This li’l one was brought to me by a harried husband who had bought the ukulele online as a gift for his wife. It was a well-constructed, high-gloss instrument with solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
The problem – as was all too evident – was this trauma caused in transit.
Look carefully how the binding is raised and how the lacquer is cracked both on the top as well as near the end-pin of the instrument. It tells you that the force of the impact was along the side of the instrument – probably on the end-pin itself. Consequently, the side had got pushed in, pushing out the binding and the top. Though the maximum damage was to this region, it extended till say midway to the lower bout.
No matter how much I pushed and pulled, the side refused to move out and the top refused to be pushed in. Thankfully though, the binding could readily be seated in its slot.
With the binding seated, I sanded lightly along the edge of the top and finally, after many attempts, got the top to sink into place.
Then began a long and slow process of filling in the missing lacquer with three grades of super glue, wet sanding with three grades of sandpaper (grits 3000, 4000 and 6000) and then buffing and polishing the instrument.
My worse-than-amateurish photography skills do not do justice to the finished product.
The result pleased both me and my customer!