5/19/2011

c.1925 Herringbone-trim Banjo Ukulele


Here's a really nice "California style" banjo uke -- with a lightly flamed maple neck, poplar pot with birdseye maple veneer, and a 1/8" thick solid birdseye maple resonator backplate with f-holes. It's in great shape, save that the original "tailpiece" holes (just had drilled holes through the rim to the upper edge) tore out and took some purfling with them.

I've replaced that sad bit with an old parts-bin "A model" banjo tailpiece that I've simply screwed onto the rim mandolin style. This actually works better and keeps the string ends from scratching your arm while you play.


This uke is all original save for that '20s vintage replacement tailpiece, '30s replacement bridge, and four plastic washers I added to the bakelite-buttoned original tuners. Strings are new Aquila nylgut, which I think sounds best on banjo ukes. Gives a good, loud, drier, plucky tone.


Bound neck! Also, has inlaid herringbone down the middle and some celluloid black dots for position marks. This is a really "smart" looking banjo uke -- folky, Hawaiian-ish, but in general just really attractive.




Ah, Sam, thanks for leaving your mark! The bridge is an old maple one from my parts bin that I recut slightly for this purpose. Those wider feet give it great stability and a good, even tone.


Nice birdseye on the rim! Bound with black celluloid on the top and back.




The neck on this instrument is very thin front to back and quite wide side to side, so it has a very Hawaiian uke feel, which means chord fingering is much more comfortable than on the usual banjo uke.


1/8" thick, solid birdseye maple backplate w/f-holes. Also, celluloid heel cap. Nice!




Simple tailpiece works just fine.


Original bakelite-buttoned tuners.

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