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View Full Version : 1950's Harmony Repair



KevinV
06-04-2014, 04:43 PM
I picked up a 50's Harmony soprano at the thrift shop the day I bought the Nunes. It had a few cracks in the top with a little sag, but otherwise looked good. For $20 I figured it was worth trying my hand at a top repair.

The uke spent the past week getting rehydrated and the top became more pliable. I did some searching and followed the advice given to another. After the hydration was complete, I devised a jack from a rubber carboy stopper, a bolt, a nut, and a large washer. I cut a piece of packing tape to fit under the top below the soundhole, moistened it and put it in place. I then jacked the top up to relieve the slight droop it had and then finger tapped wood glue into the 3 cracks. I strung the uke while it was jacked to put normal string tension on the top.

With the jack removed, the top is holding steady and it plays fairly decent. It's got the plastic fretboard with the zero fret and is not a light instrument, but it's got some mojo to it and is a great platform for some of the older tunes like "Ain't She Sweet", and "Five Foot Two".

So things turned out well. I rescued a neglected uke, brought it back to life, and have another little bit of history to strum on. A pretty cool day in my book.

dhoenisch
06-04-2014, 04:52 PM
Being the Harmony fanatic I am, I would love to see a couple pictures of it.

Dan

KevinV
06-04-2014, 04:55 PM
Being the Harmony fanatic I am, I would love to see a couple pictures of it.

Dan

Hey Dan,

I'll get some pictures up for you. Maybe tomorrow.

Kevin

Ukuleleblues
06-07-2014, 03:01 PM
I've had packing tape on a crack where someone's rug rat dropped a mic stand on my Baritone and split and dented the top. Been there 5 years and is still holding.

KevinV
06-07-2014, 03:20 PM
UkuleleBlues, that's good to hear. It gives me a little more confidence in this. I got the tip off a luthier forum so I figured it had to be worth a shot. Your experience backs that up.

Sorry for the delay on the pics.

The repair is holding nicely. A little wood glue and paper packing tape is doing the trick.

Here she is…

67538 67539 67540 67541

Ukejenny
06-07-2014, 03:24 PM
Wow, that looks great!

Ukuleleblues
06-07-2014, 03:29 PM
UkuleleBlues, that's good to hear. It gives me a little more confidence in this. I got the tip off a luthier forum so I figured it had to be worth a shot. Your experience backs that up.

Sorry for the delay on the pics.

The repair is holding nicely. A little wood glue and paper packing tape is doing the trick.

Here she is…

67538 67539 67540 67541

Glue in the crack, clamp to close the crack and the water based packing tape inside the uke. I read where a guy had a uke from the 30s that had a similar fix, he thought it had been fixed decades ago.
Nice job

river_driver
06-08-2014, 05:18 AM
Nice job! Out of curiosity, is that Harmony solid birch? I was under the impression that by the time they moved to the plastic fretboards, they had switched to laminates.

coitmusic
06-08-2014, 01:21 PM
Nice job! Out of curiosity, is that Harmony solid birch? I was under the impression that by the time they moved to the plastic fretboards, they had switched to laminates.

I can't speak for the Harmony in this post, but I have a Roy Smeck model Harmony that is all mahogany with a plastic fretboard and two solid birch ones as well.

KevinV
06-08-2014, 01:46 PM
Nice job! Out of curiosity, is that Harmony solid birch? I was under the impression that by the time they moved to the plastic fretboards, they had switched to laminates.

It's solid wood. I don't know much about Harmony ukes, but was surprised to see it was solid. I was expecting laminate.

actadh
06-08-2014, 01:54 PM
Very nice!

dhoenisch
06-09-2014, 04:30 AM
Very nice work!!!

As for Harmony using solids or laminates... They didn't start using laminates on their guitars until the early 1970's. I would assume the same goes for their ukes. I have yet to see an American Harmony uke with laminate yet. I have one of their student birch ukes from the 60's, and it is still solid.

Dan