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View Full Version : The; "Oh No, I scratched my Uke! + What to Use..." Thread



Katz-in-Boots
05-19-2013, 10:54 PM
Kanile'a K1, 2nd hand from here with a couple of scratches already, but last night I really got it wrong & made a deep scratch (and lost a chunk of fingernail).

It's a satin finish wood, not gloss. Satin is quite raw looking, I've been wondering whether there's a wax or polish that might give it just a little sheen & maybe slick the neck a little.

Now I'm wondering if there's a wax or something to fill in those grooves - mainly because catching a nail in one again might lead to further damage.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has done this....
Anyone???

SonSprinter
05-19-2013, 11:09 PM
last night I ... made a deep scratch (and lost a chunk of fingernail).
Anyone???

Sorry not much help from me on your point but, wow, u must really jam

Rodney.
05-19-2013, 11:35 PM
Pics or it didn't happen.

mm stan
05-20-2013, 02:43 AM
Take it as badges of honor....one reason satin ukes have no protection...

Dan Uke
05-20-2013, 02:52 AM
Take it as badges of honor....one reason satin ukes have no protection...

words of wisdom

strumsilly
05-20-2013, 03:59 AM
Pics or it didn't happen.

I have a hard time envisioning a scratch so deep you would be concerned with snagging a fingernai,. a deep,raw crack with a bit sticking up maybe, but a scratch?

Katz-in-Boots
05-20-2013, 05:10 PM
Sorry not much help from me on your point but, wow, u must really jam

No, but I'm pretty new at this. Something happened, strumming finger got jammed or something then bounced off the string onto the uke.


Pics or it didn't happen.

Well now that's the problem with satin finish, I couldn't get the light right to show it.


I have a hard time envisioning a scratch so deep you would be concerned with snagging a fingernai,. a deep,raw crack with a bit sticking up maybe, but a scratch?

If I can do it once, I figure I can do it again. I'm talented that way :D

Ukeology
05-20-2013, 05:50 PM
Try rubbing a banana skin on the scratch. Seriously.

It is supposed to work for scratches on furniture.

At worst, you'll have a uke that will attract monkeys for a while. :)

haolejohn
05-20-2013, 06:48 PM
Kanile'a K1, 2nd hand from here with a couple of scratches already, but last night I really got it wrong & made a deep scratch (and lost a chunk of fingernail).

It's a satin finish wood, not gloss. Satin is quite raw looking, I've been wondering whether there's a wax or polish that might give it just a little sheen & maybe slick the neck a little.

Now I'm wondering if there's a wax or something to fill in those grooves - mainly because catching a nail in one again might lead to further damage.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has done this....
Anyone???
Scratches add character to a uke. Leave it.

Sporin
05-21-2013, 02:08 AM
I'll be just fine if my ukuleles (admittedly, they aren't expensive heirloom ukes) look like Willie Nelson's guitar someday... it will mean I've played the ever-loving crap out of them for years and years. :D

http://m.static.newsvine.com/servista/imagesizer?file=http3A2F2Fwww.newsvine.com2F_vine2 Fimages2Fusers2Fkatiecannon2F5220170.jpg

Keef
05-21-2013, 02:20 AM
dont worry be happy and just play

teruterubouzu
05-21-2013, 02:21 AM
Wear that battle wound proudly. Besides, if you can't get a photo of it, no one else can probably see it.

The Big Kahuna
05-21-2013, 04:13 AM
At worst, you'll have a uke that will attract monkeys for a while. :)

Anyone know how to get coffee out of monitors ?

ukuLily Mars
05-21-2013, 05:35 AM
At worst, you'll have a uke that will attract monkeys for a while. :)

That would be AWESOME!!! I want a monkey for MY 'uke!

Gadzukes!
05-21-2013, 05:51 AM
All of the "get used to it" comments aren't terribly helpful—if he wanted to get used to it, he probably wouldn't ask. And as great as Willie Nelson is, if that guitar was owned by anyone else it'd likely be called "crap" were it to come up on eBay.

Anyone got any suggestions? I've wondered whether steel wool (0000) might work for minor scratches. Not sure about a gouge.

rem50
05-21-2013, 09:56 AM
this might be a great question for the luthiers?? I know DKcrowne knows a bit about wood, maybe he'll chime in.

Sporin
05-21-2013, 11:35 AM
All of the "get used to it" comments aren't terribly helpful—if he wanted to get used to it, he probably wouldn't ask. And as great as Willie Nelson is, if that guitar was owned by anyone else it'd likely be called "crap" were it to come up on eBay.

Anyone got any suggestions? I've wondered whether steel wool (0000) might work for minor scratches. Not sure about a gouge.

Fair enough. :cheers:

Gadzukes!
05-21-2013, 11:42 AM
Didn't mean to sound like a grump. The Interwebs does that to me :)

:cheers:

mds725
05-21-2013, 11:45 AM
Many of the posts advise the OP to wear the scratch on his ukulele as a badge of honor. I know the people who posted this thought are sincere and that this is good advice, but the OP asked a specific question about filling in what he referred to as a "deep scratch" on this ukulele's soundboard and, frankly, advising him to leave the scratch alone doesn't answer that specific question. I myself don't have an answer for the OP (I think asking in the Luthiers Lounge is a very good idea), but I do know that when I broke my finger in a bicycle accident and told the orthopedist I visited a few days later that I needed for it to heal properly because I use my finger for both playing music and drawing cartoons, I would not have wanted to hear that a bent finger adds character to my hand or that I should wear my bent finger as a bicycling badge of honor. As I said, I know everyone means well, but "leave it alone" as an answer to a specific question about how to fix something may not be that helpful to the person who asked the question.

bborzell
05-21-2013, 12:09 PM
If there is a deep gouge that goes into the soundboard as opposed to just the finish, then I doubt that any advice other than taking the uke to a competent luthier will get the OP where they want to end up. If it were simply a finish scratch, then many competent furniture builders could probably fix the problem, assuming that they knew the properties of the original finish. But, dealing with a gouge in a soundboard is the pervue of luthiers.

Now, after rereading, I am not clear on whether the scratch is in the finish or into the wood. Someone used the word gouge and that was what prompted my response.

mm stan
05-21-2013, 12:58 PM
Aloha Again,
All I am saying is that it would be alot of trouble and time to fix a small scratch...if it is satin...I am sure the finish is too thin and it is to wood....you have too options.... fill it with a
matching color putty(wont look as nice) or sanding down and try to match the stain and blend in... the perfect thing would be to re do the whole top or all the uke to match your stain...
that is why I said to scrap it and wear it like a badge of honor...not even sure how much your uke costs....but I am sure if you have it professionaly done, it will probally cost you alot..

Gadzukes!
05-21-2013, 01:10 PM
Wish we could get some good pictures. That would help a lot!

MGM
05-21-2013, 01:23 PM
Yes pictures would help...If it is just a dent scratch you could possibly just carefully steam it out with a wet rag and a clean soldering gun for heat but if you haven't tried it i would leave it to someone or you might burn the wood or affect oil finish of the satin. If your nail tore out some slight piece of the grain its a little more tricky..

OldePhart
05-21-2013, 01:34 PM
If it's really a deep scratch you're simply not going to get it out short of sanding the finish, filling the gouge, and refinishing the surface - all of which is really probably going to do more "damage" to the uke in terms of its sound!

This isn't one of those lighthearted "wear the badge with honor" posts - even though that's largely how I feel about most cosmetic damage - because you've had enough of those. :)

So, while you're probably not going to make that gouge disappear you can minimize it fairly easily, and without doing anything that is going to have a negative affect on the sound. I bought a blemished matte mahogany baritone from Mainland. I couldn't even figure out what made it a second. Then, a couple of weeks after I got it I was changing strings (I do that a lot, I believe in finding exactly the right strings for every uke). Anyway, I was pulling a string end tight with hemostats when the (wound) string broke and I jerked the hemostats, and the piece of metal string wrapping, from bridge to heel. Easily the deepest, longest, scratch I've ever put in a uke. Here's what I did to reduce the visibility (it's still quite visible, but no longer looks like a raw bleeding scar).

1) Very fine steel wool to remove much, but not all, of the matte finish over the entire top.

2) Some water-color markers to darken the scar and approximate the color of the stain on the mahogany top. Note that if I'd really cared I could have gotten a much closer match using real stains from a paint or home improvement store like Lowes. I just didn't really care that much.

3) Four or five coats of Renaissance wax rubbed hard.

The result - the scar is still quite visible but looks much less fresh and raw. It now looks like an older and more "honest" road wear instead of the obviously recent careless gouge of a tool. As I said, with proper stains I could have approximated the color even better and made the scar even less visible but it just wasn't that important to me, especially since nothing short of strip/fill/refinish was going to make it disappear completely.

Then...after doing the best you can, or the best you care to, using some technique like the above, play the heck out of that thang and let it wear the remaining scar proudly! (Okay...I couldn't resist...)

John

ralphk
05-22-2013, 05:39 AM
The suggestion on markers is good. You might also look at the small tubes of furniture scratch markers available at all home improvement or hardware stores. You might already have these around the house. Or use a properly color matched Watco oil on the scratch (also good for furniture scratches). Or some TruOil, as is used for some uke finishes and for gun stocks. All these will stain the scratch to match the uke color, or at least make it less visible.

mm stan
05-22-2013, 05:58 AM
okay if you want to fill in with super glue first and sand...then buff it out....but try the steam method first....

quiltingshirley
05-22-2013, 06:57 AM
You pull your strings tight with a hemastat? Gosh how tight do you make them?? Or is it just easier to get a hold of?

To the question of the gouge in the uke. You might consider a decal from someone like Jacko and then it'll look like it was made that way and smooth out any rough edges.

Keef
05-22-2013, 08:58 AM
thats not so bad mine has a huge 2 inch hole right in the center but Im getting used to it :rofl:

OldePhart
05-22-2013, 11:56 AM
You pull your strings tight with a hemastat? Gosh how tight do you make them?? Or is it just easier to get a hold of?


Yeah, the latter. I use hemostats to hold the little "tail" on a string when using a tie-on bridge as I'm pulling the main part of the string up snug. It also keeps the "tail" from creeping and pulling through while bringing the string up to tension (I lay the hemostats on a towel on the top as I tighten the string). In this case the metal winding on the string snapped and pulled free and formed a perfect miniature woodcarver's gouge to scrape a really nice tunnel well into the wood. :( The silver lining...it was already a second! :)

John

jwieties
05-22-2013, 04:06 PM
It stinks when you get a good scratch. Especially your first one on a relatively new instrument. For a while it is all you see. Accepting it is not a bad approach, because attempts to fix can actually make it much worse. Without pics it is hard to give good advice. Generally drop filling with glue is not a good repair for a scratch. Steaming can be effective for dents, but you better know what your doing.

John's approach is what I would recommend. Don't think of it as "fixing" but rather taking the "edge" off the scratch. In the past I've had success by using a two step process with car detail products. The first step is using either meguiars #9 or meguiars scratch X2 (#9 is better, but scratch X2 is easier to find and works well). These are very mild polishing compounds. With this you very lightly rub across the scratch (NOT in the direction of the scratch). If you wanted to this could erase the scratch, but in doing this you will make a big shinny spot and remove entirely to much finish. You really are just trying to round out the edge if the scratch to soften the reflection and blend it in a bit without overdoing it. After doing this, you can polish up the entire instrument with Meguairs #7, which is a high quality polish. This will help to blend everything everything in and further hide the scratch. #7 has no abrasive quality and can continue to be used to clean/polish your uke, although I recommend doing this very rarely.

Hope this helps and good luck.