Unknown ukulele acquisition...

rustydusty

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Today, my sister gifted me a ukulele she acquired used in the late 60s. There is no label or any other form of identification and she hand painted her initial (g) on the headstock back when she got it. It appears to be all solid mahogany including the neck which is formed from one piece. The fretboard is rosewood, the sound hole rosette is inlaid, has a bone nut and a wood bridge. It appears to be kinda crudely made with a little splintering around the fretboard inlays. It's 28 1/2 inches long and 10 3/4 inches from the nut to the body. I was told that this is a baritone, but it's smaller than either of my other baritone ukuleles by at least 2 inches. Is possibly a tenor uke? Could it be tuned like a tenor uke with some new strings or would that be too much tension. 20210914_170539.jpg
 

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KohanMike

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The saddle is the strip that's sits in the bridge, held down by the strings. Even without a measurement, it looks very much like a tenor to me, which are usually about 26" to 27" full length. A baritone is usually 29" to 30" length.Ukulele-Sizes-Comparison-Chart.jpg

This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

rustydusty

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Measure the distance between the saddle and the nut. If it is close to 17" you can use tenor strings.
It measures 19 inches. I am going to assume it's a smallish baritone. I will probably not re-string and just use it as a wall hanger as I don't need another baritone.
 

mountain goat

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looks very much to me like a Harmony baritone (w/out the headstock decal)
and dating from the 50's or 60's
 

M3Ukulele

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The wood on this looks in great shape I’d get a new nut put on my a luthier if an inspection with a mirror showed braces were goodi inside. It’s looks pristine for that old a ukulele other than the chipped nut NUT and the G handwritten on it.

I would then string with low tension strings, maybe as a tenor but for sure as a baritone and see how it sounds. You can always tune down a half step to a step from standard gCEA of DGBE and see how it sounds and takes tension?

If it sounded good I‘d put planetary tuners on it. Graphtech, Pegheds or Gotoh depending upon headstock thickness, hole size and how good it sounds.

Just my thoughts. I like OLD pristine things with a story. Minimum a nut, and some strings and you’d know if it’s worth going any further.
 

rustydusty

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Actually the nut is serviceable with deep enough grooves. It's very similar to the
It’s not a Harmony (Harmonys have square headstocks).

This was made by United in New Jersey. 1950s. Compare to this one:
Actually the nut is serviceable with deep enough grooves to hold the strings. This uke is very similar to the "United" uke that Jake Wildwood featured, the main differences being the sound hole rosette, the wood saddle, and the body is not as deep. I turned it up last night and it actually sounds pretty good. I do have a set of "Worth" clears I could install or just order a new set of low tension strings. I am including a few more pics with better lighting. If you look at the pic of the headstock in my first post, you can make out a remnant of a vertical rectangular decal where my sister painted the g...
For some reason, it's saying 2 out the 3 pictures are too large, even though I took them at the same time?
 

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Kenn2018

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Actually the nut is serviceable with deep enough grooves. It's very similar to the

Actually the nut is serviceable with deep enough grooves to hold the strings. This uke is very similar to the "United" uke that Jake Wildwood featured, the main differences being the sound hole rosette, the wood saddle, and the body is not as deep. I turned it up last night and it actually sounds pretty good. I do have a set of "Worth" clears I could install or just order a new set of low tension strings. I am including a few more pics with better lighting. If you look at the pic of the headstock in my first post, you can make out a remnant of a vertical rectangular decal where my sister painted the g...
For some reason, it's saying 2 out the 3 pictures are too large, even though I took them at the same time?
In the photo you showed in the first post, it looks as though the strings are at different heights. Especially the G and the A strings. But it's hard to be sure from the photo. Use a gauge to measure all the string heights at the nut, 3rd fret and 12th.
 

M3Ukulele

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A new bone or Graphtech nut properly set up could make this a really excellent player. I’m glad you like the tone. If I really liked it, I might even investigate replacing bridge with one with a bone or Graphtech saddle. That would depend on intonation of ukulele, how much I p,aged it etc. But again, I like to tinker. I’ve managed to mostly avoid this with ukulele unlike my guitar days.. LOL. …..but I’m getting the itch to try new tuners. LOL