1950s United-made Baritone Uke to Tenor Guitar Conversion

I've done a few modifications of these United baritone ukes to mini tenor guitars in the past. They're braced a little more stiffly and have more substantial, stronger necks than your average Harmony and are definitely heavier-built than something like a Favilla, so they're a good choice for the conversion. Some Harmony baris will work for this as well (especially the heavier-built '60s ones), but these are the ones where I've felt the most confident in the conversion process.

A friend of mine had asked about doing one up for him to tune modal DADA (like standard CGDA tenor tuning but with the wound strings raised) so I sent him links to various baris that I thought would suit and, voila, this appeared on my porch a couple weeks later.

He wanted to go to town, however, and make it a kick-butt instrument. That meant a refret and nice tuners as well as the other usual work.

Work included: a board plane and refret with jumbo stock, hairline crack repair to the back, bridge modification to pin-style load, compensation of the saddle, new StewMac repro tuners at the headstock, a new bone nut, parts-bin pearl-inlaid bridge pins, a seam repair or two, and a good setup. The neck is straight, it plays with 1/16" action overall at the 12th fret, and has a good, chimey, sweet sound. It sounds a lot like the all-mahogany 1920s Harmony size 5 tenor guitars I've played -- similar to a Martin 5-15T but more mids and highs and less velvet on the low. I've never played a refretted version of one of these, but of course the bigger, more modern frets make it all that much more fun to play. String gauges are a fairly-tense 36w, 24w, 16, 10 set for DADA tuning.

Materials are: solid mahogany body and top, mahogany neck, rosewood bridge and fretboard. This has a 19" scale but I forgot to do the rest of the measurements.

Condition notes: there are three repaired hairline cracks on the back, the finish shows lots of weather-checking/finish cracking and general use-wear throughout, but it's otherwise in decent shape for its age. The neck had a slight backbow when it came in but between board-leveling and adjusting the fret height in their slots and gluing them in frets 1-4, it was eliminated.

The K&K label at the headstock makes me think there's a pickup on board!

The board has pearl dots.

The soundhole has a very thin rosette inlaid.

This bridge went from tie-block style to pin-load via cutting off the tie-block and drilling for pins. The original saddle  just needed a little compensation to get it to play in tune with the steel strings.

Plenty of height there, huh?

The new, StewMac Golden Age tuners (they're openback Kluson copies) both look good and work well.