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Thread: Small chips and recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Default Small chips and recommendations

    9EA28620-0FC9-4365-9F81-B021E5810CA2.jpgI received my ukulele with a poorly placed strap button which when the strap was in use would stick out the edge of the fretboard and prevent me playing above the 12th fret, very annoying. I had some amber dowel so I removed the button fine sanded to the dowel to creep up on the fit and installed it into the hole, unfortunately when the hole was originally drilled there was some chipping to the finish, nothing crazy and I’m not overly precious, just be nice to have it look a little cleaner and more aesthetic being a high end brand new instrument. Any advice on what product/s would be best to resolve this?
    Also, I have a beautiful High end Uke that had seen better days, needs a new bridge and such. Any advice on good UK luthiers fit for the task?

    Ps the amber dowel was a personal choice and may not be for everyone but I felt it best to embrace it than disguise.

    Cheers luthierets
    Last edited by Theblackegg; 11-25-2020 at 05:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Little River, California


    Yup, that is one ugly hole in an otherwise nice looking uke. Really bad placement too. I'll bet that was done after market or by "the new kid" because no luthier worth his or her salt would drill such a sloppy hole in such a place.

    Now what to do? I'm not a repair type person luthier so I will defer to those more knowledgeable, but what I would not do is go at it with sandpaper unless you are prepared to do a partial refinish job and that could turn into a nightmare and make a botched job worse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017


    Yeah very frustrating. Figured first I’d just leave it and place strapless, however I sometimes play for hours and hours and I get all sorts of aches and pains so a strap is a necessary evil for me. I’ve since fit my own button and wish I’d just done so in the first place.. oh well, if you want something done right and all to tidy up the mess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2020


    Little hard to prescribe a solution without seeing/feeling/handling to get an idea of the scale of the chips (do they go into the wood or just finish), how thick the finish is, what the finish feels like, etc.

    Since you've already got the hole plugged it sounds like you're just trying to address the chips around the hole.

    For small irregular chips like that, I try to evaluate if there's color missing - i.e. if the chip is down into the wood and the exposed wood is a different color due to the missing finish. If so, I color match first by applying water based dye mixed to match the color, using a needle. Then I drop fill with medium CA, trim flush with a swiss cut file, and buff it out.

    You can also get colored lacquer burn in sticks and use a hot knife or wood burning iron set on low to melt it into the hole.

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