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Thread: High gloss Kala ukulele body fault / crack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    6

    Default High gloss Kala ukulele body fault / crack

    I bought a new high gloss Kala ukulele 5 weeks ago and whilst buffing it yesterday I felt a crack in the top surface. It's solid wood.

    It's my first serious ukulele since my beginner 25 one and I'm so disappointed and unsure why this has happened.

    If anyone can give me some advice on how they think it happened and what to do about it I'd be very grateful please. I've attached some photos. Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    I'd be contacting the dealer for a return and replacement. That's not something easily fixed by a non-professional. Even if it's just a finish crack and not extending into the wood, there's a chip of the finish broken out.
    Larry

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  3. #3
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    Sep 2013
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    If the top is solid wood and the environment in which you kept it is very dry, that would be a likely reason why it happened. That happened to me before I understood about humidity. Solid wood ukes need to be kept in a humidity range of 45% to 55%. There are small humidifying devices that go in the case or bag. I enclosed a shelf in my bookcase, added water trays and hygrometer that holds my 8 ukes, a couple are even laminate wood.

    That crack can be repaired by a guitar shop, but you'll have to wait for the all clear, just keep the uke in proper humidty.


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  4. #4
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    Jan 2016
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    I agree with Michael about the humidity issues, but I would think that a five-week-old instrument, in the soggy UK, wouldn't have a major issue like this. Maybe if it was stored in front of a hot air heater vent or in a closed vehicle, but a normal indoor environment shouldn't cause that crack, that soon. I still say send it back to the dealer.
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR (LOW "G")
    • KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    • PONO ATD-CR CEDAR/ACACIA TENOR
    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)

  5. #5
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    West Midlands GB
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    Looking at the third photograph, I'd say it was caused by sharp impact at the point, just above the bridge, where the crack moves towards the bridge (for a very short distance) then towards the bottom edge.

    If you can show, indisputably, that it was like that when you bought it, then you should be able to make a claim on the vendor.

    John Colter
    Last edited by ukantor; 05-10-2020 at 06:28 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    Looking at the third photograph, I'd say it was caused by sharp impact at the point, just above the bridge, where the crack moves towards the bridge (for a very short distance) then towards the bottom edge.
    I agree that it looks like something hit it. If it happened seemingly out of nowhere, my first question is do you have pets or small children? Little paws and little fingers sometimes have little accidents.

    The vendor might not accept a return / exchange given the time frame and proof that it arrived like that, but they might be able to assist with a repair. It's worth asking.
    __̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.___

  7. #7
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    May 2020
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    Thanks for all your replies. I did send the photos to the shop and he said that it looked like I'd dropped it or that something had fallen on it and that he can't see how it would've happened on its own. He said that I could send it to them to look at to get a 100% opinion but I got the feeling he'd made up his mind and that it was just going to cost me to go through the process.

    I live at home with just my husband and we have no children or pets (and no visitors due to lockdown). We've been really careful with it as it's one of the most beautiful objects we own. It's been kept in humidity between 40 and 55 - we have humidity monitors in our room.

    The photo looks like there is varnish missing but it's just the shape of the crack in the light. Do knocks on a high gloss body even end up looking like that? Do knocks on high gloss travel down the body? Could it just be the varnish and the wood be intact beneath?

    There is a little tiny circle of missing varnish at the bottom of the 2nd photo too, could that be involved in any way? It must've appeared around the same time but isn't quite in line with the crack.

  8. #8
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    It does look likely to be just a finish crack, but it's hard to be sure just from the photos. I agree with the dealer that it probably was caused by dropping or something hitting it. (Don't ask me how I know what that looks like. )

    The question is whether it happened before you took ownership or later. Did you examine it carefully when you first received it? Did you maybe take a vanity photo or two? Without some kind of proof, it's going to be your word against his. A good dealer might take the hit for good customer relations, even without proof, but you can't count on that. I suspect you might end up eating the cost of the repair.

    And it should be repaired. It's not going to get any better, and the crack could spread. Sorry for the less-than-positive feedback.
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR (LOW "G")
    • KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    • PONO ATD-CR CEDAR/ACACIA TENOR
    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Yakima, WA
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    You say it is a High Gloss finish. That term refers to the look of the finish, not the finish itself. I went to the Kala website and after searching for 15 minutes, I could not find what the actual finish is that they use, such as: Lacquer, Oil. Shellac, Polyurethane or Poly-esther, ????. If it is Lacquer, shellac or oil finish, it is easily repaired by a professional. If it is in the Poly family finishes, nothing is going to stick to it once it has cured. If you try to sand it (poly finish), it will turn to a white line, even more noticeable. Poly is very hard and durable but is not easily repaired. If the crack is in the wood, it can be repaired, but not the Poly finish.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Thanks again, no I didn't take any photos on receipt but it did look fine when I received it. I wish I knew of a moment it could've happened as I'd find it easier to accept!! It helps to know that it doesn't look like a manufacturing fault that has just begun to show itself though as that was my fear as well.

    Thanks for your advice about repairing quickly, I will try to get that done when possible then. I bought it to get through this lockdown and I can't even look at it now as it's too upsetting!

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