6/30/2011

c.1925 Lyon & Healy Camp Uke


If you've followed the blog for a long enough time, you'll know that I love these old L&H "Camp Ukes" for a good reason: playability, access to higher frets, and good volume and tone. They're very much different from your typical hourglass-shaped uke, more like a pineapple in terms of "wide" on the low-end side and a little bit more plucky and poppy like a reso-uke on the high.

I think they make great practice or performance instruments, and with all those frets available, folks that like to move up the fingerboard but feel cramped on a typical soprano may very well like this setup better.


This one dates around c.1925 and is very typical of a Camp Uke from the time -- looks like monkeypod wood (solid) throughout, with the usual thin hairline cracks on the top (all glued up or not-through/stable), a turned resonator backplate which shoots the sound straight forward, and one-piece "sides."

The neck is attached with a screw through the heel block (like on many banjo ukes from the time) and I've shimmed the neck slightly at the top of the heel & tightened said screw for a better neck angle (= low action without modifying the bridge).


This particular Camp Uke is a little bit grungier than normal but is in good shape otherwise and all-original with the typical L&H patent pegs (which work great... I love this design) and taller frets.


Usually these dots are black but on this one they're cream celluloid.


I love the old "smile" bridge -- note the chip-out on the G/C string loading area. I've addressed this by recutting the slot slightly and also recutting below the slot to hold the string better.


This uke has definitely had some play in! But it's all set to go for the next 90 years. These are new Nylgut strings.



Bound on the top edge with black celluloid.




Good one-piece, turned resonator back.





I like it!

3 comments:

craig said...

LOVE IT -- was just playing mine this morning!!!

Antebellum Instruments said...

That's right. :D

These are sweeties!

Josh said...

Dibs!