1/25/2012

c.1925 Washburn 5315 Mahogany Soprano Ukulele





This poor old Washburn uke from the mid-20s sure has suffered quite a bit in its life! When I got it, the neck had been "reset" with what seems to have been some sort of awful white glue, there were numerous hairline cracks needing to be repaired, seams needing reglues, there was (and still is) wood missing around the soundhole, and the bridge had been "recut" in a freakshop sort of way -- with the action "lowered" via cutting long grooves from the string mounts. The tuners were also all mismatched replacements.

So... I fixed all that, recut the bridge to a modern "string through the top and knot" style, with a fret saddle, reset the neck properly, leveled and dressed the frets, cleaned it all up, and voila -- a super-nice playing, super-nice sounding little all mahogany uke -- just what I'd expect from a higher-end Lyon & Healy uke product (my own favorite uke is a L&H tenor from around the same time).


Even bruised-up, this is a winner of a uke and sounds just a nice as any old Martin -- with more of a focused, cutting tone.


These are replacement Grover tuners and they work just fine and fit in just right.

The fretboard is rosewood with nickel-silver frets and with an ebony nut. The rest of the uke is all solid mahogany.


The dots appear to be celluloid.


Here's my recut bridge -- note that there are the remains of one of the "grooves" cut by a previous owner near the A string hole.


It's like it's missing a tooth!





Stamp in the soundhole.


All of the Washburn-branded ukes I've had the pleasure to work on and play have been solidly-built, excellent-playing workhorses after the fixing was done.


Good quality mahogany.





Note that near the heel there's some discoloration and finish muck-up caused by the removal of the nightmare glue-job that had been done on it before its current neck set.




A good'n!

No comments: