1970s Japanese-made Martin-clone Baritone Ukulele

Please ignore the many abuses to the looks of this uke. It's owned by a customer of mine and he told me it was his go-to "beach" uke. It looks it!

Despite that, it's a well-made Japanese instrument from the '70s or early '80s and a well-executed attempt to copy a Martin "style 51" baritone uke. Compared to the "real thing," this uke is lighter-built and has a drier, lighter tone that makes me think more of Favilla baritones. The body is all solid mahogany and quite thin, while the fretboard and bridge are rosewood.

There was "old work" on this uke -- some well-meaning attempts at crack repairs that mostly made it hard to re-repair cracks -- but the bulk of my job was just shoring-up the massive amount of cracks that weren't taken care-of. The back has a huge amount of hairline cracks on it that are now cleated and sealed and the top has many, too. The top also has a greatly-discolored area that's a bit of a mystery to me, though there is a glued "patch" behind it on the back of the soundboard as there are hairline cracks located in the same spot.

Other work included seam repairs, a fret level/dress, a light bridge shave and reglue, and a setup. It's playing spot-on with 1/16" action at the 12th fret, but I assume that in summer the top will swell and give action a hair-under 3/32" which would suit the instrument slightly better as the neck has a hair of backbow on the bass side beginning at the 9th fret. The neck has a comfortable, quick, C-shape.

Simply handling the instrument during repair led to some more of the finish flaking-off near hairline cracks. Poor thing!

The tuners are not original as I replaced the already-replacement ones that were on it with a set of these nicer Grover Perma-Tension pegs from my bins.