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kkimura

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I've told myself over and over, not to get into old or vintage ukuleles. That they're too much trouble and go for inflated prices. Well what can I say? Walking through a flea market yesterday some guy was selling what appears to be a Decca soprano badly in need of some tlc at a price I couldn't refuse. ($10)
Here's the tale of woe; no strings, no label, head stock decal unintelligible and the back is lifting off. But, the tuners look okay!
As far as I can tell it's a Decca made in Japan by Kawai / Teisco around 1950-60.
 

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rustydusty

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That will be a fun little project. Send some pics when it's finished...
My sister in law is bringing over a no name baritone ukulele this week that belonged to my father in law when he was a teen ('50s). I am going to clean it up, do a set up, and restring it, for her and my niece to play around with...
 

kkimura

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Don't know if I'll try to fix it myself or ask a luthier to tackle it. I remember back when I was a motorcycle mechanic we used to talk about people who would spend 3-4 hundred dollars trying to make their $600 bike go as fast as a $700 bike. The uke has no linings and minimal bracing.
 

Joe T

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For the 10 bucks invested, might be a fun project to tinker with kkimura. Good news on the tuners. ;) Congrats on your bargin find, hope you have a lot of fun with it.
 

bbkobabe

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Those type of tuners went onto a lot of different ukuleles back then... I have a old Roy Smeck signature model and two other old Harmony ukes that all have these same tuners...

BTW: I can give you a great deal on an old Roy Smeck and a couple of Harmony sopranos I have if you are interested!
 

kkimura

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Day 1, disassembled and cleaned the tuners. There was some greenish paint or glue (see 2nd picture) that I was able to scrape off. Apparently the finish is quite hardy.
 

kkimura

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Those type of tuners went onto a lot of different ukuleles back then... I have a old Roy Smeck signature model and two other old Harmony ukes that all have these same tuners...

BTW: I can give you a great deal on an old Roy Smeck and a couple of Harmony sopranos I have if you are interested!
Thanks but they sound expensive. ;)
 

Ukecaster

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Those type of tuners went onto a lot of different ukuleles back then... I have a old Roy Smeck signature model and two other old Harmony ukes that all have these same tuners...

BTW: I can give you a great deal on an old Roy Smeck and a couple of Harmony sopranos I have if you are interested!
For $10.00? Cool! I believe those tuners were called sharktooth tuners, like these on an old Harmony I once had. However, yours seem to have a slight ring at the bottom, while on mine, the entire bottom of the button was flat against the wood. Hope yours comes out nice!
 

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kkimura

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For $10.00? Cool! I believe those tuners were called sharktooth tuners, like these on an old Harmony I once had. However, yours seem to have a slight ring at the bottom, while on mine, the entire bottom of the button was flat against the wood. Hope yours comes out nice!
Here's a pic of the tuner with the adjustment screw backed off so the bottom of the knob can be seen.

IMG_1697.jpg
 

kkimura

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Strung it up with a set of Martin M600s just for grins. It's loud and not bad sounding but the action is out of whack. 3/16" at the 12th fret and it needs a neck reset. (a Straight edge on the fret board points to the base of the bridge.)
 
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Jerryc41

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I've told myself over and over, not to get into old or vintage ukuleles. That they're too much trouble and go for inflated prices. Well what can I say? Walking through a flea market yesterday some guy was selling what appears to be a Decca soprano badly in need of some tlc at a price I couldn't refuse. ($10)
Here's the tale of woe; no strings, no label, head stock decal unintelligible and the back is lifting off. But, the tuners look okay!
As far as I can tell it's a Decca made in Japan by Kawai / Teisco around 1950-60.
You got a Decca uke for $10? That must be a record. 😁
 

Jerryc41

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I've told myself over and over, not to get into old or vintage ukuleles. That they're too much trouble and go for inflated prices.
Right! I hate to see old, $5.00 ukes being offered for over $100.
 

kkimura

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Right! I hate to see old, $5.00 ukes being offered for over $100.
I'm reminded of when I was a motorcycle mechanic, Some people would spend thousands of dollars to make their $600 bike as good as a $800 bike.
 

John Colter

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When the seams of the body are detached, as yours are, it often causes the neck angle to be pulled in that direction. You could try making a crude jig (I've danced a few of those) to hold the neck at the desired angle while you re-glue the body.