3/24/2011

c.1925 Regal Fancypants Soprano Ukulele


While I've worked on about a dozen various permutations of this basic uke (ie, the typical '20s Regal design in fancy curly Cuban mahogany) this is by far the fanciest one I've ever seen, anywhere. It's bound top, back, fretboard, and soundhole with black celluloid, has profane amounts of multicolored rope purfling around the soundhole, back, top, sides (both top and bottom of the sides!), one stripe inlaid down the neck, and multi-ply purfling inset with the binding on the neck as well, too... oh and a stripe down the headstock, as well.

Top that all off with the beautiful wood, a crack-free top, wonderful sound, and great playability... hey... why not? It's nice.

My work on this uke included a neck reset, replacement 12th fret, replacement tuner (same style & period, from my parts bin), replacement fret saddle and bridge shave (to bring action down and set intonation), cleaning, setup, and some hairline crack repair on the back.


It's glorious.


Gotta love the herringboney-ropey stripe down the neck. Check out the multi-ply binding around the headstock and neck.


Just darn pretty!


Oh, and right, this is the only one of these style ukes that actually bears a Regal label that I've worked on, despite all of them having been built by Regal. Typical in an age when most manufacturers were simply supplying catalogs and local music stores for resale.


Bridge is also curly mahogany. I shaved the top, installed a new fret saddle (vintage stock), reglued the bridge, and finished it with some typical poly which will age in like the rest of the bridge over time. A lot of these old Regal ukes actually have lighter-colored bridges vs. the finish on the body. Always wondered about that.




Yee-haw! Check out the purfling on the sides too!



Bakelite-buttoned tuners, original. I've added 4 extra washers to the back for smooth/efficient operation.






See what I mean about that double-edge purfling? Pretty slick.

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