3/05/2014

c.1920 Leonardo Nunes Flamed Koa Soprano Ukulele




This is a customer's sweet little "peanut shaped" Hawaiian-style uke. I say Hawaiian style because it's exactly the same in construction and technique to island-made ukes from the time except that Leonardo left Hawaii and built in Los Angeles instead. More info at Lardy's site.

Work included a replacement bridge (also of similar period and Hawaiian in origin), seam and crack repairs, a fret level/dress, new ferrules and washers for the bakelite-buttoned tuners, cleaning, and setup. She plays nice, yessir, and has that chimey, bright Hawaiian tone for sure.



I'm always partial to the medium-orange flamed koa like this. Chocolate-colored koa is nice as well but this stuff looks like it's on fire in the sun. Flashy!


Like most island-style ukes, the build is certainly handmade in feel and cut. This "shield" headstock is quirky and fun.


A couple abalone dots keep us playing in tune with the rest of the group...


Can't beat a rope rosette!


The original bridge was much too tall and I couldn't maintain a good saddle break with cutting it down. I opted to use a Hawaiian-made bridge from my parts bin and cut that to the right height instead -- and hey presto! We've got her playing again and looking proper, too.

Note the repaired crack next to the bridge.


A bunch of seams needed gluing as usual.




Isn't that a lovely back? ...aside from the repaired, cleated, and filled big old hairline crack(s), that is.




The endstrip just did not want to be flush! I would've had to sand it dangerously thin to get it tucked back in so I left it as-is and reglued it.


Label...

No comments: