View Full Version : Colored Marks in Vintage 'Uke

11-06-2013, 11:24 AM
I suspect some of you luthiers dabble in repair/refinishing when you are not building. I bought a vintage Martin 0 (c.1925) and it's been played! I love that it's been played hard because I don't have to worry about leaving a mark.

I have no intention of refinishing the Martin but I wonder what the "white" marks are. I don't have the curiousity to inspect them with sharp tool because that is sorrow just waiting to happen. I don't have a magnifying glass either. I don't think it's unstained mahogany.

Any ideas?

11-06-2013, 11:30 AM
I think it's Human remains :(...particals of skin and sweat and finger nails that have become embeded in the open pores after yonk's of playing.

11-06-2013, 11:35 AM
I've had this on my vintage Martin, and I felt like it was some kind of polish that someone tried to use to buff it out, and it got into the pores. I was able to touch it up so the light stuff disappeared.....used a dye pen.

11-06-2013, 11:35 AM
Just what I need is other people's DNA. Yuck! I'll just topcoat theirs with my own. Thanks Timbuck.

11-06-2013, 11:45 AM
Ryan - Thanks for the tip. I will bird dog one of those dye pens.

Chris Tarman
11-06-2013, 12:49 PM
My three old Martins and my Gibson all have similar marks. I'm pretty sure it's where the stain has been rubbed/scraped off from playing. In fact, I'm almost POSITIVE that's what causes it because my natural finish Flea (which has a sort of blonde stain on really light wood) is beginning to get the exact same sort of marks, and that uke was new when I bought it. The marks weren't there originally, and are there now after a couple of years of playing. So, I don't think you need to worry about human DNA. Also, I wouldn't touch them up, personally. They're just signs of loving use, like in "The Velveteen Rabbit".

11-06-2013, 02:04 PM
Also, I wouldn't touch them up, personally. They're just signs of loving use, like in "The Velveteen Rabbit".

Chris - While bird dogging the dye pen, I decided to leave well enough alone. After always buying new 'ukes, buying this vintage with its scars is a relief because I don't have to worry keeping it pristine.