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Thread: Feedback/Advice wanted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Feedback/Advice wanted

    So I sold the Vita Uke prototype to a buyer in New York. The uke is kept in a case with a humidifier and the soundboard joint has opened up. I have never had a joint fail in my over fifty years involvemnt in woodwork. Any ideas as to why this has happened? I have made other ukes in the same wood (Tasmanian Blackwood), my own uke hanging in the workshop is five years old and shows no sign of anything going wrong with it. Is this a climatic issue? could the humidifier introduce excess moisture, or is it just one of those things. I have no knowledge of using humidifiers, so others more experienced may wish to chip in here.
    Have other builders had issues like this?. Maybe this will be the last uke I export, just sell them locally and stick to selling my banjo ukes overseas, which in over forty instruments I have had zero issues with. Anybody?
    I have offered a full refund.
    Last edited by DPO; 07-30-2017 at 02:48 PM.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Mandeville, Louisiana
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    Default

    Hey Dennis,

    Lot of variables, but I'd start by doubting the excess moisture idea. It appears to have shrunk, not expanded (thoough from that angle difficult to say for sure).

    One of those variables, of course, is you trusting the word of your customer when it comes to case storage. In most instances, it's right to do so. Then again, if you're searching for an explanation to avoid a reoccurence; well you weren't sitting with it in New York were you?

    -------------------

    Edit: And then again, I just remebered an instance where the joint edges weren't perfectly matched. It might pop open in that instance just from playing.

    P.S: Do you have any sort of bracing other than around the soundhole?
    Last edited by southcoastukes; 07-30-2017 at 04:22 PM.
    Dirk Wormhoudt



    website: http://www.southcoastukes.com

    email: sales@southcoastukes.com

  3. #3
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    South Euclid, OH USA (Cleveland)
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    Default

    I have never touched Tasmanian Blackwood and also never had this problem so I can only offer my sincere condolences. However, maybe I can ask some questions that may prompt some more informed replies...
    Did the uke arrive unscathed? How long had the buyer been storing it with the humidifier? Not sure if you want to go down the "which glue" trail?
    Good on you with the full refund, by the way (and of course). I hope you get some solid replies ASAP, and I'm sure everyone feels for you and the buyer. Wish I could give you more.
    Tobin Crooks

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobinsuke View Post
    I have never touched Tasmanian Blackwood and also never had this problem so I can only offer my sincere condolences. However, maybe I can ask some questions that may prompt some more informed replies...
    Did the uke arrive unscathed? How long had the buyer been storing it with the humidifier? Not sure if you want to go down the "which glue" trail?
    Good on you with the full refund, by the way (and of course). I hope you get some solid replies ASAP, and I'm sure everyone feels for you and the buyer. Wish I could give you more.
    Hi Tobin,
    The buyer has only had the uke about three weeks, it did arrive with a finish issue which is a totally separate problem am has been dealt with. Titebond glue, as I say this is the first joint failure I have had so a little perplexing. Thanks for your thoughts .
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  5. #5
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    New Zealand
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by southcoastukes View Post
    Hey Dennis,

    Lot of variables, but I'd start by doubting the excess moisture idea. It appears to have shrunk, not expanded (thoough from that angle difficult to say for sure).

    One of those variables, of course, is you trusting the word of your customer when it comes to case storage. In most instances, it's right to do so. Then again, if you're searching for an explanation to avoid a reoccurence; well you weren't sitting with it in New York were you?

    -------------------

    Edit: And then again, I just remebered an instance where the joint edges weren't perfectly matched. It might pop open in that instance just from playing.

    P.S: Do you have any sort of bracing other than around the soundhole?
    Yes two braces and a bridge patch.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
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    2,477

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    Wow. I feel your pain and it is things like this that cause me to wake up screaming in the night... A few things to think about: What does it look like inside? Get a mirror in there and see if the braces separated too.Was this a bracing failure or a top plate joint failure? .... Anyway, you have my sincere sympathy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Mandeville, Louisiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPO View Post
    Yes two braces and a bridge patch.
    So the two braces are in addition to the soundhole braces? Where do they run? Two small fans or something else?
    Dirk Wormhoudt



    website: http://www.southcoastukes.com

    email: sales@southcoastukes.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by southcoastukes View Post
    So the two braces are in addition to the soundhole braces? Where do they run? Two small fans or something else?
    Two fans.
    Regards Dennis
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Kapolei, Hawaii
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    1,852

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    Without knowing anything else about the build conditions or how it was kept, for future builds, I'd stay away from using flatsawn wood, or wood with potential runout for the top. If you do, I'd keep that section for under the fretboard, instead of under or behind the bridge.

    Sorry, doesn't explain what's happening in front of the bridge.

    For conversation, I had an 8-string on my bench with similar top grain. The bridge popped off. I did the repair, but told the owner because of the way the bridge popped, it'll probably happen again, so either string it as a 4, or get another instrument. The original glue joint was great, the wood from the top failed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Virginia USA
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    389

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    I would agree on not using flat sawn plates for tops and backs. Perhaps some may be stable after 50 years, but seems an easy thing to avoid in a new build. As I look at that crack, it seems jagged so it appears the glue joint did not fail, rather the wood did. If it was the glue it might look as smooth as when you assembled the two halves. Of course we're only looking at a low res pic, but it does look jagged to me.

    Best practices are your best friend in this business. Well selected, well quartered, well seasoned, well... every bit of conventional wisdom in your build will help you avoid these kinds of issues - that cause frustration and discouragement.

    Many folk are successful ignoring the best practices, but i'm not willing to take those chances anymore.
    Rodney Paul Adams

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