Kamaka Finish problem


Oct 18, 2023
Reaction score
I acquired a Gold Label soprano Kamaka that's in great shape except for the finish. The finish has a few areas where it is "roughed up." Here's what I believe happened: the uke came in a cheap old canvas soft case and the interior canvas fabric has a slight texture. I'm guessing that while the uke sat in the canvas case over the years, the finish softened (probably due to heat) and the textured canvas imprinted onto the finish.

Does anyone has any suggestions on how to smooth out the "roughed up" areas? I think sandpaper would be overkill and remove too much finish. I wonder if a small amount of a solvent could be applied to thin out the finish and make it smooth. I appreciate any ideas!
Solvent can't be controlled. Only if it is shellac and the solvent alcohol but in all cases you much start with sandpaper BUT sandpaper exists in grades from 120 to 12.000 with the latter being more like a polish than sanding.

Sanding with around 400-600 going hrough all the grades to 8.000 or 12.000 and finishing with a polish is the only way.
Try to keep the area small and with every new grade, sand 90 degrees to the previous, thus you can see when the previous streaks are removed..

You can however just sand from 400 to 1200 and then lacquer and polish.
While you can do a DIY job with sandpaper and something like shellac or tru-oil, it will always shows unevenness between areas and textures. I suspect that the only thing that will satisfy you is a full refinish - that or accept it in its current state with 'mojo'.
Thanks everyone for the input. I think for now I'll avoid risking a DIY mistake and just keep playing it as is.
Top Bottom