3/25/2018

1930s Gretsch "Camp Uke" Soprano Ukulele




Who doesn't love the colors on this uke? A green-blueburst? Nice!

Tons of these were made in the '30s and they're a simple, no-frills, student-level instrument. The bodies are round and unbraced but due to their ply nature, they're stable and durable. They have a mellow, relaxed sound and the easy fret access (there are 14 in all) makes them a good choice if you like to play up the neck a bit.

If you're looking for a uke to take on picnics, muck about the house, and want to attract a little attention with its looks when you're on outings, this is a good choice. If you're trying to replace the sonic vibe of a Martin or even the "actual" Lyon & Healy Camp Uke model? Yeah, maybe not.

My work included a fret level/dress, bridge reglue, and setup. It's playing well and strung with GHS fluorocarbon strings.

Specs are: 13 1/2" scale, 8" body diameter, 2 3/8" depth, 1 1/4" nut width, 1 1/16" string spacing at the nut, and 1 5/8" spacing at the bridge.




While the face dots are painted, I also added plastic side dots to the neck up to the 12th fret.





The red friction pegs are a nice touch! I added an extra washer to each of them to get them to grab better.







These have an original hole drilled at their "endblock" area to stick a bit of rope into and make a strap. Many were originally sold that way. I've plugged it up with an oversize 1920s bridge pin to tie a strap to.

1 comment:

Joe Schenkman said...

Super cool!

Where can I get one?