8/30/2012

c.1925 Lyon & Healy "Camp Uke" Ukulele (#1)


Mr. Snider over in Maine traded me a couple of these Lyon & Healy "Camp Ukes" a few weeks ago and now they're ready for prime-time. This is the first and while the tone on each is very similar, this one is a little louder and brighter, which would make it a great "in session" instrument.

The instrument is entirely made from monkeypod wood, which L&H really liked to use in their mid-grade and better instruments at the time. The binding on the top edge is black celluloid, as are the dots in the fretboard.


These have such a cute, almost innocent look to them, especially with the "cyclops" oval soundhole and "smile" bridge. Which reminds me... the bridge on these are both made from mahogany.

This one has a few hairline cracks on the top, some cleated, some not needing to be cleated and all glued up.


Ebony nut, nice "Camp Uke" pressed-in script.


The brass frets are all leveled and dressed.

As for other work: some seam regluing was done to the back/side join and the saddle area was also modified for better action.



These are attractive little critters because they sound just as nice and loud as a typical "guitar shaped" soprano uke, but have fret access like a banjo uke, so you can play all over the place.



This Camp Uke has more generic, period bakelite tuners, rather than the L&H patent tuners that most of these have.



The monkeypod back on this uke isn't a turned, solid-slab "resonator" style back as seen on some slightly earlier Camp Ukes, but rather is mated flush to the back and has bracing to keep it stable.





All-in-all, a great, somewhat rare uke with easy playability (slightly under 3/32" at the 12th) and nice tone and volume!

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