Ukulele Top Refinishing Help

jopatm

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After using a "guitar top" clear protector on the treble side of my rather expensive tenor ukulele, I went to remove it, and all of the adhesive stuck to the top. I tried using Goof-Off and it just smeared and made it much worse.
This is a Koa Works ukulele by Rich Godfrey. Value is $3000.+
Purchased from Shawn Yacavone at Ukulele Friend.
Finish I believe is nitro-cellulose.
Can anybody recommend a luthier that could strip and refinish my ukulele top? The back and sides are fine.
I live in eastern NC but I'm willing to ship it to have the work done.
I've never been completely happy with the finish on the top of the instrument.
Thanks
 
After using a "guitar top" clear protector on the treble side of my rather expensive tenor ukulele, I went to remove it, and all of the adhesive stuck to the top. I tried using Goof-Off and it just smeared and made it much worse.
This is a Koa Works ukulele by Rich Godfrey. Value is $3000.+
Purchased from Shawn Yacavone at Ukulele Friend.
Finish I believe is nitro-cellulose.
Can anybody recommend a luthier that could strip and refinish my ukulele top? The back and sides are fine.
I live in eastern NC but I'm willing to ship it to have the work done.
I've never been completely happy with the finish on the top of the instrument.
Thanks
If the finish is nitro, naptha may safely remove the adhesive, depending on what the adhesive is.. I've done that before. Try it on a small spot. -Bob
 
Naphtha (sold as lighter fluid) is safe on nitro (but do check first as suggested!).

Wet a corner of a rag and gently wipe the area - you'll need to re-wet every minute or so, as the naphtha evaporates very fast. Gradually the adhesive will soften and wipe away - there's no need to scrub at it, just keep wiping. Hard pressure can scratch the finish or dent the top if you press with a fingernail through the rag.

Shouldn't take longer than 10 mins, probably less.

A complete refinish is an expensive proposition as it's a lot of work. Also somewhat risky as you might still not like the result. If you can find a local luthier who is good at finishing, ask about whether the finish can be improved by buffing (if it's gloss), that's less invasive and a lot cheaper.
 
If your efforts don't work, I suggest you get in touch with Koa Works Rich Godfrey, or try Pat Wilkins in Van Nuys, CA (near Los Angeles) who is in my opinion, one of the premier finishers in the country. https://www.wilkinsguitars.com/
 
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