Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Sterling Ukulele?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Stouffville, Canada
    Posts
    3

    Default Sterling Ukulele?

    Can anyone give me some info on this Sterling Soprano Ukulele. It's made in the USA and in need of restoration.
    Thanks, Terry
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Sterling branded ukes were distributed by Tonk Bros, built by Regal in Chicago. That one is probably late 1920s.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Stouffville, Canada
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks...It looks completely hand made, one piece hand carved neck without a separate fretboard and brass for frets. I think it's worth fixing up don't you?
    Terry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
    Posts
    866

    Default

    I agree with Bill1. I don’t think there’s a lot of cash value there, but it has the potential to be a nice vintage player. It’s all solid, probably mahogany. Personal opinion, I think Regal (and Harmony) ukes of that age are really underrated.

    If you do fix it up you’ll probably need to convert the bridge to string-through.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Stouffville, Canada
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the input. I think I would like to bring it back as a player and preserve it' s authenticity as best I can. It is all mahogany and a few small cracks to fix. The bridge is really quite solid. Is there a great advantage to replacing it?
    The biggest problem I see is that the tunning peg holes are quite worn out. Any fix for that. I love these old instruments and the to see them unplayed.
    Could the finish be shellac?

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 777terry View Post
    Thanks for the input. I think I would like to bring it back as a player and preserve it' s authenticity as best I can. It is all mahogany and a few small cracks to fix. The bridge is really quite solid. Is there a great advantage to replacing it?
    The biggest problem I see is that the tunning peg holes are quite worn out. Any fix for that. I love these old instruments and the to see them unplayed.
    Could the finish be shellac?
    I'm no expert on Vintage instrument restore - but as a General fix for tuning peg hole, I'd purchase a good quality set of friction tuners (eg: Gotoh) to install.

    You'll have to measure the diameter of the existing holes in your uke, and look at the diameter of the friction tuners you will buy.
    Usually the friction tuners will require slightly larger diameter than what's already on the ukulele. In that case, you'll have to use a reamer to adjust the hole size for the new tuners.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    533

    Default

    That looks exactly like my old Regal. Mine sounded nice when played quietly, but not so good when you played it loud. It was a nice thing to own but I sold it because I only keep really nice ukes.

    Then again, I've played other Regals of that age and thought they sounded great. I would fit the very cheapest friction pegs you can find (look on eBay or Aliexpress). Something like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32820021364.html.

    Not as positive as Gotohs, but you can always retrofit them later if you think the instrument is worth it. No adjustment is necessary to your headstock, it all works on friction.

    TL: DR; don't spend more than the instrument is worth on stuff to fit nice hardware unless you're sure the instrument is worth it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    8,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by river_driver View Post
    Sterling branded ukes were distributed by Tonk Bros, built by Regal in Chicago. That one is probably late 1920s.
    Chicago seems to have been a big supplier of ukes. My Wabash was made on Wabash Avenue, Chicago.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 777terry View Post
    Thanks for the input. I think I would like to bring it back as a player and preserve it' s authenticity as best I can. It is all mahogany and a few small cracks to fix. The bridge is really quite solid. Is there a great advantage to replacing it?
    The biggest problem I see is that the tunning peg holes are quite worn out. Any fix for that. I love these old instruments and the to see them unplayed.
    Could the finish be shellac?
    String-through conversion would be a modification, not a replacement. I suggested it when I was looking at the photos on my tiny phone screen - I thought the bridge looked rough. Looking at it on a larger screen it doesn't look so bad, so maybe you don't need to worry about it.

    You'll probably get the best repair advice if you post in the "Luthiers Lounge" or "Tech Support" sections of this forum.

    If there's any glossiness to the finish, my guess is that it's lacquer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Chicago seems to have been a big supplier of ukes. My Wabash was made on Wabash Avenue, Chicago.
    In the early 20th century Chicago was the center of the American musical instrument industry...there were some outliers but most of the big suppliers were in Chicago. Lyon & Healy (originator of the Washburn brand), Harmony (owned by Sears for a while), Regal (relocated from Indianapolis), Stromberg-Voisinet (later reorganized as Kay). It didn't hurt that the two biggest mail order houses in the country, Sears and Monkey Wards, were located in Chicago either. By the time Harmony shuttered their Chicago factory in the 1970s they had produced literally millions of musical instruments.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •