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View Full Version : I got a question for ya.



lefty dan
06-17-2010, 07:50 AM
You guys know the old Harmony type ukes. That came with plastic fret boards and the nut is molded plastic also part of the plastic fret board. It looks like the fret board is screwed on the neck.
I was thinking that a guy could replace the plastic fret board with a nice wooden one and then a nice nut. If it worked you'd have a uke that has 50 year old wood and might play and sound good. Im guessing the wood on some were ply but can the fret board be replaced with a wooden one of better quality????????
Thanks
Dan

erich@muttcrew.net
06-17-2010, 08:19 AM
Dan, I would venture to say yes. We've yanked, pulled, pried, cut, sawed, scraped, planed, sanded the fretboard (along with the nut and bridge) off of quite a few instruments - not a harmony uke with mother of plastic fretboard/nut so far, but it's always pretty much a matter of getting down to a clean, flat, smooth wood surface underneath. Keep in mind that you need to get the fretboard surface back to the right level if you don't want to mess with the bridge/saddle height.

HTH, Erich

ksquine
06-17-2010, 08:28 AM
Yeah Dan....but what if you replaced the original plastic fretboard wtih something like Mother of Toilet Seat pearloid or metallic flake plastic. Now you'd have a nice playing 50yr old uke that would really get noticed

Chris Tarman
06-17-2010, 09:11 AM
I'm pretty sure I have seen a guy on eBay who sells those old Harmony ukes (among others) that he has fixed up. He puts wooden fretboards and upgraded tuners on, I believe. They end up being pretty decent-looking. Although, I kind of like the look of the old Harmony with the plastic board. I played one once at an antique store right after I bought my first (crappy) ukulele a few years before I started playing seriously. I wish I had bought the thing! It was a Roy Smeck Signature model, but at the time I had no idea who Roy Smeck was.

lefty dan
06-17-2010, 09:57 AM
Thanks for all the info. I should have explained why Im asking. I saw two Harmony's in my travels over time. Both have had the screwed on plastic fret boards. The nut was broken on both and one of the fret boards was also broken. I just always wondered why not put a fret board on and continue playing it.

Dan

Chris Tarman
06-17-2010, 10:03 AM
Thanks for all the info. I should have explained why Im asking. I saw two Harmony's in my travels over time. Both have had the screwed on plastic fret boards. The nut was broken on both and one of the fret boards was also broken. I just always wondered why not put a fret board on and continue playing it.

Dan
I can't think of a reason not to. Except, oh yeah... I have no skills or abilities as a woodworker! I'd have to pay someone to do that, but if I COULD do it myself I would in a heartbeat.