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Thread: Ukulele fell and broken down. Is it reparable?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Default Ukulele fell and broken down. Is it reparable?

    Help guys,
    my ukulele (Pono MC) fell from a chair and the top is broken down (pic attached). Will it be reparable? And if it's reparable (with glue maybe?), will it sound the same? T.T IMG_20190522_215725.jpgIMG_20190522_215725.jpgIMG_20190522_215725.jpg

  2. #2
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    Yes its repairable. At a cost although I'm not in a position to say what that may be.

    If you want it repaired so it doesn't look like it happened at all then that will be expensive. Its the finishing that will cost money.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Yes its repairable. At a cost although I'm not in a position to say what that may be.

    If you want it repaired so it doesn't look like it happened at all then that will be expensive. Its the finishing that will cost money.
    Thank you for the reply, Sir. My only concern is how will it affect the sound, I don't mind it looking "broken" as long as it still sound as sweet (this uke sounds really sweet although its volume is low).

  4. #4
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    For that type of damage to occur, it must have fallen directly onto the bridge - very bad luck, indeed. The first thing you must do is to slacken off all the strings. The pull of string tension on a weakened front can easily cause even worse damage. As AnthonyG says, a repair can be made, and the uke could function very well, but it would always bear the scars. Refinishing to perfect condition is not a financially viable option.

    It is possible that, with a good repair, the sound of your uke will not be badly affected. It might even be improved! They are ornery critters.

    You have to balance the cost of the repair against that of replacement.

    John Coilter.
    Last edited by ukantor; 06-21-2019 at 10:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    Yes, you should reduce tension on the strings immediately. And then find a luthier to get an estimate for repair. It may be cheaper (or at least more reassuring) to replace it. Fortunately, there are similar Ponos available. Sorry to see that.


    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    For that type of damage to occur, it must have fallen directly onto the bridge - very bad luck, indeed. The first thing you must do is to slacken off all the strings. The pull of string tension on a weakened front can easily cause even worse damage. As AnthonyG says, a repair can be made, and the uke could function very well, but it would always bear the scars. Refinishing to perfect condition is not a financially viable option.

    It is possible that, with a good repair, the sound of your uke will not be badly affected. It might even be improved! They are ornery critters.

    You have to balance the cost of the repair against that of replacement.

    John Coilter.
    Martin C1K • Famous by Kiwaya FS-1 <yippee!!> • Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top) • Ohana SK-28 ‘Nunes’ <suh-weet> • Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany soprano <yay!!> • Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> • Flea koa soprano • Makala MK-CE concert • Kahuna "Felix the Cat" soprano • Woodrow "Steelers" soprano <eyeroll>

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  6. #6
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    I think it looks worse than it probably is. There’s a new one at HMS for $369?

    I might get a new one and keep the old one as a beater or to practice my own DIY stuff.

    Thus starts UAS

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Yes, you should reduce tension on the strings immediately. And then find a luthier to get an estimate for repair. It may be cheaper (or at least more reassuring) to replace it. Fortunately, there are similar Ponos available. Sorry to see that.
    Good advice to reduce string tension.

    Crack Repairs will probably run at least $80-$100 an hour. Hard to tell what all might be broken inside or need reglued. Refinishing might be prohibitively expensive to do right. might do better to get another good used Pono MC.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  8. #8
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    This Spring the son of one of my students sat on his new Cordoba ukulele and cracked the top in a manner similar to the OP (never leave uku unattended on a couch!). He took it a local tech and the crack was closed (a small piece of wood was used to help brace it) for $75. He brought to me and it sounded terrible after the repair: soundboard braces were loose and rattling like the devil. So he took it back and was charged another $100 to glue the braces back on. For an instrument in the lower price range, about $300, he would have been better off buying a new one. It looks like hell and sounds dull.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    Yes, you should reduce tension on the strings immediately. And then find a luthier to get an estimate for repair. It may be cheaper (or at least more reassuring) to replace it. Fortunately, there are similar Ponos available. Sorry to see that.
    Sound advice, pardon the pun. You can try to sell the damaged one (not to me) to some one who is willing to take a chance on repairing it, covering some of the replacement cost.

  10. #10
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    Second thing - after loosening the strings - get yourself some Titebond (I think that’s the name) glue and try fixing it yourself. The glue can be removed if you need a second shot at it. You’ll need to figure a way to hold it in place while glue dries.

    Just a few bucks to try it and the feeling of loss will be lessened by the pride of bringing it back to life.

    Good luck!

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