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View Full Version : My uke cracked!! What happened, what do I do?



graybones
07-31-2014, 02:22 PM
Today I was playing my Pono MCD -- which I only got about two months ago -- when I noticed a crack about three inches long right on the top of it.

I don't know how this happened... I keep it in its hard case whenever I'm not playing it... I've never dropped it or anything that could have damaged it. I don't understand what happened. Where do I go from here? I noticed earlier today the sound was "off"... not sure when the crack happened but I don't think it's benign.

Can it be repaired? Who would I ask to do something like that?

Thank you for any help you can give me. :(

Bill Mc
07-31-2014, 02:26 PM
That is a shame but it can happen to any solid wood ukulele. Call the dealer from whom you made the purchase and see what they are willing to do for you.

graybones
07-31-2014, 03:03 PM
Thanks, Bill. I emailed HMS and asked if they had any advice but it doesn't look good.

I showed my boyfriend the crack and he told me what happened. We have a big cat tower in the same room as my ukulele -- one of these (http://www.petco.com/assets/product_images/0/034202492752C.jpg) -- and earlier today when I was at work, the cat somehow knocked it over and it fell right on my ukulele in its case.

After closer inspection I've found 3 cracks in the top of the ukulele and one on the side. I attached a photo of the first one.

Is a ukulele with four cracks salvageable? The sound does not sound right to me. I'm feeling absolutely crushed. I'd been saving up for this Pono for months, I was so happy to finally get it and was having such a blast playing it. I thought it would be safe in a hard case but apparently... not.

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PhilUSAFRet
07-31-2014, 03:05 PM
Where do you live? Solid Ukes often crack when they are in a very dry environment. That's why many of them come with humidifiers.....to keep them from drying out. Can also be other reasons like the seasoning of the wood, etc. With knowledge of the finish, cracks can be repaired and buffed out

RichM
07-31-2014, 03:45 PM
Thanks, Bill. I emailed HMS and asked if they had any advice but it doesn't look good.

I showed my boyfriend the crack and he told me what happened. We have a big cat tower in the same room as my ukulele -- one of these (http://www.petco.com/assets/product_images/0/034202492752C.jpg) -- and earlier today when I was at work, the cat somehow knocked it over and it fell right on my ukulele in its case.

After closer inspection I've found 3 cracks in the top of the ukulele and one on the side. I attached a photo of the first one.

Is a ukulele with four cracks salvageable? The sound does not sound right to me. I'm feeling absolutely crushed. I'd been saving up for this Pono for months, I was so happy to finally get it and was having such a blast playing it. I thought it would be safe in a hard case but apparently... not.

69578

It seems odd that something like that cat tower would create the cracks, especially if the ukulele was in a hardshell case. But it is certainly possible. If they were dryness cracks, they would tend to follow the grain of the wood. The photo you show does not look like a dryness crack, as it seems to follow its own path.

Most cracks can be repaired, often invisibly, depending on the extent of the damage. A competent repairperson could most likely repair the crack you show in the photo. Assuming there is no other collateral damage to the uke, the repairs should not alter the tone of the uke in any significant way. If there is a good repair shop near you, take it in for an estimate. If not, there are many shops (I believe HMS is one) that will do the work if you ship the uke to them.

graybones
07-31-2014, 04:09 PM
It seems odd that something like that cat tower would create the cracks, especially if the ukulele was in a hardshell case. But it is certainly possible. If they were dryness cracks, they would tend to follow the grain of the wood. The photo you show does not look like a dryness crack, as it seems to follow its own path.

Most cracks can be repaired, often invisibly, depending on the extent of the damage. A competent repairperson could most likely repair the crack you show in the photo. Assuming there is no other collateral damage to the uke, the repairs should not alter the tone of the uke in any significant way. If there is a good repair shop near you, take it in for an estimate. If not, there are many shops (I believe HMS is one) that will do the work if you ship the uke to them.

Whew, I'm so glad to hear that cracks can generally be repaired. Thank you. There's a guitar repair shop with a good reputation not far from here, maybe they could fix it up for me.

I'm not exactly sure how the cat tower fell on it, but I'm not surprised my cat managed to break my uke. He seems to have a knack for breaking my things and spilling water on my electronics :mad:

Icelander53
07-31-2014, 05:15 PM
Maybe your next set of strings should be catgut. :2cents::nana:

Just kidding (maybe)

Jim Hanks
07-31-2014, 06:03 PM
Maybe your next set of strings should be catgut. :2cents::nana:

THIS!!!! :biglaugh:

Bill Mc
07-31-2014, 06:46 PM
Since you purchased from HMS a humidifier was included with the purchase. Was the humidifier filled with water and in the case? Was the case visibly damaged? Was the ukulele in the case laying flat on the floor near the cat tower? If the ukulele was in the case standing upright I don't see how the cat tower could create the damage unless the cat tower is ten feet tall.

Icelander53
07-31-2014, 08:51 PM
I'm wondering how the boyfriend knows this is what happened. Somehow I'm a little suspicious. Yeah, lets blame this on the cat. :rolleyes:


Was the case damaged at all? Lets call in Perry Mason and get to the bottom of this.

graybones
08-01-2014, 02:23 AM
Maybe your next set of strings should be catgut. :2cents::nana:

Just kidding (maybe)
Yes!!


Since you purchased from HMS a humidifier was included with the purchase. Was the humidifier filled with water and in the case? Was the case visibly damaged? Was the ukulele in the case laying flat on the floor near the cat tower? If the ukulele was in the case standing upright I don't see how the cat tower could create the damage unless the cat tower is ten feet tall.

- The humidifier was in its case and filled; the ukulele is always in its case with the humidifier if it's not being played at that moment
- The case was laying flat on the floor, just barely within range of the cat tower at the time of The Incident


I'm wondering how the boyfriend knows this is what happened. Somehow I'm a little suspicious. Yeah, lets blame this on the cat. :rolleyes:

Was the case damaged at all? Lets call in Perry Mason and get to the bottom of this.
I couldn't find any damage on the case after a thorough search. It's canvas-covered though, so if there were scuff marks I wouldn't be able to see them.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll get more info about The Incident from my BF tonight. He works from home which is why he was there at the time and I was not.

BlueLatitude
08-01-2014, 03:11 AM
That's some pretty strong cat to knock something like that over! I'm sure you'd see something on the outside of the case if it got knocked hard enough to make those cracks.

thenewb
08-01-2014, 03:27 AM
So Pono MCD has a gloss finish? I can't see too well from the picture, but just wondering if there is a crack on the finish, or if the wood itself is cracking?
If the uke cracked inside its case, it's a pretty strong bump on the case. Should be able to detect something on the case.
Another scenario I could think of is that the case dropped from a high altitude. That impact transfers to the uke with "seemingly unnoticeable" damage on the case. Which is why it is not advisable to check in your case during flying.
Whether it is a crack on the finish or the wood, a good luthier should be able to fix it.

PhilUSAFRet
08-01-2014, 03:37 AM
Be interested on seeing if there was any damage to one of the braces inside.

AndrewKuker
08-01-2014, 04:05 AM
That is not dryness or even impact from falling in the case. I'll go ahead and tell you it's impossible for this to happen while in the case without case damage. I don't know if I missed your call or email today but look, I empathize and want to help with a bsiac fix at no charge, just send it back to us. We will fix structural issues and touch up finish a little. Not talking about a full refinish to make like it never happened. You will still see it but overall structure will be good. You pay shipping. We won't charge for the work/

Kanaka916
08-01-2014, 04:14 AM
Again . . . Andrew & HMS to da rescue! Braddah you ste up awready?

SailingUke
08-01-2014, 05:16 AM
That is not dryness or even impact from falling in the case. I'll go ahead and tell you it's impossible for this to happen while in the case without case damage. I don't know if I missed your call or email today but look, I empathize and want to help with a bsiac fix at no charge, just send it back to us. We will fix structural issues and touch up finish a little. Not talking about a full refinish to make like it never happened. You will still see it but overall structure will be good. You pay shipping. We won't charge for the work/

Wow, what an offer.
The spirit of MGM lives on at HMS.

graybones
08-01-2014, 05:49 AM
That is not dryness or even impact from falling in the case. I'll go ahead and tell you it's impossible for this to happen while in the case without case damage. I don't know if I missed your call or email today but look, I empathize and want to help with a bsiac fix at no charge, just send it back to us. We will fix structural issues and touch up finish a little. Not talking about a full refinish to make like it never happened. You will still see it but overall structure will be good. You pay shipping. We won't charge for the work/

Thank you Andrew!! I actually exchanged a few emails with Zach last night, I sent an email to HMS as soon as I saw the first crack. That's so kind of you not to change for the work. It's certainly possible that there is case damage and I just missed it. If falling and dryness can't cause this I guess it really was the cat tower that did it. Thank you again for your help, this is above and beyond what I could have hoped for and I am so grateful. I am so relieved that my Pono can be fixed, and also glad to solve the mystery of what happened. :D :D :D

Ukejenny
08-01-2014, 11:30 AM
You said the case was lying flat on the floor when you found it. Was it propped up on something and then got knocked down to the floor when the cat tower fell?

Maybe catgut, or perhaps even, boyfriend gut strings might brighten the sound??? (totally kidding)

Larry D.
09-06-2014, 07:26 PM
I'm wondering how the boyfriend knows this is what happened. Somehow I'm a little suspicious. Yeah, lets blame this on the cat. :rolleyes:


Was the case damaged at all? Lets call in Perry Mason and get to the bottom of this.

Boys are like that.....I blamed the cats and dogs for all kinds of thing over the years....my wife caught on early in our marriage. I know if I came up with that theory she would see right through it. I am not saying your boyfriend is fibbing but if he is give him an "A" for effort and hand him the bill!
That "cat gut" comment was punny but if it wasn't the cats you may be out of luck on strings....I don't know if they make boyfriend hide ones yet...
Good luck.

graybones
09-08-2014, 06:27 AM
hehe. Haven't been round the forum in a bit and just now saw the last two posts, they gave me a laugh :) The case was lying on the ground at the time, in my mind that was supposed to prevent it from being damaged by falling down, clearly not the best idea! From now on it it shall be kept safely in a closet.

This sad story is on its way to a happy ending. My Pono is currently being repaired at HMS. Andrew was able to find damage on the case and ukulele that corroborated my BF's story, so he's off the hook! Haha. I'm looking forward to having my Pono back but feel relieved knowing it made it to Hawaii and is now in good hands. I'm also touched by the kindness of Andrew at HMS and the community here for the support.

Here's a photo of the perpetrator, Chaz. Since the Cat Tower Incident, he has clawed 2 chord sheets to shreds and broken my Snark tuner. Clearly he has an anti-ukulele agenda.

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good_uke_boy
09-08-2014, 06:40 AM
What a beautiful kitty. But it looks like he's about to attack the camera.

KaijuEmily
09-08-2014, 12:25 PM
I swear my cat is magnetically attracted to my uke case!! Little brat will keep coming back over and over again to sit on it, no matter how much I move her !

Rllink
09-08-2014, 12:47 PM
I swear my cat is magnetically attracted to my uke case!! Little brat will keep coming back over and over again to sit on it, no matter how much I move her !Maybe she is jealous.

Larry D.
09-13-2014, 02:57 PM
Andrew of HMS "You are Da Man!" Actions speak louder than words and yours yell "I Care" even though it was not the fault of the product. You will have my next business when the "want need" hits again.
Thank you Andrew for reaching out to Graybones.
And Greybones....sorry for jumping to the conclusion your BF was probably the culprit...I just sometimes feel I get away with "it" when I blame a cat.
My wife even gave me a hotplate for the kitchen that reads "To error is Human....To blame others is more Human". Guess she has me figured out pretty good after all these years:rolleyes:

graybones
09-15-2014, 09:24 AM
Well everyone, today my Pono made it back to me safe and sound. I wanted to make one last post to wrap up this thread.

HMS has done an excellent job fixing my ukulele. Most importantly, it sounds good as new! I wasn't sure what amount of "scarring" to expect from the repair but the cracks are nearly invisible. You can't see them unless you know what to look for and are up close. Needless to say I will be a lifelong customer of HMS! Thanks to everyone who offered advice, jokes, or encouragement on this post. :)

ricdoug
09-16-2014, 08:12 AM
BF sits on uke. Puts uke in case. Blames cat. My version only. Ric

hawaii 50
09-16-2014, 08:29 AM
Well everyone, today my Pono made it back to me safe and sound. I wanted to make one last post to wrap up this thread.

HMS has done an excellent job fixing my ukulele. Most importantly, it sounds good as new! I wasn't sure what amount of "scarring" to expect from the repair but the cracks are nearly invisible. You can't see them unless you know what to look for and are up close. Needless to say I will be a lifelong customer of HMS! Thanks to everyone who offered advice, jokes, or encouragement on this post. :)

I am visiting with Andrew and Staci(wicked wahine) today...I will pass the message to Andrew....he may not read your post as they are busier than normal for this time of the year.....:)

Trinimon
09-17-2014, 04:55 AM
Congrats! Nice job and top notch service from HMS as usual. Looks like I'll be island hopping next year so I'll make my pilgrimage to Uke heaven in Haleiwa! :)

Nickie
09-17-2014, 11:42 AM
Wow, this is a happier ending than getting a new uke, I think! Congrats on getting your baby back.
Cat, BF, who cares?
Just keep it hidden from them when you're not playing....we hide ours from the dogs and cats....

graybones
09-17-2014, 02:19 PM
I am visiting with Andrew and Staci(wicked wahine) today...I will pass the message to Andrew....he may not read your post as they are busier than normal for this time of the year.....:)
Thank you! Don't worry though, we were in contact via email so I was sure to express my thanks directly :)

@Trinimon - I would love the chance to visit beautiful Hawaii and the brick-and-mortar HMS... if you make it there... tell them hi from me!

@Nickie - I have carved a nice safe space in a closet for it now! I feel even more protective and sentimental about it after all this. Really appreciate its beautiful sound even more now, since going back to my beater uke for the last several weeks.

Tinstar
10-09-2014, 10:46 PM
Just wanted to say that I have bought three Ukes from HMS and they are the BEST! Good products, good prices, GREAT customer service as this thread has proven, very good communication...and the greatest set up around in my humble opinion! Way to go Andrew and the respect that I have for you guys has grown even more! Good luck graybones and I know how you feel...I love my Pono as well!

jminor409
10-13-2014, 03:16 PM
maybe turn it into a different instrument with the good parts