The other day a fellow brought in an old Martin soprano ukulele. His sister had bought it in 1962. The poor thing had suffered some serious blows, breaking its soundboard, cracking other parts. It had been very badly repaired including using a bandaid to stabilize the top- but amazingly it still made music. there was a big separation from the back at the base of the uke.
See the bandaid shadow ?. The original finish was also covered by a crude varnish job. A pretty sad looking old survivor.
But the old uke is a classic of ukulele history. It was a pleasure to try to help it survive a little longer. Amazing how thin the mahogany top is. Amazing that it still sounds pretty good. I used some hide glue to stabilize the separation at the back, gently scraped off the excess varnish, sanded a bit with 500 grit sand paper, and before touching wood, applied a few coats of French Polish. Hopefully it will provide some pleasure for another generation of the owners family.