Top popped off my kamaka!

BlackBearUkes

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Isn't it not only the brand but how much you dilute the hyde glue too?

Some brands are better than others although the right mixture of water, heat and crystals are more critical. Hide glue that is heated over and over or used from day to day gets old and should be discarded.
 

Skinny Money McGee

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Another Sherlock Holmes thread !!!

I'll bet this uke was taken apart at one time to fix a crack in the top. Note the wide cleat perpendicular to the bridge plate? Another clue is the cut fretboard and a re-glue job that didn't hold.

I have a gold label Kamaka and it has no cleat, no cut fretboard, and a well glued on top.

Whad'a think Watson?
 

Skinny Money McGee

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I think you are correct, Sherlock. RyanMFT conjectured similarly 24 hours ago, but as he has deleted his worldly comment, it allows you, oh sage one, to be the undisputed prophet of truth, just as you were regarding Manny.


Ah, many thanks grasshoppa.. lol

If it were mine, I'd be tempted to send this off to Kamaka and have that top put back on properly, and a new fretboard made. Sweet little ukes.
 

vanflynn

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:agree:

I sent my Tiki to Kamaka for repair and didn't regret it. I does take a while but they do a great job. And if you ever want to sell it "factory repaired" is a lot better than repaired locally.

Good luck and keep us posted
 

fretie

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:agree:

I sent my Tiki to Kamaka for repair and didn't regret it. I does take a while but they do a great job. And if you ever want to sell it "factory repaired" is a lot better than repaired locally.

Good luck and keep us posted

Totally agree with the improved resell status when 'factory repaired'. I was seriously interested in a gold label Kamaka a little while ago until the seller disclosed that the uke's repair was not by Kamaka but, what really bothered me, was that he was not willing to share with me which qualified luthier actually did the repair (causing me to wonder if the luthier was in fact 'qualified'!).
 

kvehe

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Oh, my, that is painful to see. Sending healing thoughts.....
 

Penguinofsorts

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Ugh... You guys are swaying me to send it to kamaka!!! Dang it! Here's a pic of the top / cut fretboard... Good sleuthing, btw! You guys always come through!!image.jpgimage.jpg
 

RichM

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I'm on the side that says send it to Kamaka. I agree with the other sleuths here that it shows signs of having been previously repaired by a less-than-cautious repairperson. You'll get it back from Kamaka all shiny and perfect, and they'll undo any old evil. And you have a couple of others that can keep you busy while you await its return!
 

SteveZ

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It all goes back to what's the instrument worth to you? Think of it like a Porsche 911 - you can get it serviced by a factory-trained mechanic using OEM parts or you can bring it to "Fred's Foreign Cars" which uses no-name parts and claims to be able to fix any foreign car, but mainly works on Toyotas.

Finding a really good luthier who is skilled with ukuleles is like finding a good periodontist - the process can be painful, take time and sometimes is a matter of luck. If you have one, that's a good thing, and needs to be considered. If not, then it is a risk (as the current state if the instrument seems to show). FWIW, I have a luthier who is good with guitars and a different luthier for mandolins, and am on the lookout for a ukulele luthier as the other two readily admit they prefer to work only on certain instruments.
 
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mm stan

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Kamaka has the best repair prices around...the wait however is worth it...
 

Skinny Money McGee

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I think I may take back what I said about this being a formerly repaired uke. I sat down today with a magnifying glass and had a close look at my 61 Kamaka.

First of all, these fretboards are very thin. I believe, back then, Kamaka glued the fretboard on first, then cut the fret slots, then installed the frets. The fret slots on one side of the neck are cut so deep, they actually cut through to the neck, as you can see in this picture.

It seems more probable that the end of the fret board snapped off when the soundboard separated, since the slot was most likely cut all the way through at the 12th fret in the first place.

As far as that cleat? Kamaka may have done that to stabilize a grain pattern in the top.

Either way, I'd still send it to Kamaka
 

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coolkayaker1

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One option: you could just slather some Elmer's in there and close it up with C-clamps and elbow grease.

(Hey, I think it's important to give the whole spectrum of repair options).
 
R

RyanMFT

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As far as that cleat? Kamaka may have done that to stabilize a grain pattern in the top.

I find it hard to believe that a company in the business of making ukuleles, would use a piece of wood for a sound board which they believed would fail, so they glued another piece of wood to it, to prevent a crack...at the same time knowing a cleat of that size would kill much of the resonance of said soundboard.
 

1931jim

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Skinny Money McGee wrote....
""I think I may take back what I said about this being a formerly repaired uke. I sat down today with a magnifying glass and had a close look at my 61 Kamaka.""
I believe it is common practice among luthiers to make and fret the fretboard (fingerboard) before gluing to the neck. I think if I had pulled a stunt like in Skinny Money's picture I would have been so fired. Apprenticeship in the craft is still number one in my book. Jim..
 

Skinny Money McGee

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I find it hard to believe that a company in the business of making ukuleles, would use a piece of wood for a sound board which they believed would fail, so they glued another piece of wood to it, to prevent a crack...at the same time knowing a cleat of that size would kill much of the resonance of said soundboard.

I find it hard to believe also, and it's certainly not the case today. But who knows what went on in the factory 53 years ago while the boss wasn't looking.
 

Skinny Money McGee

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If Skinny's fret slots were cut like that at the factory, anything is possible. They go right past the fretboard, and into the neck! Yikes!!! I've seen some older Kamakas that look kind of handmade (I'm being polite), but they weren't the high-priced item they are today.

*** I'm not trying to bash Kamaka, but the last one I bought was worth about $200, and Skinny's picture is worth a thousand words....

The uke in the picture I posted was not new. It was built in November 1961. 53 years old, and is a great uke despite it's flaws.
 

FrankB

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The uke in the picture I posted was not new. It was built in November 1961. 53 years old, and is a great uke despite it's flaws.

That uke's birthday is nearly the same as mine. :) I was just saying that your Kamaka was built a little sloppy. It could sound fantastic, but you could be quite right regarding the pop top's fretboard snapping being a manufacturing issue.
 

1931jim

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Why do I feel sad for Kamaka.?
I just read the article "Our History" The Kamaka Story. The last line of which is so very revealing.
Samuel Kamaka's advice to his sons Chris and Casey:
"If you make instruments and use the family name, don't make junk."
 

Skinny Money McGee

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Why do I feel sad for Kamaka.?
I just read the article "Our History" The Kamaka Story. The last line of which is so very revealing.
Samuel Kamaka's advice to his sons Chris and Casey:
"If you make instruments and use the family name, don't make junk."

You feel sad for Kamaka?
That was advise from Samuel Sr. to Sons Sam Jr. and Fred back in the 40's. Today Kamaka arguably makes some of the best production made ukes, Casey's customs are off the charts, and they are wonderful people to deal with.
 
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1931jim

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Yes I agree with you. They are wonderful people to deal with as you said. The Kamaka family must also feel sad with some of todays craftspeople.
Sincerely.
Jim
PS: Thank you for the clarification regarding my error of descendants.(ents) spelling.
 
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