View Full Version : I Adopted A Ukulele "Orphan" Last Night,......

08-11-2011, 11:47 AM
.....a ukulele with "No Name", that is!

I check over the Elderly Instruments ukulele offerings pretty regularly of late, and usually don't spend much time in the "Orphan" department.
(AKA the "No Name" ukes)

Last night i checked in there, and picked this one out of the cluster, for a couple of reasons.......

Here's the listed description:

NO NAME SOPRANO UKULELE VG-EC, satin finish, 6-1/2" all mahogany body, painted on binding on top and back, mahogany neck, mahogany fretboard with rope border trim, dot inlays, 12 frets, unique tailpiece, ebony bridge, friction pegs, logo shield (decal) is partially missing, sold AS-IS (needs fret work, strings, set up, etc.), 1-7/16" nut, 13-1/2" scale
sku: 180U-515 .. $150.00

Firstly, i took note of the nut width,....this one is wider than the usual 1-3/8" usually found. I like wide for easier fingering. I've got a build spot with forum member Bradford, and was planning on going with the usual nut width.
That may change to the wider 1-7/16" found here, if i like the feel once it's in hand.

The uke appears to be set up with a floating bridge, based on one tailpiece being there. If not it will end up that way! I've been wanting to experiment with a really lightweight bridge on a flatop ukulele that had a tailpiece string attachment for awhile. I didn't want to have a lot tied up in a uke i would be making major changes in, however.

If the bridge is glued on, i'll deal with removing it and making a lightweight floating type. It makes intonation adjustments easier is you want to experiment with different string types also.

The body is solid mahoghany,....always a good thing on a ululele and i didn't have one yet in that wood.

I'll probably end up hand making an ebony tailpiece, and replace the metal one there now. (like you see on some archtops, maybe with a cord attachment)

The nut needs replacing,...probably go with ebony there also.

The fretboard needs some attention,...the frets look a bit nasty. Maybe they'll clean up,....but at some point i may need to replace them. The fretboard rope binding is really COOL!

In the end i'll probably refinish the uke,....if only to remove some of the lighter marks and get rid of the painted on black imitation body binding. The label on the headstock will remain, however, as the "birthmark" of this orphan.

A soundport is definately an option,....and will depend on how the side thickness looks once i recieve it. (hopefully on saturday in 2 days)

Looks like lots of fun to be had tweaking this one.

Anyway,...here are a few pics, and i'll add some more in a couple of posts down:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany7.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany3.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany6.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany5.jpg

08-11-2011, 11:49 AM
Slick uke bro. Seems like a good deal too. Congrats!


08-11-2011, 11:49 AM
....some more pics:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany2.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany9.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany1.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany4.jpg

08-11-2011, 11:53 AM
....last pic:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany8.jpg

08-11-2011, 12:46 PM
One piece top and back, looks circa 1930 with the flathead tuner screws, and just the overall look. Love the headstock and the rope.

08-11-2011, 12:59 PM
One piece top and back, looks circa 1930 with the flathead tuner screws, and just the overall look. Love the headstock and the rope.

I don't think the real rope's hanging around, ....i trust you meant the rope fretboard binding! :D

The headstock is attractive though. I figured it was made around 1925-1940 or so, but i'm not a uke expert.
(vintage or otherwise)

....this one called to me a bit when i saw it.....

.....i think i heard ...... "D-A-D-D-Y" ? :old:


08-11-2011, 01:11 PM
That is an extremely "spiffy" looking little uke. Love to see and year it when you are done with it. good luck with your new "treasure."

08-11-2011, 09:01 PM
I almost bought that one for my own collection. I have eyed it a while.

08-11-2011, 09:22 PM
Nice score on that fine looking no namer. Maybe RyanMFT may give us more insite to what it might be.........

08-12-2011, 12:37 AM
If it sounds half as good as it looks you have a winner.. Have fun!

08-12-2011, 12:43 AM
Thaty looks lovely and i agree go with everyone else that the headstock and fretboard look really cool. You got a right deal there.

08-12-2011, 04:26 AM
That's a good lookin' orphan!

Nice score. Enjoy!

08-12-2011, 05:15 AM
I almost bought that one for my own collection. I have eyed it a while.

I was even luckier then,.....usually i pass over the "no name" ukes figuring there wasn't much there. It was
the rope bound fingerboard that initially caught my eye.

Looks like i'll be slowing down the "no name" uke browsing merry-go-round in the future, so as to give them a
fair look. Don't want to miss another one as interesting! :rotfl: :uhoh: :rotfl:

(that smiley combo looks pretty cool! :biglaugh: )

08-15-2011, 04:25 AM
Well,....i ordered my "orphan" on thursday, and expected it to ship later that day, as Elderly Instrument has
been pretty good getting orders out right away. When it was still showing up online under my account in
Pending Orders as "Processing" on saturday, i became concerned and gave them a call.

I relayed to the very nice woman i spoke to in customer service that i was a bit worried the ukulele hadn't shipped yet, and asked if there might be a problem? She looked at whatever info she had in front of her, and said she didn't see a problem, and that it looked like it was scheduled to be shipped on monday.

I was a bit bummed out, because i was anxious to give the orphan a "bath" and some TLC,.....something surely
lacking over it's recent past. Had they shipped on thursday, it would have arrived on saturday via fedex, as i have recieved orders from them in the past. That's one nice thing about fedex,....saturday delivery! :iwant:

I was been wondering if maybe it had shipped out on friday and someone just forgot to enter that fact into the system.
That was not the case, however, and any work would have to wait until this coming wednesday as it's a 2 day hike
from Elderly to my location.

Just a few minutes ago on this monday morning, i recieved a call from Elderly i didn't want to get, and from what sounded like a young man,.... he surely didn't want to make! :( (forgot his name, i was so bummed out)

Seems he had been searching thru the store the last few days, and my uke is nowhere to be found! :wtf:
Others had joined him in the search, ......still to no avail.

When i asked what might have happened, one possibility offered is the uke might have been accidentally added to someone else's order and shipped to the wrong person. (possibly some time ago even?)
If that's what happened and the order with my ukulele in it has not yet arrived to you,........

............. do the right thing and return my baby! Please,.....i'll pay the ransom,....just don't hurt the little guy!
Besides,.....there's "Karma" to be considered!

I offered another possibility (in a delicate way), asking if maybe someone there might have thought it was underpriced,
or even wanted it for themselves, and decided it should go missing? The answer i go back genuinely sounded like
that was not the case. (hehehe,......got to probe sometimes to get to the bottom!)

I'll miss not being able to try out the wider neck on that one (1-7/16" instead of the usual 1-3/8") to
help me decide to possibly go that route and have Brad Donaldson make that change on my upcoming build in
about 6 months. I also wanted to experiment with a lightweight floating bridge, since that uke had a tailpiece
string attachment.

Anyway, i let the man from Elderly Instruments know that "if" it later turns up, to please reserve it for me and i
would still like to proceed with a purchase. Maybe someone here will spot it some day,.....it's a pretty unusual
looking instrument.

..........hope my baby is OK??? Worse case is he gets raised in a guitar bully household, and gets "picked on"
instead of loveingly caressed!

These things happen sometimes,....i once had an order where i had purchased a high quality airgun aperture
site made in Germany for around $130.00 The seller is one of the good guys, and had located a stash from
his contacts in Germany of 7 pieces of this hard to find item. Turns out i was buyer number EIGHT! Simply
lost count and forgot to pull the listing once they were all sold. They sold out pretty quick, actually, so with
all his email traffic hitting at once,....easy to get confused.

Anyway,.....please keep an eye out for "Ukester",......


Have you seen this uke?

...will probably still have rope tied around neck to make an "ID"!
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany5.jpg

08-16-2011, 04:11 AM
A few more identifying pics of the "missing" little guy:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany3.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany7.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Ukulele%20No%20Name%20%20Hawaii%20Label%20on%20Hea dstock/UkuleleNoNameMahogany6.jpg

08-16-2011, 04:23 AM
I bet it sold and they just forgot to take it down.

08-16-2011, 07:57 AM
I bet it sold and they just forgot to take it down.

Could have,...but you'd think somebody there would have remembered it. The neck roping is a bit unusual.

Soprano's are pretty small also,....

....might have "walked out" under somebodies coat during a busy time?:rotfl::uhoh::rotfl:


08-16-2011, 08:08 AM
Could have,...but you'd think somebody there would have remembered it. The neck roping is a bit unusual.

Soprano's are pretty small also,....

....might have "walked out" under somebodies coat during a busy time?:rotfl::uhoh::rotfl:


Well I hope it didn't walk out under someone's coat!

I hope it turns up for you. Do you ever do ebay searches? A lot of older ukes with nice rope pop up on there all the time. And you don't seem like the type of person to get scared by some minor repair work.

08-25-2011, 09:44 PM
So sorry to hear of the hiccup in finding your 'orphan'!! It truly is a gorgeous looking uke! I DO hope they find it for you ....... maybe someone had asked for it to be 'put away' until they came in to the shop to check it out ......... and they are off sick?? I hope so, for your sake.

I've actually had 'missing in action' happen a couple of times with special fishing lures - and been refunded when it was 'not available' but got miffed when they left the listing up & a friend also ordered them & had to be refunded!! I requested they remove them from their 'site shop' and they did!

Fingers crossed that you find your orphan!



Has no-one been able to give your orphan a name yet?