1/29/2012

c.1960 Harmony Baritone Ukulele


Here's yet another Harmony baritone uke to add to the Antebellum archives. I work on these quite a bit and mostly hunt for 1950s ones, but this (early) 1960s model is nice as well. As typical, the body and neck are all solid mahogany with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard and bridge.

My work included crack repair to the top and the back, a fret level/dress, and bridge modification as well as cleaning and a setup. It's a nice warm, mellow and sweet thing now, and plays great.



The plastic nut and the (originally) plastic saddle identify this as a 1960s model baritone made by Harmony. The 1950s ones used bone.


Brass frets are in great shape -- also, faux MOP dots.


Usually these ukes have a classical-style bridge that uses "tied" mountings for the strings. I've recut this bridge lower, removed the tie-block rear, and installed a fret saddle to replace the now-removed plastic saddle. Usually I can just recut the saddle lower to improve action on these old baris, but unfortunately the mounting holes for the tie block were drilled too high to get proper downpressure from the strings on the modified saddle area.

So, this modification works nicely. Instead of installing bridge pins I simply drilled tiny holes and use a "pop through, pull out the soundhole, knot, and pull back up" string attachment. This is very secure, puts very little sideways pressure on the bridge, and looks nice and clean.



Good looking 'hog on this one. In person it's almost a chocolate-y brown color with of course the usual years and years of use-wear. There is one maybe 6" long glued-up hairline crack on the front to the bass side of the bridge.






Note the repaired hairline cracks on the upper bout. All stable.


Simple friction tuners work fine.



Tortoise binding.

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