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Old 01-12-2020, 03:03 AM
fishwatcher fishwatcher is offline
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Default My cat cracked my Romero Creations Tiny Tenor top

Last week I had bad dream. That one of my family’s three cats knocked over and destroyed my acoustic guitar. Well this week that bad dream came true. I have a Romero Creations Tiny Tenor. It’s a solid topped import ukulele (designed by Pepe Romero and Danny Ho) and was kept in a short ukulele floor stand. I paid $275 for it a few years ago.

My wife saw one of our cats knock it over so she picked it back up and put it in its stand. A day later.. I went to wipe it down and noticed two cracks on the top, on both sides of the fretboard. The cracks go through the top.





Cost estimates from two reputable shops was between $100 - $150. I debated spending that much to fix the uke.. but I wouldn’t want to spend another $200 or more to get a similar quality ukulele.

I know my decision is questionable, because the luthier (one of the best) that examined it said another issue is the bridge was lifted a tiny bit off the top. He said to watch it for further lifting in the future, but that it’s okay for now.

I’m getting the cracks repaired for $125. They will put additional bracing (a clea), under the top to give the repair some strength. I’ll post pics of the repairs when I get it back next week.

Any experiences with fixed cracked tops or bridges that have lifted on ukuleles?

Thanks.

Last edited by fishwatcher; 01-16-2020 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:34 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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I used to have some instruments around on stands but when we got new rambunctious kitten everything went into cases. I still don't trust the cats. When I looked at the pictures I thought this was just in the finish. I assume that there was some considerable pressure and leverage on the neck to cause it to split off the top. With a neck block this should not happen. I assume that the neck will have to be removed for proper repair which might be difficult if it is glued in.

I had a guitar once where the bridge popped off because I failed to humidify it. Bought a better guitar while it was at the luthier for repairs, and then I sold it to recover some of the costs and bought a uke with the rest of the proceeds. The luthier may have to put cleats on both sides of the neck block so it may affect sound. Are those fret ends sticking out of the fingerboard over the crack?

In your situation I would not be willing to spend more than the value of the uke on repairs. Would probably try to sell it as repair project and use the funds to upgrade to a better uke.

Last edited by merlin666; 01-12-2020 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:41 PM
fishwatcher fishwatcher is offline
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I received my ukule back, fixed with a cleat glued underneath the top and against the neck block. It supports both repaired cracks, on both sides of the neck.

The fix is solid. Unfortunately, I was told since the finish is satin, additional fill and smoothing out is not possible, without having a very obvious glossy fix against the satin top. I'll have to live with the minor crack in the finish on the top, since the expense (I assume) of going to a finish specialist wouldn't be justified versus the cost of the ukule (considering the repair costs already incurred).


Next step, order and install a ukulele wall hanger. Since my cats can and will jump, I'll be getting one that closes with the weight of the instrument on it.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:46 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwatcher View Post
I received my ukule back, fixed with a cleat glued underneath the top and against the neck block. It supports both repaired cracks, on both sides of the neck.

The fix is solid. Unfortunately, I was told since the finish is satin, additional fill and smoothing out is not possible, without having a very obvious glossy fix against the satin top.
Wow that was very fast and looks great. Did you notice any change to the sound of the uke?
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:28 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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thats a great looking repair!


I think you could clean up that finish crack a little more
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:17 PM
fishwatcher fishwatcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
Wow that was very fast and looks great. Did you notice any change to the sound of the uke?
Not noticeably. I always have a tough time A/B'ing differences in sound (like when I changed out plastic guitar nut, saddle, and/or pins for bone). The uke sounds just fine to me.

I forgot to mention, that in addition to fixing the cracks, the bridge was beginning to lift. It was pointed out that I should monitor that over time, as it wasn't terrible yet and the added cost to fix that as well wouldn't be cheap.

Well.. I got the uke back with both the cracks fixed and the bridge glued back down. The luthier thought.. well.. I'm in there anyways.. might as well get them both done (no extra charge!).

That's awesome custom service and it came from none other than Frank Ford of Gryphon Stringed Instruments, in Palo Alto. Thanks Frank!

Last edited by fishwatcher; 01-18-2020 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:20 PM
fishwatcher fishwatcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
thats a great looking repair!


I think you could clean up that finish crack a little more
I honesly thought about doing that. I had a brand new tube of Super Glue ready to crack open, hoping to fill in the tiny crack.

I thought better and with the advice given to me @ the shop.. I'm going to leave it alone. I can already tell.. I'd probably only make it worse. I'm sure in the hands of somebody with more experience.. it's likely very possible.

The fact that the shop preferred to leave it as is, rather than to fill it and have it mismatch the satin finish.. swayed me to live with this superficial ding.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:34 AM
bellgamin bellgamin is offline
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If it plays nice, I wouldn't mess with it. Scratches & stuff on a well-played uke are love kisses, like a mole on a beloved daughter.
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Tags
bridge lifting, crack cleat cleats, pepe romero

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