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Thread: Refurbish Your Ukulele!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Refurbish Your Ukulele!

    I bought a used Kamaka Tenor with pickup in Hawaii off Craigslist. I almost didn't buy it when I saw it in person due to a large number of scratches, smudges (that I could not rub out with my thumb) and pin head nicks. There were also some minor dings on the lower edges of the top and side. The piece was owned by a woman so there were heavy strum scratches from her long nails.

    It was a good price and it had some nice curliness to it so I bought it anyways. I came back to Los Angeles and went to the Guitar Center and purchased a "Fender Instrument Care Kit" for $25.00.

    It consists of three bottles of cleaner, "Mist and Wipe," "Swirl and Haze Remover" and "Polish and Conditioner."

    You start with the Mist to clean off dust and other residue that could scratch the surface. Then the Swirl remover is used (this is made by Meguirar's the company that makes car care products) and this removes the majority of scratches. It probably has some cutting agents like rubbing compound for a car. You finish with the Polish.

    I have to admit this was the best $25.00 I've ever spent on my ukulele supplies. The Kamaka has a showroom shine and I have to angle the uke in direct sunlight to see any of the scratches. Of course the small nicks are still there but those cannot be taken out.

    I was going to take pics of the uke before the process but I was too excited to apply the process and forgot to take them. I haven't figured out how to post photos on this site (I can only get the thumbnails to show up and then the slideshow that follows only shows about a 3 x 3 image. Not enough to show the detail I'm talking about.)

    I'm going to take the kit to my daughters halau on Tuesday to clean her Kumu's Kamaka Tenor. Her uke has decades of wear on it and I'm going to be interested to see what the results are.

    Any help on the image posting would be appreciated. I thought I followed the instructions in the FAQ page but I've noticed most posts have photos that exceed the max. files sizes shown on the "manage attachments" pop up.





    A close up of the strum area that had a large amount of scratches on the top and bottom from the previous owner's nails.



    This area had some scratches and a half dollar sized smudge that I was trying to rub out with just my thumb to no avail. It came right out with the Haze and Swirl remover. The bottom near the pickup shows the reflection from the stone. The Kamaka shines like it came from the factory!

    Last edited by Ronnie Aloha; 08-31-2009 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Added Photos/Thanks Ronin!
    Aloha,
    Ronnie



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
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    577

    Default

    What kind of finish does your Kamaka have? I’m wondering if this kit would work on any kind of finish.

    To post pictures:

    1) Go to http://imageshack.us/

    2) Click “Browse” and find the picture file you want to post

    3) Click “Start upload!”

    4) In the first box, “Direct link to image,” highight that whole thing inside the box and copy it (CTRL-C)

    5) Go back to the UU post page and click on the “Insert Image” icon and paste what you just copied (CTRL-V)

    It should look something like this without the asteriks:

    [img]*http://theimageaddressyoucopiedandpastedhere.jpg*[/img]
    KAMAKA HF-3 | KOALOHA KTM-00-R | KANILEA K-1 C SF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NorCal 916
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    Default

    Here's a detailed post about uploading images found in the FAQ. Also there are a number of image hosting sites; Photobucket, Tiny Pic, Pict, etc. Image Shack and Photobucket seem to popular and you'll need to create an account to use their services.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanaka916 View Post
    ... Image Shack and Photobucket seem to popular and you'll need to create an account to use their services.
    I don’t think you need to create an account for Image Shack.
    KAMAKA HF-3 | KOALOHA KTM-00-R | KANILEA K-1 C SF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN USA
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    Default

    A lot of companies make products like that - guitar people tend to love Virtuoso products, or similar stuff from boutique builder Bruce Petros. They do a fabulous job removing surface scratches and generally improving the shine of an instrument. They will buff up a satin finish instrument to semi- or full-gloss pretty well, too, but you have to be careful not to buff through the finish entirely.

    Another thing to consider is whether the product contains silicone (a lot of Meguire's products do, but not all) - if they do have silicone, it will be very difficult to remove and will make any repairs down the line difficult, as silicone interferes with glues.
    ~Herb
    Ko'Aloha Soprano
    Glyph Custom Mezzo-Soprano - The Goddess
    Martin 3 Cherry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NorCal 916
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the.ronin View Post
    I don’t think you need to create an account for Image Shack.
    Yea, I think you're right! But in doing that, you leave it open for public access. Best bet would be to open an account for storage.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by LameLefty View Post
    A lot of companies make products like that - guitar people tend to love Virtuoso products, or similar stuff from boutique builder Bruce Petros. They do a fabulous job removing surface scratches and generally improving the shine of an instrument. They will buff up a satin finish instrument to semi- or full-gloss pretty well, too, but you have to be careful not to buff through the finish entirely.

    Another thing to consider is whether the product contains silicone (a lot of Meguire's products do, but not all) - if they do have silicone, it will be very difficult to remove and will make any repairs down the line difficult, as silicone interferes with glues.
    Herb,

    I checked the bottles and the Mist states there is no silicone. However, the Swirl and Haze do not specifically exclude silicone since they don't list any of the ingredients.
    Aloha,
    Ronnie



  8. #8
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    Aug 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanaka916 View Post
    Here's a detailed post about uploading images found in the FAQ. Also there are a number of image hosting sites; Photobucket, Tiny Pic, Pict, etc. Image Shack and Photobucket seem to popular and you'll need to create an account to use their services.
    Thanks Kanaka. I have a Photobucket account but I was trying to upload via the method in the FAQ section which limited the file size. Directly inserting the [img] worked great.
    Aloha,
    Ronnie



  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the.ronin View Post
    What kind of finish does your Kamaka have? I’m wondering if this kit would work on any kind of finish.
    The Kamaka was manufactured on April 1, 2008. Works for me since a lot of people call me a Fool anyways.

    It probably has the most recent type of finish. Some thin clear coat unlike the KoAloha which has a sturdier coat.
    Aloha,
    Ronnie



  10. #10
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    The 'Burbs of Washington, DC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie Aloha View Post
    I checked the bottles and the Mist states there is no silicone. However, the Swirl and Haze do not specifically exclude silicone since they don't list any of the ingredients.
    The manufacturer should have a material safety data sheet (MSDS) available. You may have to call and ask, but that will reveal the ingredients.

    --Mark
    Mainland CMM-S | Makala MK-S and MK-SD | Unknown Japanese uke from the '70s ("The wreck of the old '77")
    It's pronounced "Blrfl."

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