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View Full Version : Looking for info on L&H Shrine Ukulele



jcclark
02-14-2011, 01:38 AM
I am interested in building a number of copies of the Lyon & Healy Shrine Ukulele. Do any of you have access to one and willing to share some measurments? Thanks! JC

Pete Howlett
02-15-2011, 04:35 AM
Try Dave Talsma who has made a repro. Sadly, I no longer have my drawings of this peerless design. I believe Dave made his 'deluxe' model from an original leant to him by a collector.

Deek
02-15-2011, 11:11 AM
I build a repro of a shrine in 2009 (Koa, concert scale) it turned out great - great projection and a sweet, deep tone.

I had no plans, only a picture from a washburn book that I own. Go to the "show off your new uke luthiers forum" on the Uketalk web site and look for the post "new shrine is born" from around march of 2009. I've posted several pictures there, including one that shows the bracing pattern. Best of luck to you

Tarhead
02-15-2011, 06:10 PM
http://yfrog.com/mh100pj is a nice photo of Dave Talsma's repro. Talk about a beauty! Interesting how the neck heel joins the back. A small amount of discussion is here:
http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/bulletin/bulletin-nonpop.asp?popup=true&BulletinID=26968

Pete Howlett
02-16-2011, 04:03 AM
Thanks for the link - great to see Dave's peerless work. I played several originals back in the late 90's. What I loved was the styling with that subtle moss green binding and the sound. The only bummer was the incorrect bridge placement common on Lyon and Healy instruments I played back then - these were all originals, not worked on.

Tarhead
02-16-2011, 05:10 PM
This has really got my attention. I dug into the Washburn Prewar Intrument book and they listed a 9 inch lower bout and 21 1/2 inch overall length from a 1930 catalog. They also list a Tenor version but no specs. If I had to I would SWAG the Tenor bout at 10".
A Mahogany "Deluxe" version was $20 and the Deluxe covered veneer ply case was $10.50. A Mahogany finished Birch model was $15 and a Pasteboard case was $6.00. Quite a lot of money for the time. There are examples of "Super Deluxe" versions but they must have been special order iitems.

Deek
02-17-2011, 01:10 AM
There was also a shrine tenor guitar and a 6-string guitar but these did not stay in production long. The uke remained in production into the '30's
I have not seen pictures of any original shrines as fancy as the reproduction Dave Talsma made or an identical one that MusicGuyMic has for sale. I agree that these would have been rare special orders. I used a 15" concert scale length for the one I made (making it a "long neck") but the body is a hair under 9" across, point-to-point. It's a wonderful instrument.

Pete Howlett
02-17-2011, 03:12 AM
I am liking this thread because in my opinion, Lyon Healy were a head and shoulders above Martin in the bling and styling departments: those cute bridges with their little bone bridge pins and banjo style position inlays... can't be beat. I've mentioned this before and would like to know others' experience: I curated a collection of ukes which had every conceivable model from the 20's to the 50's except a 5k. The Lyon and Healy section was very interesting with it's centre-piece being a Super Deluxe soprano. Of all of them I played, the irritating thing about the L&H brand was the amazing style and attention to detail was let down by terrible intonation past the 4th fret; bridges always seemed to be in the wrong place. Does anyone else share the same experience?

Timbuck
02-17-2011, 04:34 AM
Maybe! the bridge was in the right place..but the Frets were out:D:D

Pete Howlett
02-17-2011, 05:00 AM
You are such an imp Ken - others have posted attesting to perfect intonation which would suggest that repositioning of the bridge, a common 'repair' on vintage batch production lines, caused them to play in tune. I only ever saw unworked originals - it is what the collection was all about; anything that had been messed with was sold on.

jcclark
02-21-2011, 12:07 PM
I want to thank everyone who has replied to my questions. I have particularly appreciated the coments about the intonation. I have extrapolated all of my information from the front on photo on frets.com. I have been concerned that the bridge placement is about 10 mm further down the body than normal. I was torn between putting it where I think is should be or where Washburn put it. Amazing situation! I am just about to attach the neck to my prototype and will go with a standard configuration. Jim Beloff was kind enough to share a few of measurments of his shrine uke with me and mentioned that the Lyon and Healy Shrine and Bell ukes are among his favorites. I spent a lot of early mornings awake agonizing on how the neck blends into the overall shape at the back and finally think I have it solved! What an excencise this has been for me. Thanks again for all of the great comments. JC Clark

jcclark
02-22-2011, 03:50 AM
I fit the neck to the body today. I should have the back on later today and it will start to look like a shrine ukulele! Thanks again to all that resonded! JC Clark

jcclark
02-22-2011, 04:41 AM
Thanks for the information and an introduction to Uketalk. Your bracing pattern looks identical to the one I am using. I am using herring bone also on my prototype. The back and side wood I'm using is figured cherry. JC

Pete Howlett
02-22-2011, 05:06 AM
Remember when drawing from images and measurements supplied by others - you are doing your best! Ultimately, it will not be a reproduction but an homage and if you can get close then you are doing great. Jim owns a bell soprano I made in the 90's. I liked the style but the volume and sound sucked! Probably down to me not building it correctly. However, the 6 string bell shaped tenor with twin puka I subsequently made was much better.

Deek
02-22-2011, 07:04 AM
Thanks for the information and an introduction to Uketalk. Your bracing pattern looks identical to the one I am using. I am using herring bone also on my prototype. The back and side wood I'm using is figured cherry. JC

I agree that you need to decide how faithful a reproduction you are producing. Since I build purely for my own amusement, I lose absolutely no sleep over these questions. Figured cherry should make a beautiful instrument.

Steve vanPelt
02-22-2011, 12:48 PM
Hi JC, welcome to ukulele underground. I've seen you over at the Other Luthier Forum, and checked out your website. Glad to see you here. Oh, and would love to see some pics of the Shrine uke, when it's ready.

Steve

jcclark
02-23-2011, 01:57 PM
Remember when drawing from images and measurements supplied by others - you are doing your best! Ultimately, it will not be a reproduction but an homage and if you can get close then you are doing great. Jim owns a bell soprano I made in the 90's. I liked the style but the volume and sound sucked! Probably down to me not building it correctly. However, the 6 string bell shaped tenor with twin puka I subsequently made was much better.

Frank Ford is sending me a tracing of an original throught the mail and various measurments. It will be interesting to see how close (or far off) I am. I know that the body thickness of my prototype is less than the original. I used 2.25" at the bottom and Jim Beloff measuered his and told me it was just under 2 5/8" - wider than I anticipated. I attached the back today and will finish shaping the neck next.

jcclark
02-23-2011, 01:59 PM
Hi JC, welcome to ukulele underground. I've seen you over at the Other Luthier Forum, and checked out your website. Glad to see you here. Oh, and would love to see some pics of the Shrine uke, when it's ready.

Steve

I will be happy to post a couple of photos when it is done. I probably won't be finished until after the Reno Ukulele Festival on 18 March as I am planning to have a table there and am focusing on that right now.

Steve vanPelt
02-23-2011, 02:02 PM
Mrs. 2dogs and I will be there, too. See you there.