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Kala U Base Repair

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BCam
Posted 2017-10-09 4:09 PM (#537669)
Subject: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

A friend of mine dropped his Kala U Bass and the neck damaged the top around and underneath the fingerboard. I'm going to try removing the neck so I can repair the top. I was wondering if anyone knew what kind of glue was used or how best to start trying. I was thinking of starting with bags of hot water to see if that loosens things up.





(UBass.jpg)



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seesquare
Posted 2017-10-09 9:33 PM (#537671 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3127

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Ouch. Yeah, start with the boiling water scenario. You've got broken ribs, & a split top. If you're lucky, there will be minimal adhesive in the joint, & it will wiggle free.
"Use the small hammers first............." :-)
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BCam
Posted 2017-10-10 12:04 AM (#537672 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

My goal is playable, not beautiful. If it proves not to be fixable, I'm thinking about using the neck to make a solid body bass uke.
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BCam
Posted 2017-10-10 12:15 AM (#537673 - in reply to #537671)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

seesquare - 2017-10-09 9:33 PM

You've got broken ribs, & a split top


No broken ribs that I can see or feel, just damage to the circular reinforcement around the sound hole. There's a large block under the fingerboard extension, extending from inside the heel's attachment point almost to the sound hole and from the top to the back.
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seesquare
Posted 2017-10-10 7:46 AM (#537675 - in reply to #537673)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3127

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
That will be fortunate, then. You really won't know, 'til you pull the neck. Hopefully, the bowl hasn't been too distorted, either.
Best-of-luck!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-10-10 11:21 AM (#537684 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1591

Location: Lake Forest, CA
You might try contacting the factory and asking them what kind of glue was used on the neck joint and/or how the neck is attached.

If you can't get any info from them, try asking this question on the Official Luthier's Forum. (http://luthiersforum.com/forum/) There's some pretty knowledgeable folks over there.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-10-10 10:21 PM (#537694 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 467

Location: Spin axis of a California map
That photo makes me feel like scheduling a chiropractor appointment. I am hoping you will find minimal damage once inside. Please keep progress posted here.
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BCam
Posted 2017-10-11 1:45 PM (#537708 - in reply to #537694)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

I noticed when I was fiddling with the truss rod that, as I tightened it, things started to move back in place. Apparently the inside block isn't glued to the back. Using some blocks and a clamp I was able to move things back, almost into place. The worst side is now about 1/32" out of line and, with some rotational pressure on the neck, pretty much lines up.

I think I might just go ahead and cleat the cracks, string it up and see how it plays. It won't be pretty but will still look better than Willie Nelson's Trigger. I can always do more if this is unsuccessful.







(20171011_112035.jpg)



(20171011_112905.jpg)



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Old Man Arthur
Posted 2017-10-11 1:53 PM (#537710 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair



Joined:
September 2006
Posts: 9964

Location: Keepin' It Weird in Portland, OR
I see your Problem.

That guitar (Ukulele) is not made for Steel Bass Strings.
It is made for big rubber bands.
http://www.bassuke.com/Pahoehoe.html

You photo looks like steel strings.
I could be incorrect.

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BCam
Posted 2017-10-11 5:36 PM (#537714 - in reply to #537710)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

It belongs to a friend and I've already talked to him about the strings. Even though they're steel, they're made by Kala for the U bass and are advertised as low tension. Nonetheless, I expect they do put more stress on the uke than the soft rubbery strings. Although they could be a factor in the damage I suspect the drop onto the headstock was enough in itself.
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BCam
Posted 2017-10-11 11:57 PM (#537722 - in reply to #537714)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

It's finished. It's not up to Dan Savage's standards but it's playable and, according to Ted, the owner, sounds and feels like before it was damaged. Does this make me a "quick and dirty" luthier?

Ted's kids perform as "The College Fund Street Band" to earn money for college and the bass is part of it all. Here's a link to their Facebook page, check them out:

https://www.facebook.com/TheCollegeFund/
Here's how it came out:

Edited by BCam 2017-10-12 12:00 AM




(20171011_185224.jpg)



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Jonmark Stone
Posted 2017-10-12 5:48 PM (#537744 - in reply to #537722)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
May 2008
Posts: 1215

Location: Gnashville
Nice job.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-10-12 8:41 PM (#537748 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 467

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Congratulations on your "quick and dirty" work. Excellent fix for the price.
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BCam
Posted 2017-10-15 6:17 AM (#537768 - in reply to #537669)
Subject: Re: Kala U Base Repair


Joined:
October 2014
Posts: 134

Ted used it to play bass for his kids at a church festival gig yesterday and will be doing so again at a pumpkin farm today so I feel good about having been able to help them out. Thanks for your compliments. This is much more fun than my "honey do" projects.
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