Restoring A 100 Year Old Aloha

Tukanu

Handmade 2B Hand Played
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I came across this vintage Aloha on Etsy. What caught my eye was the all-koa body and neck. But, it wasn't without some 100 year old problems:
The frets were worn down, the neck had a slight twist, tuners were missing, top was concaved, bridge was loose, there was a nasty puncture below the bridge, and a crack in the back, and a terrible lacquer overspray. Other than that...mint condition ;).
I popped off the back and repaired the puncture. I removed the old brace that was concave, and replace it with one that had positive curvature. I added a bridge patch. I also replaced the back brace because it was distorting the shape of the back. Lastly, I removed the old frets and sanded down the finish, being careful not to destroy what was left of the "Aloha" decal on the headstock. The was no way to correct the neck twist, so I compensated by lowering the bridge on the bass side.

I came to really appreciate the asymmetry as I was working it. There were lots of examples of the hand made character of this ukulele...nothing objectionable, just evidence that it was build by the human hand.

New frets, peghed tuners, and a light coat of TruOil, and this classic is ready for the next 100 years.
 

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kerneltime

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I love the tear drop ukes you made for their sound. How would you characterize the sound of this lovely restored uke?
 

Tukanu

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I love the tear drop ukes you made for their sound. How would you characterize the sound of this lovely restored uke?
My gut reaction was "this sounds like what I imagined a real ukulele is supposed to sound like". It is not loud, but not quiet. A very pleasing tone that is not thin at all. It has a nice little bit of ring...or sustain might be a better word. It has a really thin neck, like the old Kamaka's.
As I strum it, I kept looking out the window...I swear there was a palm tree appearing in my periphery. :sneaky:
 

Timbuck

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that's got all the features I like in real ukuleles ..None existing fretboard level with the top, low bridge with slightly raised saddle minimal bracing, arched back ..I don't like the linings much but in those days that's how they were on most island style ukes (bend and snap I've heard them called) I love it :)
 

sequoia

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Really nice restoration work there. Fixing the gash was very successful too. And you retained the vintage character. Nice job!