View Full Version : NUD, kamaka soprano

chuck in ny
04-01-2014, 12:28 PM
bought this from ebay on an intuition, a gold label from back in the day. there is a letter included from gerry kamaka talking 1985 prices, $85 picked up in the islands with a senior citizen discount otherwise $125. to the mainland. yikes.
i figure to change the strings to worth browns. what i have in the house is martins and the browns and the browns should mellow things out. i tightened up the strings it has on and they don't hold tuning but the tone is quite nice. the front and back are one piece and not a book match.
it has its small condition issues and i will let a luthier glue the back and so forth. i have a question about the finish, it looks like a urethane more than nitrocellulose and it is missing in a few areas most notably where the front has pick damage. i am a cabinetmaker with a spray facility but see no need to refinish the instrument. i am just wondering whether it is good form to apply oil, perhaps mineral oil with beeswax, to the bare spots, or whether this is a faux pas. you hear stories all the time about the original finish on old objects and how you are supposed to leave them alone. the ukulele has a fine honey color and to my eye if the bare spots were oiled it would even things out.

04-01-2014, 12:35 PM
nevermind.. ignore my post lol

Good luck!

chuck in ny
04-01-2014, 01:46 PM
well, it's more a matter of practice than luck. this p'ticular uke is going to play well enough.

04-01-2014, 02:02 PM
Howards Feed N Wax works nicely for the condition you describe. It is beeswax, carnauba and orange oil. Apply it with 0000 steel wool and you'll get a nice satin patina.
Home Depot and Ace hardware has it.

chuck in ny
04-01-2014, 02:12 PM
thanks for the suggestion. carnauba is great stuff. i decided to tackle gluing the back myself, it is a clean separation at the lower end.

chuck in ny
04-04-2014, 10:50 AM
a bit on howard feed/n/wax. i got a pint from home depot for $8. plus tax. there were stickers and other schmutz on the instrument which i got off with goo-gone and paper towels. i then applied small amounts of feed/wax and the instrument's tone leveled off to a uniform wood/honey color. the bare spots, pick damage on the soundboard, finger damage by a couple of frets, etc., got color up right away but are suction spots and i figure to reapply the wax for 3 days.
i have used plenty of finish and am actually at expert level at wood finishing and spray work. the howard product is orange oil, beeswax, and carnauba. it's a real hit. the carnauba wax is the magic of the whole thing leaving a happy shine on the work. the uke is now not original, but looks very nice and is not loaded up with an extra film of finish. the idea was to stay ultra thin and not interfere with sound and performance.
mketom thanks again for the suggestion. i am an old cabinetmaker and the first time i have heard of this product. renaissance wax, you hear about that all the time.