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View Full Version : Banjo Ukulele Heartache: I'm Not the Right One



Maiyah888
03-07-2011, 03:56 PM
So I won a Tonk Bros. banjo uke on eBay last week and it arrived today.

And I'll be returning it courtesy the seller's generous policy (he auctioned it as a favor to his neighbor who is a little old lady Luddite).

B/c I don't have the skillz necessary to change out its pegs myself, and my local luthier thinks it'd be pretty risky b/c the headstock is so little. And he'd have to charge me a lot.

* heaves big sigh *

WestPhillyUke
03-07-2011, 05:08 PM
Why did the pegs need to be changed, and why would changing them have been difficult/risky?

Maiyah888
03-07-2011, 05:14 PM
1) it's vintage, from the 1920s or 30s, so the plastic has degraded and shrunk and no friction is available (friction pegs, not geared tuners like modern ukes) the pegs won't hold a tune;

2) there's an old crack that was repaired that wasn't mentioned in the original description (the eBayer is 83 and his neighbor is 87, so their eyesight might not have picked up on this); neither of them play, so they had no idea what condition this was in -- they just noticed that the pegs could still turn, so listed them as "working condition";

3) re: 1) modern friction peg tuners are bigger than the older ones, so the holes in the headstock would have to be carefully re-drilled, but the headstock/neck is so thin that my luthier thinks it would be too weakened afterward and actually might crack during the process

joeybug
03-07-2011, 06:28 PM
1) it's vintage, from the 1920s or 30s, so the plastic has degraded and shrunk and no friction is available (friction pegs, not geared tuners like modern ukes) the pegs won't hold a tune;

2) there's an old crack that was repaired that wasn't mentioned in the original description (the eBayer is 83 and his neighbor is 87, so their eyesight might not have picked up on this); neither of them play, so they had no idea what condition this was in -- they just noticed that the pegs could still turn, so listed them as "working condition";

3) re: 1) modern friction peg tuners are bigger than the older ones, so the holes in the headstock would have to be carefully re-drilled, but the headstock/neck is so thin that my luthier thinks it would be too weakened afterward and actually might crack during the process

That sucks! But at least you could return it, nothing worse than getting what you want, it not working and not being able to get your money back!

What's the story on the "Dodged a bullet and cancelled my bid" one in your sig? I don't recognise the make...

Maiyah888
03-08-2011, 06:07 AM
Oy! Here's the link-y to the site that kept me from paying him!

Reviews of Antonio Tsai Guitars (http://www.chionline.com/Antoniotsai/index.html)

Jnobianchi
03-08-2011, 11:06 AM
I have what looks to be Tonk Brothers or Regal banjo uke. It's walnut and has just been wonderfully restored and refinished by one of our fellow members, Tim (Two Trax). I bought it from him last month along with a really spiffing Stromberg Voisinet.

This uke is oddly well decorated and just top quality for a TBC uke - with a three-piece neck, ebony headstock face and fretboard, sandwich heel cap. New tuners were installed by Tim. I just put a new bridge on it and sanded it to bring the action down. It's in great shape.

I was going to put it on eBay next week, but if you're interested in seeing it, contact me via pm. I'd rather it goes to someone who's really interested in this kind of little uke. I'd keep it, but I've got a Slingerland 20 and several others, and don't really want another open back.

Maiyah888
03-09-2011, 03:08 PM
Oh thank you so much John in NYC!

I miss Manhattan -- I lived on the Upper West for 8 years, then commuted for 3.

I tried to PM you, but weirdly it seems to have disappeared.

Will try again anon!