3/16/2012

c.1930 Regal-made June Days Soprano Ukulele





This uke is a looker! I love decal-bedecked ukes and this one has my favorite subject of such decals -- boating on a pretty summer day. It's also got a nice, lightweight build and a great, loud tone. It's got a sort of a nice woody, but projecting timbre.

Ukes like this (with the distinctive heel and headstock shape) were made by Regal in the late 20s and through the 30s and often sold by distributors under "assumed names."


My work on this uke included a neck reset, bridge reglue and bridge shave, fret level/dress, cleaning, and setup.

The instrument is made entirely out of thin, solid birch save for the bridge which is actually maple under the black finish.


Very cool "June Days" decal on the routed-edge headstock.


The fretboard, top, back, and soundhole are all bound in cream celluloid which looks real snazzy. I especially like these little "Bull's Eye" dots for the fret markers, too.


The maple bridge was originally the same color as the body, but I had to cut it down to get proper action height, so I "ebonized" it black and sealed it with a coat of finish. It looks the part.


Pretty cool! Strings are Aquila Nylgut.



I like high-contrast binding and the cream and red thing really has it going here.


This routed-out edging on the headstock is typical of Regals from this period. Tuners are original bakelite models.





Good sturdy heel join.




There's a tiny bit of side panel creep at the endblock but it had been glued up before my time and is stable. Nothing to worry about.

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