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Thread: String Snap PTSD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    122

    Default String Snap PTSD

    The strings on my two expensive ukes snapped because they are too thin. Now my kamaka pineapple has a hole and cocobolo soprano has a white dent which is very obvious on the red cocobolo wood.
    Soooooo depressed! Now I
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brûlée)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo
    Ohana Pequeno
    KoAloha Concert Koa
    Kamaka Pineapple Soprano
    Ohana Pequeno

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    5,139

    Default

    I feel for you. The first week I used my new Kala (not a Kamaka, but at the time it was my most expensive), I dropped it on a terrazzo floor cracking the glossy finish on the front of the upper bout and and the front top corner of the headstock. At the moment it bummed me out, but decided the damage made it one of a kind and accepted it.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Leeds, UK
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Ouch. I've never reacted well to things like that (indeed, I've never been able to bear creasing the spine of a book).

    A few years ago I read about kintsugi, the Japanese method of pottery repair using gold. The philosophy behind it is that by deliberately highlighting the damage it celebrates the ongoing life of the pot. Scuffs, chips and breaks are part of the story and part of what makes a particular item unique. It made me look differently at wear and tear and accidental damage, accepting that it was part of a growing history.
    "If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair." - Samuel Johnson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,257

    Default

    That is too bad.........never a nice thing.......but now both ukes are gaining some history. WhT gauge for strings were they? Were you tuned to C6?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    804

    Default

    Hm. In the first pic I see a tiny little white speck.. In the second pic I see a white spot that looks like glare from light when the pic was taken...or am I missing something?

    Here's a tip: Use masking tape or painter's tape (NOT another kind. This has to be something that goes on and comes off easily and will not hurt a finish). Put a strip or two of that down behind the bridge when you change strings. Alternately you could lay a soft piece of cloth there if you could get it to stay in place during the change.
    Also, cut off the ends of the strings sticking out at the bridge. It's the string ends that will cause some of those marks.

    If that little white speck bothers you that much, you could take a brown marker of the right shade and carefully dot it then quickly rub with a soft cloth....but I'd suggest trying it on something else first as you seem really picky about the look of the instruments.
    I take really good care of my stuff too, but sometimes you can worry so much it takes away the enjoyment of the instrument. I mean is it a display piece or a musical instrument?
    That's one reason I usually don't own expensive ukes or instruments anymore. I would tend to worry too much over the care of them. Just some thoughts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    4,248

    Default

    I don't worry about wear and tear. I mean, for a moment, but it is bound to happen. Let go and move on, and don't dwell on it. But in eight years I have never broken a string on one my ukuleles. Interesting that it seems to be a common occurrence for some.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    2,463

    Default

    This is akin to the first dent you get on a new car. You dread it until it happens. After that you accept that something you use frequently is going to get a little wear and tear.

    Your dings are barely visible. (I understand, you'll always know it's there.) They're learning moments. If either of them really bother you, a good repair shop can try to steam them out and then repair the finishes. (See StewMac video.) But I'd recommend just fix the finishes.

    I don't understand why your strings broke. Unless you way over-tightened them.

    I've only had one string break for any other reason. (It was an early Aquila Red.) And I use very thin fluorocarbons.

    It's easy to be an octave high if you don't have a reference sound.

    If you have more than one uke, use the one you're not restringing to get you in the neighborhood of being in tune. Then use your tuner to fine tune. Or use an online tuner with a tone to provide a target.

    I tighten the A-string (and high-g) slowly. As it gets taut, I let it rest and stretch while I tune the other strings. Then tighten some more. Until I get there.

    I will deliberately over-tighten a step so that the string will stretch and settle faster overnight. To A#.

    If you use a low tack tape to protect your top, do not leave it on more than a few minutes. Especially masking tape. It will leave an adhesive residue. I don't know if they even sell it anymore, but Drafting Tape was the lower tack version of masking tape. Your tape needs to be fresh as well.

    If you worry about it in the future, you can apply a small strip of clear plastic below your bridge. Like a piece of a phone screen protector. LFdM tenors do this on their tenors. It may affect the finish, so once it's on, don't mess with it. Pickguards can be removed by a luthier or repair tech, I don't know about screen protector materials.

    Sorry it happened. It's a bummer.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M3Ukulele View Post
    That is too bad.........never a nice thing.......but now both ukes are gaining some history. WhT gauge for strings were they? Were you tuned to C6?
    yes. the problem is the string (Martin M600) was too thin and the bridge sloths were large on Kamaka
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brûlée)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo
    Ohana Pequeno
    KoAloha Concert Koa
    Kamaka Pineapple Soprano
    Ohana Pequeno

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jer View Post
    Hm. In the first pic I see a tiny little white speck.. In the second pic I see a white spot that looks like glare from light when the pic was taken...or am I missing something?

    Here's a tip: Use masking tape or painter's tape (NOT another kind. This has to be something that goes on and comes off easily and will not hurt a finish). Put a strip or two of that down behind the bridge when you change strings. Alternately you could lay a soft piece of cloth there if you could get it to stay in place during the change.
    Also, cut off the ends of the strings sticking out at the bridge. It's the string ends that will cause some of those marks.

    If that little white speck bothers you that much, you could take a brown marker of the right shade and carefully dot it then quickly rub with a soft cloth....but I'd suggest trying it on something else first as you seem really picky about the look of the instruments.
    I take really good care of my stuff too, but sometimes you can worry so much it takes away the enjoyment of the instrument. I mean is it a display piece or a musical instrument?
    That's one reason I usually don't own expensive ukes or instruments anymore. I would tend to worry too much over the care of them. Just some thoughts.
    the photos don't do the reality justice. My husband always thought I am a drama queen when it comes to OCD but this time he agreed the damage was something
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brûlée)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo
    Ohana Pequeno
    KoAloha Concert Koa
    Kamaka Pineapple Soprano
    Ohana Pequeno

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJackBrass View Post
    Ouch. I've never reacted well to things like that (indeed, I've never been able to bear creasing the spine of a book).

    A few years ago I read about kintsugi, the Japanese method of pottery repair using gold. The philosophy behind it is that by deliberately highlighting the damage it celebrates the ongoing life of the pot. Scuffs, chips and breaks are part of the story and part of what makes a particular item unique. It made me look differently at wear and tear and accidental damage, accepting that it was part of a growing history.
    I just have the Kamaka soprano for about 2 months I wouldn't want to make the history in this early stage.
    Rebel Mango Sublime Soprano (Creme brûlée)
    Mainland Spruce/Mahogany Concert
    Ohana sk-38
    Famous FS-5
    Ohana SK-21m
    Cocobolo Super Soprano
    Martin 0x Bamboo
    Ohana Pequeno
    KoAloha Concert Koa
    Kamaka Pineapple Soprano
    Ohana Pequeno

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