View Full Version : Reincarnation Techniques+Stories

Ian Boys
04-29-2008, 05:58 PM
You know that uke that you used to love like nothing else... the one that you spent countless hours strumming away on... the one that got you started on the ukulele..... the piece of crap that was replaced by your second uke and then became nothing but a decoration?

Well... maybe not everyone has one like that... but I have an old 'Lark' brand ukulele that was what drew me into the ukulele... but started falling apart with use until it was no longer playable. I proceeded to buy myself a nicer uke, and have been happy with it (and all the others that have happened to stumble upon my doorstep in the night... I've had to be nice and let the poor things in... give them a home...)

Anyhow... back to that old piece of firewood....

I have just about reincarnated mine.... lowering the action, filing the frets, reattaching the bridge (which came off when I tuned up to ADF#B tuning... pretty sad, yes), and fixed the pegs (all but the E string... I need to do some more work on that one).

Anyhow, I was wondering if there is anyone who has had a similar experience fixing up a uke... if there's anyone who wants help or suggestions for repairing something on one... or just anyone who wants to discuss anything related to any of this.

So yeah... I'll leave this open for going whichever way it ends up going...

04-29-2008, 06:25 PM
Recently, a good friend of mine brought me an old uke that his grandfather used to play quite a bit. Turns out it was a KaLai pineapple, which was made during a time they had an arrangement with Kamaka to mfg them at the Kamaka plant. I'm told that rumor has it Kamaka may not have survived had it not been for this and similar arrangements.

Anyways, he had told me it was in need of repair and he would like to play it if possible. Turns out it only needed some new strings and some tuning pegs. These are not super rare, so good news is there is not much 'collector' value here. I say good news because now he's got no barriers about playing it just like dear ol' gramps did. Once we put some new strings on that little guy (had some Worth CD's on hand) we discovered that little sucker could sing like crazy! Until being exposed to this uke, I didn't fully realize why vintage ukes are so sought after and expensive. The age and hours upon hours of strumming really opens up the wood (Monkeypod in this case) and provides a truly beautiful sound. I was blown away, and whenever I see him, I'll put down my new Gstring to steal this old pineapple from him for a while.