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FiL
05-10-2013, 02:58 AM
My beloved Lanikai O-8E took a dive off of my desk yesterday, and now there's a several-inch long crack on the top, along the grain in the center, from the bottom to the bridge. It's more than a hairline crack--if you run your finger over it your can feel it. I only paid $275 for the instrument used a bunch of years ago, so I'm not sure if it will be worth repairing. It was not a top-of-the-line K-brand or custom instrument, just a Chinese factory job, but I got lucky and is sounded and played well enough that I could never justify getting a better one. And became the instrument most identified with me. I'm supposed to play it at a gig tomorrow night, and I don't know what I'll do. I think I'm still in shock.

Just wanted to share with some folks who could feel my pain.

- FiL

Doc_J
05-10-2013, 03:10 AM
Sorry about your dropped uke Fil.
If the sound hasn't changed I wouldn't do anything. Or you could use hot hide glue and a percussing method to get it into the crack. it should be all dried before for your gig tomorrow. I have successfully used that method on a couple hairline cracks.

Here's a good video on how to repair a hairline crack.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i4wjJv5nkw&sns=em

OldePhart
05-10-2013, 03:24 AM
Ouch! That's got a solid top, right? If the "crack" is very straight and dead center it sounds more like it just opened up along the seam in the two-piece top. Pretty easy to fix, actually. Any decent guitar-store repair guy should be able to handle it and it shouldn't cost much. If you don't have a trusted tech nearby you could do even it yourself.

If you decide to fix it yourself avoid CA ("super") glues - the fumes from them will fog almost all finishes. I almost ruined the finish on one of my ukes when I used a bit of gel CA to glue the little plastic gizmo holding the pickup wires to the back inside the uke. It had come loose and was rattling around. The glue didn't come anywhere near the finish when I applied it through the sound hole but without thinking I put the uke back in the case and closed the lid. The next day there was a white haze around the sound hole where the fumes from the glue had followed the contour of the uke. Fortunately, I had a couple of coats of Renaissance Wax on the uke and apparently only the wax was affected. Some elbow grease with more Renaissance Wax completely restored the finish but it was a close call!


John

OldePhart
05-10-2013, 03:32 AM
Great repair video, Doc! I love this place! :)

ukuLily Mars
05-10-2013, 04:45 AM
Aaargh! So sorry, FiL! I hope you can get it fixed.

UkeKiddinMe
05-10-2013, 04:54 AM
Very sorry to hear. But the good news is there's another one out there that will bring you joy.

Gadzukes!
05-10-2013, 05:13 AM
I inherited a vintage-y neglected Kamaka soprano that had a couple cracks in it. I fixed it myself using Titebond original wood glue. It has held up wonderfully, sounds and looks great, and didn't cost me an arm and a leg to fix it. If you're unwilling to put money into it but don't want to throw it out, you could give it a try.

UkueBass23
05-10-2013, 05:18 AM
Fil! I am so sorry to hear! I know and love that instrument and know that it is your main axe. It has given you many great gigs and meet ups too. Maybe it's time to look into something new (or new to you!). Not sure where one would go around here if you needed a luthier. But if you find one, post it here! You never know....
Condolences! Keep ukin' my friend.

kenikas
05-10-2013, 07:06 AM
Bummer! My O-8E is one of my favorite instruments, I think Lankai really got it right with those. If its just the seam in the top it should be an easy fix, I agree with what's been said and if you don't feel comfortable trying it yourself it's a fairly easy repair for a shop.

FiL
05-10-2013, 08:20 AM
Thanks all , for the support and advice! When I get home tonight, I'll take another look at it and figure out what to do.

- FiL

OldePhart
05-10-2013, 01:23 PM
Look at it this way FiL - years from now you'll look at that barely visible repaired crack and think fondly, "you know, this little uke and I have been through a lot together!"

John

RyanMFT
05-10-2013, 01:57 PM
Many of my vintage ukuleles have repaired cracks, and they sing just as proudly as their un-cracked friends. I always wonder what happened, and who felt bummed out about the crack way back when. I look at the cracks as just part of the path of my ukuleles. If you love it, no reason not to fix it/get it fixed IMHO!

UkeKiddinMe
05-10-2013, 02:16 PM
I hope this isn't considered a derail of this thread:
Why do you think there are so many cases of uke cracks?
Why don't we have the same discussion in the acoustic guitar world?
Is there something intrinsic about uke design that makes them more fragile?

I plan on pounding the snot out of my ukes. :)

Nickie
05-10-2013, 02:31 PM
Ha...I'm glad it surviuvied the fall. If my baby took a flying leap to the floor and cracked, I'd freak, cause she's my only axe...I hope it mends well...
Some gal (a kayak builder) told me that if a good uke is dropped, it should shatter....I don't beleive that, unless the drop is more than 50 feet....

lakesideglenn
05-10-2013, 02:44 PM
If you love it, get it fixed! I've got an old Lanikai that despite having some stiff high end competition around my house, still remains one of my favorite ukes. Cheap don't mean "cheap" when it comes to sound and playability....
Fix it!

kenikas
05-10-2013, 03:58 PM
I hope this isn't considered a derail of this thread:
Why do you think there are so many cases of uke cracks?
Why don't we have the same discussion in the acoustic guitar world?
Is there something intrinsic about uke design that makes them more fragile?

I plan on pounding the snot out of my ukes. :)
Uke soundboards ( backs and sides too) are considerably thinner than guitars (especially steel string). But that said I have had guitars crack up here in the high desert, (back when I didn't take as good care of them as I should have) usually after taking them back and forth between Hawai'i and the desert.

ukemunga
05-10-2013, 04:07 PM
I can SO relate. My KPK is at the doctor's right now for the same reason and apparently it's not that difficult to repair and could be quite seamless. In your case it sounds almost guaranteed.

Get it fixed by a competent "fixer"... a true luthier would be best, of course. I'm having the split, not crack in my case, fixed - fret edges smoothed and a bit of touchup refinishing on the headstock face. Quoted about $80. Replacement uke = $210. But will it be as good, the same overall? Who knows.

I like this one. Gonna keep it.

OldePhart
05-11-2013, 03:44 AM
I hope this isn't considered a derail of this thread:
Why do you think there are so many cases of uke cracks?
Why don't we have the same discussion in the acoustic guitar world?
Is there something intrinsic about uke design that makes them more fragile?

I plan on pounding the snot out of my ukes. :)

Good ukes tend to be made of very thin wood with very light bracing, even compared with a nylon string classical guitar, let alone a high-tension steel string guitar. The thin wood means both that it is generally weaker and that for a given amount of surface area there is less thickness to moderate moisture migration in and out of the wood. So, the uke will dry out or become too damp more quickly than a guitar kept in the same conditions. Also, until fairly recently most ukes had hardwood tops (primarily Koa and Mahogany). I don't have proof, but I suspect that those woods have less "give" than the spruce, cedar, and other softer woods typically used for guitar tops.

Finally, guitars aren't immune to cracking - it just generally takes longer - a lot longer in the case of a well-braced steel-string guitar.

John