12/15/2014

1930s Slingerland 8" Resonator Banjo Uke




This customer's instrument is a rarer-size (8" rim) Slingerland-branded banjo uke probably from right around 1930. It's definitely a step up from their good-but-plainer 7" models (and even has a "long" 14" scale length) and the attached resonator gives it some forward punch and clarity. I think that these were made by Regal for Slingerland but I'm not 100% on that. It's just a hunch.

My work on it included a light level/dress of the replaced frets,  a replacement neck brace (vintage parts), a cleaning, and a good setup with a new set of Martin fluorocarbon strings. The result is a loud but warm-sounding sweetie-pie of a banjo uke.


Except for the mahogany resonator, maple is used throughout right down to the dyed-maple fretboard and headstock veneer. The original skin head, by the way, is in great shape.


Older work on the instrument appears to be: replacement Champion friction pegs, several dabs of topcoat varnish here and there (especially at the headstock!), replacement frets, a replacement tailpiece (60s/70s), and a replacement nut.


After doing the frets I quickly popped some side dots in as there are no face position markers (oddly enough).


This is a period Non-Tip bridge.




I forgot to mention that I also reglued an old (very poor) glue job on the resonator's side that had come undone and was ugly. It's ship-shape, now. I also replaced a screw in the side of the heel used as a strap button with... a strap button.





You can see my replacement vintage neck brace install and foam overtone-killer bit wedged behind the dowel.


...and that's all she wrote.

1 comment:

Trey said...

Great job on the uke Jake, I thought it could never play these easy.