Friday, December 30, 2016

Luna neck break and subsequent repair

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I haven't blogged in a long time. Yes, I know - you don't want to hear my excuses. Fine! I'm not going to give any this time. However, today I have a post that might (or might not) make up for my long absence.

My good friend, Tom acquired a Luna Concert Uke a couple years ago and he has been enjoying the heck out of it. But recently, tragedy struck. Tom dropped it (allegedly) and it broke! Personally, I don't buy his story. Here's what I like to think happened instead...

Tom was enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee on a Saturday morning while strumming some chords. The front door suddenly burst open and two men with guns rushed in and pointed them at Tom. "Where's the money!", exclaimed one of the men. You see, Tom has recently gotten himself involved with some mafia types and some drug deals have gone south. Tom is now indebted to them for large sums of money. Tom, of course, didn't have the money on that particular Saturday morning, so like any good mafia dude who is worth his weight, Mafia man A (we'll call him) sent Tom a message. He picked up Tom's Luna uke by the neck and bashed it into the wall, thus turning the ukulele into the pile of wood that you see below...

But no worries, Tom! I know (sort of) how to repair such breaks. As for repairing your relationship with the mafia...I'm sorry, but I can't help you there.

First things first, here's what we need - wood glue, clamps, paper towels, and hope.

Thankfully, the break on the neck was fairly clean so it didn't require expert skill...just me. Disclaimer: I did tell Tom that I might further damage it trying to fix it.

After setting the clamps, I cleaned up the excess glue with power towels (and love). As for how long you should leave the clamps on, different people have different opinions. I'd say 6 hours AT LEAST. This one set clamped for over 24 hours...mostly because the time of day I did it (about 5pm). After I got home the next day from work, I took the clamps off.

As you can see, there is still some residual damage. And yep, my glue job was a little bit sloppy.

Next step was to test it's strength by stringin' it up. I chose Martin M600's because the tension is a bit lighter and I was a bit hesitant to put on something with higher tension. After stringing it up and testing, I do think the bond is strong enough to hold some Aquila's.

Voila! The Luna is once again playable and ready to be shredded upon...or lightly plucked, if that's what Tom prefers. Boy, I hate to see what the mafia will do to this ukulele next time if Tom doesn't pay up...


  1. Just a couple of points of clarifications...
    It was a group from the Russian instrument-making mob.
    No drug deal gone wrong....simply a case of a poor trade for gyro meat (never trust a Russian to buy quality Greek food for you).
    I did have $7.37 in folding money and pocket change (they were looking for $12.75)
    When I fled to my daughter's room as a place of refuge, they cut down the door frame to the room and the door frame fell on the uke in the case and broke her neck right off!
    No animals were harmed in the breaking of the uke. All animal stunts were overseen by the American Humane Association.

  2. It's really a good technique to repair a broken ukulele. Thanks for sharing.