of one of those fleas or flukes, but they are plastic:) LOL!! DUH!!

The mainlands are ok. Just have cracks now (one already had some repaired cracks) and one is missing the bridge. I won't be out in the extreme extreme temps. Coldest it has been while traveling is -24 and that was when my last uke busted. I may just need to invest in an eleuke or a laminate one?

Here is a carbon fiber uke that is less expensive. Looks to be nice.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?72607-Carbon-Fiber-UKULELE-Tenor-by-KARADOO-COMPOSITE&highlight=carbon+fiber

guitharsis
02-02-2013, 12:04 AM
When I received my Gstring concert from NC Ukulele Academy, I was concerned about the extremely cold tempatures in NY.
The uke was sent UPS ground (2 day), and packaged extremely well. After receiving it, I let it acclimate overnight before opening the case.

It may help if you wrapped the uke inside of a hard foam case. It would be well insulated and not heavy or bulky to carry. Then you could let it acclimate before removing it from the case. Those temps are unreal!

Lalz
02-02-2013, 01:07 AM
I've been wondering about this too but for extremely hot temperatures where black plastic backs (Flea) probably aren't ideal. I'm eyeing the Martin OXK at the moment, it's made of formica and looks very sturdy. No idea how well it behaves in extreme climates though. Might be worth having a look?

BigMamaJ40
02-02-2013, 04:07 AM
Have you considered Hawaii?

I think a good case is the way to go. I have a very light TRIC case for one of my guitars -- it is like styrofoam, but quite sturdy and seems to be well insulated. Does anyone make a similar case for the uke?

Skinny Money McGee
02-02-2013, 04:11 AM
I'm a teacher in Alaska. Not on a road. In the middle of nowhere. I travel quite a bit from village to village. I have already had three ukes damaged by the extreme temps (low of -43 so far). I am thinking about getting a flea or fluke for next school year. Is there any other recommendations? I have damaged two mainland red cedar ukes and a plastic top dolphin. I carried all three ukes in a gig bag when I traveled. I have traveled with a solid mahog uke in a case and it has been fine so far. But i really don't like traveling with the hard case b/c of the extra weight.


Mods if you want to move this to buying section you can. I didn't realize I had posted it in uke talk.

Call the Blackbird people and see if they will give you an education discount in exchange for promotional photos of the uke being in the weather and teaching the villagers. If I were Blackbird, this seems like a great opportunity to show off the versatility and use of a carbon fiber uke. Worth a try anyway!

OldePhart
02-02-2013, 05:35 AM
I would say, if you can't get a carbon fiber uke go with an inexpensive laminate (I'm talking something like a well set up Lanikai LU-21) and then let the case stabilize to ambient for a couple of hours before opening it. It is generally not "cold" that damages things, it is the sudden change from "cold" to "warm" and vice versa. Wood is actually one of the most cold-tolerant materials there is (doesn't get brittle like plastic) but complex things made of wood tend to pull themselves apart in the face of sudden changes in temperature. Laminated wood is more stable, but you still want to minimize fast temperature changes.

Also, I know you don't like the weight of a hard case - but such a case provides extra protection because it takes time for a change in temperature to migrate through that case. If you put inside and outside thermometers on a typical gig bag and a hard case you would be surprised - the thermometer in the gig bag will change almost as fast as the one outside, while the thermometer in the hard case will change much more slowly.

You might think about getting someone to make you an insulated gig bag (or use an oversize gig bag and wrap the uke in a good blanket inside it).


John

Freeda
02-02-2013, 05:59 AM
What about a solid body?

gyosh
02-02-2013, 06:03 AM
Lego Uke

http://learntoukenz.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/ukulele-lego.jpg

Freeda
02-02-2013, 06:03 AM
Lego Uke

http://learntoukenz.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/ukulele-lego.jpg

I played one at Elderly. It's terrible.

OldePhart
02-02-2013, 06:24 AM
I played one at Elderly. It's terrible.

It just needs Aquila strings and to have the action adjusted at the nut... :biglaugh:

LifesShort
02-02-2013, 08:50 AM
How about a metal banjo uke?

OldePhart
02-02-2013, 09:15 AM
How about a metal banjo uke?

I don't even want to think about holding a metal uke in -43f temps...whatever you do, don't lick it! :)

I may be wrong but I think the skin heads are quite temperature sensitive. Synthetic ones might be less prone to tuning changes but would probably be more prone to becoming brittle in very cold temperatures...

John

haolejohn
02-02-2013, 10:51 AM
Call the Blackbird people and see if they will give you an education discount in exchange for promotional photos of the uke being in the weather and teaching the villagers. If I were Blackbird, this seems like a great opportunity to show off the versatility and use of a carbon fiber uke. Worth a try anyway!
I think I will try this idea. I think you may be on to somehting:)


What about a solid body?
THis may be what I do for now.

It just needs Aquila strings and to have the action adjusted at the nut... :biglaugh:
That is funny. Very funny.

I don't even want to think about holding a metal uke in -43f temps...whatever you do, don't lick it! :)

I may be wrong but I think the skin heads are quite temperature sensitive. Synthetic ones might be less prone to tuning changes but would probably be more prone to becoming brittle in very cold temperatures...

John

though it can get down to -43 or colder, I won't be playing outside. Just inside where it is more like 70.



I am going to check into getting some a hard case for the smaller ukes. Right now I do have a tenor hardcase but I don't travel with that uke. But I may this week since I will be gone for a whole week to Anchorage.


I know what I am going to do for next year. My travel schedule will be consistent next year with a rotation. I am going to place one uke at each location in the summer or early fall before the temps drop. I will be good then.

Lalz
02-02-2013, 10:56 AM
Have you considered Hawaii?

If you were replying to me, I was thinking of the Sahara desert. Very different from Hawaii :)

haolejohn
02-02-2013, 10:58 AM
Have you considered Hawaii?

I think a good case is the way to go. I have a very light TRIC case for one of my guitars -- it is like styrofoam, but quite sturdy and seems to be well insulated. Does anyone make a similar case for the uke?

I lived in Hawai'i for 5 years (Oahu for 2 yrs and Maui for 3 years).

Louis0815
02-02-2013, 11:12 AM
Might be a stupid question, but how can these low temperatures during travel affect your ukes but not yourself? What means of transport are you using out there?
I'd imagine that keeping the uke where you are should be a first remedy already...

Nevertheless it would be interesting to get an official comment from Fleamarketmusic how they'd expect the Flea/Fluke to perform under these conditions - just drop them a mail, they are usually quite quick on responding.

haolejohn
02-02-2013, 11:22 AM
Might be a stupid question, but how can these low temperatures during travel affect your ukes but not yourself? What means of transport are you using out there?
I'd imagine that keeping the uke where you are should be a first remedy already...

Nevertheless it would be interesting to get an official comment from Fleamarketmusic how they'd expect the Flea/Fluke to perform under these conditions - just drop them a mail, they are usually quite quick on responding.
to get to the airport we either walk or ride in a snow machine.
We fly in little planes to get to hub villages where we get into larger planes to make trips to anchorage.
Most of my travel has been in little planes like piper cubs.
When it is -40 you don't fly. You simply have to walk. But I wouldn't be leaving my village. I rarely leave my village and I rarely travel with a uke. I have ukes in the school and a tenor at the house. I just had a string of bad luck.
We also layer.

mm stan
02-03-2013, 09:05 AM
Definetely Get this one John.....http://elderly.com/vintage/items/180U-1820.htm no cracks, well maybe rust..hee

katysax
02-03-2013, 06:05 PM
I think the Martin OXK is a good idea. I don't know what the laminate is made of, but it feels indestructible.

Lalz
02-05-2013, 05:45 AM
I think the Martin OXK is a good idea. I don't know what the laminate is made of, but it feels indestructible.

I think it's formica?

ScooterD35
02-05-2013, 09:30 AM
I think a Flea or Fluke would do the job (just stay away from the solid topped Koas). They really are extremely sturdy.

There's actually a Tenor Fluke in the Marketplace right now.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?76352-Mango-Tenor-Fluke


Scooter

Pondoro
02-05-2013, 03:10 PM
I second the Lanikai LU-21, mine has been in the hold of a plane and in a car trunk during the summer, it has held up.

Pueo
02-05-2013, 03:17 PM
Aloha John, say, what is "Aloha" in Eskimo, anyways?
I would think either a Les Paul might be good - only $99 and basically like a solid body that you can play unplugged. They are built like tanks.
Or, what about one of those bamboo ukuleles? Ukeeku Tim might still have one lying around.

Louis0815
02-06-2013, 02:21 AM
I think a Flea or Fluke would do the job (just stay away from the solid topped Koas). They really are extremely sturdy.

There's actually a Tenor Fluke in the Marketplace right now.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?76352-Mango-Tenor-Fluke


ScooterActually the one for sale is a concert size (15 frets) - still a great instrument at a great price.

tomthebaptist
02-06-2013, 01:19 PM
Great suggestion. I have a Carbon Acoustic Guitar.... its impervious to about anything except extreme heat. And it sounds great! I would think I carbon Ukulele would be the ideal way to go

azfireman
02-06-2013, 04:11 PM
Well....I heard mention of the OXK and I own one and the HPL(high pressure laminate) would probably take the cold but the glue holding it together might be a problem...I have had to re-glue my neck back to the body where it was separating and it sure doesn't get that cold where I live..

chrimess
02-06-2013, 05:01 PM
you could get the soldbody fluke, that should be pretty robust.

I thought of the carbon fiber uke, but it is pricey. More pricey than I want to spend. Funny thing is, I was thinking of one of those fleas or flukes, but they are plastic:) LOL!! DUH!!

The mainlands are ok. Just have cracks now (one already had some repaired cracks) and one is missing the bridge. I won't be out in the extreme extreme temps. Coldest it has been while traveling is -24 and that was when my last uke busted. I may just need to invest in an eleuke or a laminate one?