Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21

Thread: Basic Ukulele maintenance/ care

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    1,301

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aloha1985 View Post
    I am a relative newbie. How should I be taking care of my ukuleles? I have 3 soon to be 4. Two are laminates,two are solid koa wood. I keep them in cases, lying flat down. I wipe them down with a lint free cloth after playing them and have a humidifier in the solid wood one. I live in NYC.
    It sounds like you’re doing the right things already. Laminates are tough but thin solid wood is a less durable. However, having said that, there are many old solid wood Ukes still about. I wouldn’t fuss too much, keep your hands reasonably clean, wipe the Ukes down from time to time (keeps them clean) and occasionally treat the fret board - I usually only do that when I change the strings. If you have friction tuners then expect to re-adjust the screws form time to time.

    With a bit of thought, care and attention a Uke can be taken nearly anywhere. If the worst happens then mostly the financial loss isn’t going to be too upsetting. Play them all on a regular basis and enjoy what you have: that’s why you bought them and that’s what they’re made for.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 05-15-2021 at 06:21 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    710

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    "Your fretboard does not need to be oiled or moisturized."

    Pardon, please, but I strongly disagree. I have seen fretboards so dried out that the fret ends literally stuck out, and one uke even popped a couple of frets out.
    I use fretboard butter (never oil) every time I change strings. It gives it a wonderful feel, and my fingers glide over the frets more easily.
    Try it!
    I think when wood dry out, it shrinks so the frets shouldn't pop out. A fret popping out could mean that the uke is overly humidified.

    I agree that fretboard (unfinished) should be conditioned. I use lemon oil ( https://www.guitarcenter.com/Dunlop/...e-Lemon-Oil.gc ) ; a 4oz bottle will last you years even if you own 100 ukes.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clear View Post
    I think when wood dry out, it shrinks so the frets shouldn't pop out. A fret popping out could mean that the uke is overly humidified.

    I agree that fretboard (unfinished) should be conditioned. I use lemon oil ( https://www.guitarcenter.com/Dunlop/...e-Lemon-Oil.gc ) ; a 4oz bottle will last you years even if you own 100 ukes.
    No when the wood dries it shrinks whereas metal frets stay the same, so they can sprout out of the shrunken wood. That can happen even with laminate ukes, and easily reversed by putting a sponge in Ziploc bag below the neck in the gigbag or case.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    "Your fretboard does not need to be oiled or moisturized."

    Pardon, please, but I strongly disagree. I have seen fretboards so dried out that the fret ends literally stuck out, and one uke even popped a couple of frets out.
    I use fretboard butter (never oil) every time I change strings. It gives it a wonderful feel, and my fingers glide over the frets more easily.
    Try it!
    I think we may be having a semantics or wording disagreement rather than an actual disagreement.

    Frets popping up or sprouting out the sides of the fretboard are from a loss of water. The way to solve that is with water (humidity control). Excess oil can actually make fret issues worse - and it definitely make it much more difficult to properly repair a damaged (loose, or sprouting) fret. Keeping a fretboard in the right humidity range will prevent fret sprout or other moisture-loss related damage regardless of the finish or oil put on the fretboard. Humidity control is the only way to truly solve fretboard moisture issues and hence fret sprout.

    Oil-based products and "moisturizing" products can look and feel nice but they can also lead to problems when they build up in the wood over time to the point that it won't take repair work well (i.e. it's difficult to get a popped fret to stay put in an oiled board, and the oil also prevents CA or other glues from sticking). I've had instruments come in where the owners were using conditioners or oils that caused issues with frets, binding, or even the fretboard itself - something that should be a simple repair quickly turns into replacing the entire fretboard. That's a difficult conversation to have about someone's cherished instrument, especially when they're convinced that they've been doing the right thing by putting products on the wood.

    If you like the look or feel of a freshly oiled fretboard, the best approach is to just use an actual drying finish, not a non-drying oil. Pretty much all conditioners/butters/oils sold for fretboard use are mineral oil with different scents or other oils or waxes mixed in. There are a few products sold that are built on drying oils. Those products cure to an actual solid finish, but retain the look and feel of a freshly oiled board. You apply them once and you're done for life. Stewmac's Fretboard Finishing Oil is my favorite, and what I use on all the instruments I build with dark wood fretboards (rosewood, ebony, etc).

    I'm not here to start an argument or tell anyone they're wrong, but rather I'm just to provide my perspective based on building and repairing instruments for a little more than two decades. Oils or oil based products can look and feel awesome, but they can cause problems, and they don't actually solve any problems. If you have frets sprouting or popping out, it's not because of a lack of oil or any other product - and oil based products can make those problems worse. Focus on good humidity control and you won't have frets sprouting out, that's the simple truth. If you really like the look and feel of an oiled board, just use a drying oil finish. If you're convinced you need to use another product, use it as sparingly as possible. Fret Butter is probably the best (or, least-bad) of this type of product just because it's inherently sparing in terms of how it applies to the fretboard - you don't end up with much product on the fretboard at all. But at the end of the day, if you have a problem with the wood drying out, ultimately, it should be solved by storing the instrument at the proper humidity.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    9,422

    Default

    The information I have is from my local luthier, and I have the fretboard butter from her shop. Our other luthier used it too, and cautioned me against ever using lemon oil on it, because it can make the pores in the wood to open too much, and cause swelling. He is out of business, for sure, he passed away. I miss him, he loved educating me about wood.
    The rest of my uke gets "washed" with a high quality guitar cleaner, then I use guitar polish on it. Only high quality stuff!
    I'm not arguing with anyone, just putting in my $.02 worth on the topic.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    The information I have is from my local luthier, and I have the fretboard butter from her shop. Our other luthier used it too, and cautioned me against ever using lemon oil on it, because it can make the pores in the wood to open too much, and cause swelling. He is out of business, for sure, he passed away. I miss him, he loved educating me about wood.
    The rest of my uke gets "washed" with a high quality guitar cleaner, then I use guitar polish on it. Only high quality stuff!
    I'm not arguing with anyone, just putting in my $.02 worth on the topic.
    Wow that must be a shiny uke. I used mineral oil on some of my guitar ebony fretboards a few times but then I started changing one string at a time instead of taking them all off at the same time and haven't cleaned fretboard at all. My luthier also said that anything you put on the fretboard will eventually leave a sticky mess so he advises to use nothing. Otherwise I only clean my high gloss nitro finished guitars where they have long skin contact with my elbow and with my fingers, and the finish gets rough. All I use there is a microfiber cloth with some spit. This sounds gross, but the enzymes are perfect for dissolving body grime yet more gentle than anything industrial.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    9,422

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    Wow that must be a shiny uke. I used mineral oil on some of my guitar ebony fretboards a few times but then I started changing one string at a time instead of taking them all off at the same time and haven't cleaned fretboard at all. My luthier also said that anything you put on the fretboard will eventually leave a sticky mess so he advises to use nothing. Otherwise I only clean my high gloss nitro finished guitars where they have long skin contact with my elbow and with my fingers, and the finish gets rough. All I use there is a microfiber cloth with some spit. This sounds gross, but the enzymes are perfect for dissolving body grime yet more gentle than anything industrial.
    My main uke wasn't shiny at all when i got it. But it shines a little bit now, but fingerprints don't show up like if it were glossy. I kinda like it. Everytime I clean the fretboard, a lot of filth comes off. I guess I'm just a scuzzy gal....
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    San Francsico Bay Area
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Back BC, before Covid, a group I played with had about 50 players. Many had $1000 or $2000 instruments.
    People had custom built ukuleles.

    Me, I had a $400 Kala. Often I was the ONLY one who wiped down my Uke with a clean microfiber towel at the end of the session.

    I still do at home, unless I just grab one and jam for a couple of minutes to let the music in me escape.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    7,972

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Ukulele View Post
    Back BC, before Covid, a group I played with had about 50 players. Many had $1000 or $2000 instruments.
    People had custom built ukuleles.

    Me, I had a $400 Kala. Often I was the ONLY one who wiped down my Uke with a clean microfiber towel at the end of the session.
    The expensive one probably had the optional dust-repellant coating.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,569

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Ukulele View Post
    Back BC, before Covid, a group I played with had about 50 players. Many had $1000 or $2000 instruments.
    People had custom built ukuleles.

    Me, I had a $400 Kala. Often I was the ONLY one who wiped down my Uke with a clean microfiber towel at the end of the session.

    I still do at home, unless I just grab one and jam for a couple of minutes to let the music in me escape.
    Guilty as charged. I play a custom uke and I have never wiped it down. I have Dunlop 65 fretboard cleaner, but I never use. Sometimes I will blow on the sound board to disperse the dust collected under the sttrings.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •