11/12/2016

1930s Slingerland Banjo Ukulele



I've seen so many Slingerland banjo-ukes of the 7" pot variety now that I get deja-vu whenever I see one come in. This is a lighter-weight version of the usual fare as the rim is a little thinner and lacks the brutal, often-shrieky-sounding tonering of some of the later, heavier-duty Slingerland jo-ukes. It also has the better-for-tone short-scale 13" neck on it which puts the bridge in a better place on the head than some of the later 14" scale models.

Work was straightforward -- a fret level/dress, hidden bolt for the neck, and a general setup. The owner had already re-skinned the rim, found a new bridge, and installed replacement tuners -- so all I had to do was a glorified setup.




These ukes have maple necks, dyed-maple fretboards, and maple rims. The dots are pearl.



The rim has a shim-style "neck brace" but I've hidden a countersunk bolt behind it to attach the neck more firmly. The brace, now, just covers it up and makes it "look" right.



The owner added some Grover Champion pegs to the headstock a while back.




I had to swap out the strings as the ones on it were getting pretty worn. I replaced the wound-3rd "banjo uke" strings with standard D'Addario Titanium soprano strings and the uke immediately went back to a happy-go-lucky sound rather than a brash plink-a-plink.


The tiny foam on the edge of the rim dampens an area where the top of the rim makes contact with the head in an odd way which was causing wonky "flapping" sounds as the head vibrated. I have to do this from time to time on old banjos (presumably with slightly-distorted top edges of the rims?) and I notice it happens more often on banjo ukes.

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