10/11/2014

c.1962 Harmony "Plain Jane" Birch Ukulele


This is a customer's uke and it was purchased new by its owner in 1962. It's about as bare-bones as it gets for a Harmony uke with a solid birch build, unbraced top and back, and screwed-on plastic fingerboard. It has a sound like you might expect: pretty dull, fairly quiet, and I'll be honest -- apathetic!

However... if this were your first uke you couldn't definitely do far worse. Now that I've set it up properly and glued up open seams, added new screws to seat the board better, and bolted up the loose-ish neck joint... it plays great and does have a friendly sort of chucky-chuck flat sound to it.



If you're looking at one of these for purchase: don't spend much on it! If you're looking to repair one of these for sentimental and practical value: don't spend much on it!

The bridge, by the way, was glued ahead of time by another shop.


Note how I've slotted the "zero fret." These are always molded too-high and need adjustment just like a regular nut for good play.


The bright-colored screws are new and are in locations where there were divots and painted-on dots before. These boards are almost never "flat' on these necks as the plastic shifts around. They really do need the extra ones to keep them straight to allow for an accurate setup.



Ooh-la-la: faux flame!

Note the added bolt to the heel. Simple and direct. We likes it.




...and here's Elsa chuckling at her Grandma (my Mom) taking it for a spin after work was completed.

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