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Thread: Ever see one of these before?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Default Ever see one of these before?

    My brother's grandfather collects and restores old instruments, I've heard stories about the literal hundreds of mandolins, banjos, guitars, and violins in his houses (yes plural), I've also heard that he also has some unique instruments as well. I started following him on Facebook because he is always posting pictures of his finds.
    One day I get a message from him saying he has a few ukuleles and would like me to visit him next time I'm working in his area.
    I usually travel hundreds of miles for work so I always have at least one uke with me to keep me occupied in hotels. This week I had my Gretsch Guitalele and thought he would get a kick out of it, so I called him up and met him at his house.
    After looking at piles of instruments, and a quick tour of his shop, he takes out his small collection of ukes. I can't remember what all the brands were but they were all old. He even had a couple banjoleles and one of them was really heavy. There was one that really took my eye, and it was the roughest looking one of the bunch. It was a triangled​ body Ukulele made out of metal, and was army green.
    I studied this for a while and asked him what it was, he said he didn't know. We speculated about where it might of came from, school metal shop, bored Fab worker, ext but after a few hours I told him I better get to the hotel before they give my room away and he gave it to me. Said I would make better use of it then he would, even if all I did was hang it on a wall.

    Now with the back story out of the way, this all happened yesterday lol, I'll post some pictures. I'm curious if anyone has seen anything like it and if they would know where it came from.
    IMG_20170809_215609.jpg

    IMG_20170808_220458.jpg

    IMG_20170808_211422.jpg

    IMG_20170808_220435.jpg

    Attachment 102108

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    The Island of Misfit Toys
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    Default

    Very interesting, Turk! Even more so with the backstory/family collection. Hope someone here can help solve the puzzle.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Cocobolo Pineapple #1
    Ohana Sopranissimo
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    Harmony Soprano
    D. Heilman ULO #7 Concert
    Mainland Cedar Baritone
    Kala Elite Custom Lebanese Cedar Tenor
    Kanilea K-1 SC
    Bonanza Retro Mint Pear Tenor
    Druid Moon Koa Tenor
    Primrose Cedar/Maple Soprano
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    Cocobolo Cedar Top Tenor
    1933 Martin 1K Soprano

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Dayum! That thing looks built like a TANK, or FROM a tank LOL...

    Maybe it was an 'Army' uke, rugged enough for the battlefield?

    I also really enjoyed the story. hopefully the provenance can be sorted out as I'd think that someone on UU knows if this was a production model, or more likely a one-off...

    But how does it SOUND? (hint...hint...)
    Please click here for Booli's Help Page which contains tips & answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
    If you are a uke newbie, this will be good reading for you.
    [ o>==::

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    The metal work looks like something a sheet metal man (duct work guy) would use in fabrication. I would guess its a one off by someone with that background, if it sounds good it would make and outstandingly rugged car ukulele, probly near impervious to heat.
    Last edited by maki66; 08-10-2017 at 08:00 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    West Palm Beach, Florida
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    When I saw that on your other post I just thought it was distressed wood. That sure is unique and whoever made it really thought through the design.
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Ontario.Canada.
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    I liked that very much. Especially since I like heavy metal music. Thank you for the story and sharing. Jim.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2015
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    Franklin, TN
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    Default

    Looks like a variation of a Wolfelele.
    http://m.wolfelele.com/Instructions---Diagrams.html
    Some schools have students build these, then play in an 'ukulele band.
    One such school was featured in "The Mighty Uke" movie.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2017
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    Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    Dayum! That thing looks built like a TANK, or FROM a tank LOL...

    Maybe it was an 'Army' uke, rugged enough for the battlefield?

    I also really enjoyed the story. hopefully the provenance can be sorted out as I'd think that someone on UU knows if this was a production model, or more likely a one-off...

    But how does it SOUND? (hint...hint...)
    Like this lol

    https://youtu.be/4Va1ZI_dtJg

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Thanks for sharing the sound demo. It does not sound too bad at all. I bet with the right strings the tone might be improved, but as it is, it's very neat!
    Please click here for Booli's Help Page which contains tips & answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
    If you are a uke newbie, this will be good reading for you.
    [ o>==::

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Wyoming
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    Default

    I'm not sure how old these strings are so I'm planning on replacing them.
    I'm also thinking about sand blasting it and possibly copper plate it
    It kind of looks like it was chrome at first, then someone painted army green over it

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