11/04/2013

c.1925 Regal Wendell Hall "Redhead" Uke


Like this Redhead and this other Redhead, this particular Redhead is a nice little uke. Regals from this time that feature the same light build and bracing and use the same curly/flamed mahogany generally have good volume, a snappy and chimey bright tone (similar to koa Hawaiian ukes) but also have a bit more mid-range "bell" to their sound. This makes them ideal for both loud strumming and intricate fingerpicking.

This is a customer's uke and the work done on it included a bridge shave/reglue, fret level/dress, cleaning, hairline crack fills and stabilization, and a setup. It may also (before shipping back) get some new pegs, but that's to be determined yet. I also added a cedar bridge plate/brace to help keep the top slightly more stable over time.



This Redhead shows plenty of use and playwear but still looks pretty cute (in a friendly, old sweater sort of way). The finish (as usual) has weatherchecking and has also darkened a lot from UV exposure.


Gotta love them red-stained headstocks.



The soundhole has a tiny bit of the black celluloid binding missing and there was a "crunch-in" at the same area. I added a cleat behind it to hopefully keep it from popping apart with lots of use.


Despite having to shave the bridge down a bunch, I managed to keep a standard "knot in the slots" bridge stringing.

Just a workshop note: dozuki saws are the type you'll want to use to rough-cut a bridge like this down for regluing at proper string height (taking the nut adjustments out of the equation, the string height at the 12th here dropped from 1/4" to a hair over 1/16"). They cut on the pull, have a very fine cut, and won't chip-out your wood. They also cut beautifully straight.




Nice, crack-free flamey back.



Original pegs. After adding some peg dope to the shafts I also added some tiny washers to give these more adjustment room. They work like new pegs, now.

As an aside: the necks on these guys are mostly poplar.




Here you can see that cut-down bridge... still looks like it could've been perfectly original with this profile (which is actually more Hawaiian-looking to my eyes than the original since it's lower and has more glued surface area).

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