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View Full Version : Recent projects -- 1924 block-rim Banjo Uke & 1960s Luna bari



Jake Wildwood
05-13-2013, 03:26 PM
No self-promotion here, but I so rarely get a chance to post on UU due to having little time and wanted to share a pair of interestingly-designed ukes I just finished up.

First off is this tres cool block-rim banjo uke that I'm pretty sure was an Oscar Schmidt build:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2JIJLAF0e1Y/UZF8Hpdu2CI/AAAAAAAAkYI/GJh90xD3HnQ/s1600/jukey-1.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uGdpKLwLkQk/UZF8S5Zqh-I/AAAAAAAAkYw/mdVHy4kLwDg/s1600/jukey-6.jpg

What's curious about this design is it's not a standard block-rim type with some adjustable screws inside to tighten the head from the reverse... it actually has a whole secondary inner rim that the head sets on and is then tightened up against a lip on the outer rim. As a banjo fan, I find this rim design really, really cool and elegant. Click here for the full blog post (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2013/05/c1924-oscar-schmidt-block-rim-banjo.html).

Next up is a Japanese Luna bari from the (probably) 60s:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PJ5jVVW7BiQ/UZFjIeKlCpI/AAAAAAAAkWY/ikxLle1YdJs/s1600/lunbar-1.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-16sNMBp4ldc/UZFjVkRqvaI/AAAAAAAAkXI/zlC2psJSTlM/s1600/lunbar-7.jpg

If you've ever held an older Luna from the 50s or 60s, you probably know just how great they are. Despite their lowly materials, they're totally cool instruments because they were designed quite well. I love the way the absence of the fretboard extension makes typical uke "over the soundhole" strumming and fingerpicking and clawhammer so, so much easier on a bari. It also has only one top brace (below the soundhole), which means it has a big, wide-open sort of tone compared to a more typically ladder (3 braces for baris) or fan-braced instrument. Click here for the full blogpost on that guy (http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/2013/05/c1960-luna-baritone-ukulele.html).