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Thread: Anyone else with Dolphin soprano cracking issues?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone else with Dolphin soprano cracking issues?

    I have a Makala Dolphin bridge plastic body soprano. I lurve my orange burst baby, her name is Mellow and she's my desk uke. I just noticed yesterday that she has developed 3 cracks around the heel. There is one long one that goes all the way around the heel and up each side about 1/2 inch, plus two 1/2 inch cracks that continue right on up in the neck joint area on the lower bout.

    I don't know how long they have been there because they are most prominent on the lower bout and bottom of the heel. I do know that we had what for here in So Cal is a cold snap of about 40+ at night and 58-60 during the day, hence the heat ran at night. The Dolphin always sits out on my desk, because I wasn't too worried about humidity issues with it. All the others except the vintage plastics and the CBU are cased with humidifiers.

    I also can't tell if they are just finish cracks until I see if they get bigger and deeper, so at this point I guess I'm just going to play it and observe it. I just wanted to see if anyone else had any issues with theirs, and also remind everyone to humidify anything valuable.

  2. #2
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    I've put my dolphin thru uke hell and it shows. Much of the paint on the headstock has cracked and fallen off. The back of the neck is losing some paint and the paint has blistered a bit at about the 2nd fret area of the neck back. It has chipped in a couple of places where the top meets the sides (I'm sure because of me banging it or dropping it). But not at the heel!

    The plastic back and sides look perfect though!
    -Alan (UKISOCIETY)

    My muse.

  3. #3
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    Have you tried looking from the inside out, maybe shining a light from the other side? Maybe it's just paint cracking, from expansion and contraction of the plastic. I live about a mile away from you, and my dolphins are OK, but I do keep them in their cardboard boxes, and they are huddled together with other ukes, and they are in a room that doesn't go below 60 degrees.
    –Lori

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teek View Post
    I have a Makala Dolphin bridge plastic body soprano. I lurve my orange burst baby, her name is Mellow and she's my desk uke. I just noticed yesterday that she has developed 3 cracks around the heel. There is one long one that goes all the way around the heel and up each side about 1/2 inch, plus two 1/2 inch cracks that continue right on up in the neck joint area on the lower bout.

    I don't know how long they have been there because they are most prominent on the lower bout and bottom of the heel. I do know that we had what for here in So Cal is a cold snap of about 40+ at night and 58-60 during the day, hence the heat ran at night. The Dolphin always sits out on my desk, because I wasn't too worried about humidity issues with it. All the others except the vintage plastics and the CBU are cased with humidifiers.

    I also can't tell if they are just finish cracks until I see if they get bigger and deeper, so at this point I guess I'm just going to play it and observe it. I just wanted to see if anyone else had any issues with theirs, and also remind everyone to humidify anything valuable.
    I did and started a thread about it almost a year ago http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...Dolphin-issues
    You can read the thread and see the pics I posted.
    Last edited by haolejohn; 12-03-2010 at 10:52 AM. Reason: add link

  5. #5
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    Mine developed some cracks around the heel, but they're just in the paint.

  6. #6
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    haolejohn, thanks for the ling to that loooong thread. Yup, cracks are almost exactly the same. I was suspecting that it was just paint as it looks like there's a thick bead or primer around the join to the body, and as noted in the thread, the difference in expansion rates would cause a crack in something that couldn't flex enough (the paint).

    The weather we had recently also took a 1 foot square patch of paint off the roof of my van, just had a tiny bubble, the we had in about two weeks very dry wind, heat, rain, cold, rain, wind and heat again. If one tiny bubble with a little water inside popped off a sheet of car paint, what's a little uke to do?

    I had a '69 VW that kept blowing head gaskets for the same reason, a bad alloy mix that caused different rates of expansion between the head and the block. We helicoilded the snot out of it. Then sold it.

    Thanks all. I wasn't complaining, just curious and wanted an idea if Mellow would be ok. I figured they were pretty bullet proof. Finish cracks don't bother me. Part of me was wondering if it would be enough of an excuse to go get a metallic blue one, or one of the Mainland chilis or geckos, lol.

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