5/22/2014

c.1930 Harmony-made "California Style" Banjo Uke




This cute little sucker is a customer's instrument in for a fret level/dress, cleaning, new bridge, and setup. The wood pegs got a little peg dope as well and I strung it with a set of Aquila Nylguts for that classic snappy gut-string sound. It's a good unit, this one, with a quick feel (especially for closed-position chords) and a vaudeville sort of banjo-uke tone (poppy with a bit of a "plank" rather than "plunk" sound).

This type of banjo uke was made by several manufacturers in very similar styling though this has a typically-Harmony headstock shape and neck cut.



That bridge is a genuine period banjo uke bridge from my parts bin that's been recut for this guy.


The neck is mahogany and I love that inlaid "center stripe." The original wood pegs are a nice touch, too. Excuse the sand from my fingers!


The frets certainly needed a leveling and dressing... they were all outta whack here and there. It plays with beautifully-low action now, though.


Montreal in '32, eh?

If you look closely you may see some small hardwood shim material that I used to jack the neck angle back a bit.



When these guys have resonator-style "backs" on them with these F-holes the tone seems to get a bit more jangly and spanky.




...and don't forget the cute inlaid stripe around the rim's edge, too.

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