2/19/2009

c.1920 Richter Soprano Ukulele


Today you get a glimpse at a typical ukulele restoration. This is a Richter Manufacturing Company-built uke, probably sold by Bruno (as their "Lyra" brand), but the label has been torn out from the soundhole. It's all-solid quality mahogany with rope binding, is missing its 12th fret, has its neck off, two dryness cracks right down the center of the top, and a bridge that'll need to be pulled and reglued.


Here's a detail of the bridge and the lower crack.


And here's the upper crack.

AND HERE IT IS NOW:


This uke is a sweetheart as far as ukes go. Very big sound for such a long, thin body, with a nice deep and "sweet" tone, though with decent volume and a "snap!" for chordal play.


Cracks are hard to see now, eh? Cleaned up nicely after finish resto: had to remove a bunch of scuffs and the typical random paint flecks here and there.


Headstock, with original nut.


The neck is very thin and the fretboard is way cozy. These are original nickel-silver frets and they seem to be in quite fine condition. I've trimmed and rounded their edges as they were sticking out the sides in the "saw-your-hands" position.


In thise closeup you can see the nice grain, the missing label, the beautiful rope binding, and the repaired cracks. The color in this closeup is closest to reality in this set.


Side view.


Detail.


Back view.


Back detail.


And an elegant 3/4 shot!



And here's a clip of it being played!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

could you post about the process of cleaning/finish restoration? without giving away any trade secrets of course...

jadegreen said...

thanks for making the video. you sound great!

Todd Tomorrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Tomorrow said...

great looking ukes. Do you have any for sale?

Cathy said...

I'm thrilled to be the new owner of this sweetie. Such a shock to see it in pieces! It should have it's new hard case today when I get home - it's been living (carefully) in a tennis bag since I bought it. My Fender is now repaired and the two ukes seem to be getting along. Thanks for everything, Jake!