View Full Version : Identification help please! Wooden Frets.

09-22-2015, 08:18 AM
Hello all! Has anyone ever seen a uke like this?

It has wooden frets. Its pegs are made of two pieces of wood. They work surprisingly well.

I've looked for info on the net, but can't find anything.

It's a sweet sounding uke, so I'm interested to hear any ideas or info.

Thanks! :D8364283643836448364583646

09-22-2015, 08:19 AM
More pics...


09-22-2015, 10:27 AM
I know that during World War II, Regal (for sure) and Harmony (possibly) produced ukes with wooden frets and violin-style wooden pegs. Musical instruments were deemed necessary for the war effort (kept morale up), but metal was needed for guns & tanks & battleships. So they improvised.

Based on the headstock shape, I'm 99% certain this a Regal build.

The only thing that puzzles me...looks pretty blingy for a wartime ration uke. Looks like mahogany over birch, and that skunk-striped neck is something fancy!

09-22-2015, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the info R_D!

It does have that Regal look to the head. But you're right about being blingy. Here's a picture next to a couple of Regals. I thought that a "Sailor" uke (on the right) was the vintage bling. The Regals have sort of a point on the top of the head that this one doesn't though.


09-23-2015, 03:48 AM
You're right, most Regals have that little point - but a few don't.

Check out this WWII Regal "Victory" uke:
I've seen quite a few of these Regal Victorys. Some have the point, some don't; some have wooden frets, some have brass; some have wooden pegs, some metal and plastic tuners. I think they were produced throughout the war, and at different times, different components had to be substituted.

I've got an all original, NOS, WWII Silvertone (Harmony):
Birch, wooden pegs, gut strings, but brass frets.

Yours is a beautiful uke - is it original or has it been restored? Where did you find it?

09-23-2015, 06:33 AM
are these forums great or what!

09-23-2015, 07:16 AM
It's an amazing forum, indeed. The collective knowledge here never ceases to fascinate me. (But such a fertile breeding ground for UAS!)

09-23-2015, 07:19 AM
R_D, thanks again! Nice Silvertone! I have one kind of like that, but probably newer and the head is more round and kind of beveled.

I just can't imagine Regal spending this much time on a uke without using spray paint and a stencil. But if it came from a factory, it probably came from them.

I saw an ad for it and it kinda reminded me of a Bruko no. 6. It's neck was off and the back and front were separated. But I could tell from the wear dots on the fretboard that someone had played it a good amount at some point, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The picture in the ad was pretty bad and I think the seller just thought it was a broken toy. Which it kinda was. :D So, I lucked out. It's keeps my dog company....

Hey Phil! Oh yeah, this is a great forum. I've learned so much from the people here.

When I originally posted this, I felt like Shazam going before the Elders for advice.
(I kinda imagine that I'm Shazam anyways, so it wasn't a real stretch!)

09-23-2015, 09:07 AM
Your Silvertone is probably like mine, which was attributed to the 1940's. So.. very different from your unknown one.

09-23-2015, 11:48 AM
Your Silvertone is probably like mine, which was attributed to the 1940's. So.. very different from your unknown one.

That's the one! Mine's a little darker, but same thing.


09-23-2015, 12:54 PM
That's the one! Mine's a little darker, but same thing.

Silvertones are my jam. I've got one of these too. Mine has a cracked soundboard, and it still sounds amazing.

They made them from the late '40s til about 1960. Solid mahogany, from the Harmony factory in Chicago.

If Laura's tuners are original (I think they are), hers probably is from the late '40s.

Mine has the same script logo, but has "shark tooth" tuners - mine is mid '50s.

Xtra, with that script logo, yours is about 1960 or so.