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Thread: side markers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default side markers

    I ordered a mainland tenor which I have had about 10 days. I am enjoying it. But I miss it not having side markers. Is there an easy way to put some on? I am thinking about using nail polish or maybe acrylic paint. Would either of these harm the instrument? Or is there a better way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    NYC
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickyfreeman View Post
    I ordered a mainland tenor which I have had about 10 days. I am enjoying it. But I miss it not having side markers. Is there an easy way to put some on? I am thinking about using nail polish or maybe acrylic paint. Would either of these harm the instrument? Or is there a better way?
    I've used a Sharpie marker to make the dots.

    Yes the dots will eventually rub off, but easy to restore.

    Sharpies are cheap and come in various colors too.

    If you decide later to remove the dots for any reason, rubbing alcohol is an easy solvent and should not harm the wood unless you drench the wood with the alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is also known as "isopropyl alcohol" or "iso" in some circles and also cheap and easily available.
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

  3. #3
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    Dec 2018
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    Default

    ok Joe, thanks. I will try that

  4. #4
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    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Default

    If you're willing to do some surgery, I've added markers by drilling small holes in the side of the fretboard and gluing in fret marker material - which is then cut flush with the surface. It sounds difficult, but it's really easy to do, and looks great when you're finished.

    But if you want really simple, the only thing I've found that lasts more than a few weeks is to use Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pens, Extra Fine, in black or white.

    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
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    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  5. #5
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    Dec 2018
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    thanks. I'll try the sharpie for now

  6. #6
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    Mar 2014
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    Ames, Iowa
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    Several ways to make fret markers. I had a Kala sticker that someone gave me. Took a hole punch and made myself some dots and put it on my Mainland. They lasted at least two years before they fell of. By then the Mainland wasn't new anymore so I took a drill to it. I drilled some holes about a sixteenth of and inch deep where I wanted the markers, the same size bit as a Bella C string, then used superglue to stick pieces of an old string in the holes. Next day I cut them off with a razor. I don't think that a custom luthier could have done a better job. It was easy. Anyway, a sharpie, holes punched out of a sticker, fingernail polish, drilling and filling, your imagination is the limit. Shouldn't be an issue. But I've always wondered why Mainlands don't have them. They are such nice instruments.
    Last edited by Rllink; 12-29-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Dec 2018
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    yeah I wonder that too

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
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    Oakland, CA
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    Even though my mainland is no longer new, I haven't wanted to drill holes in it, nor adorn it with tacky tape or nail polish. So I have a silver sharpie to make circle side markers. I think this color is often used for signing CDs. Well it doesn't last very long, and rubs off easily but it actually looks quite beautiful and blends in with the fret markers on the front. I agree. Why doesn't mainland make them part of their build design? Maybe they don't expect anybody to go past the third fret.
    KoAlana Sapele Concert -- now known as the KoAloha Opio
    Mainland Mahogany Concert - my knockabout jam ukulele
    Mahalo Pineapple Soprano -- the one that started it all
    Kala Travel Soprano -- tiny profile with BIG sound
    Blue Frog Maple Soprano - Beautiful sonorous sound cannon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe King View Post
    I've used a Sharpie marker to make the dots.

    Yes the dots will eventually rub off, but easy to restore.

    Sharpies are cheap and come in various colors too.

    If you decide later to remove the dots for any reason, rubbing alcohol is an easy solvent and should not harm the wood unless you drench the wood with the alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is also known as "isopropyl alcohol" or "iso" in some circles and also cheap and easily available.
    I would be concerned that the rubbing alcohol (solvent) might cause harm to the finish.

    How about putting a fret decal close enough to the edge it can be seen to the side.
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

    Northern UK20 Concert Mahogany
    Beaver Creek BCUKEFM-T Tenor Maple Flame
    Eddy Finn EF-Moon Concert Mahogany
    Beaver Creek BCUKE-S Soprano Mahogany

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