As my wife and I were traveling home from the Philippines this last summer, I had a a few Filipino pisos in my pocket that I wanted to spend before we left. I found a cheap souvenir ukulele in one of the airport gift shops. I was unplayable, but I got it to see if I could make into into a playable instrument.
Here are the “before” and “after” pictures.
The fretboard wasn’t even close to being right. I’ve made a 7 fret ukulele, but not an 8 fret uke with the frets placed randomly.
The tuners were made from scraps of wood. Not great for holding a tune.
The string action was very high.
The bridge was a simple triangular wedge.
It had a paper rosette. That was the first thing to go.
New fretboard (12 frets, 9.25 inch scale length). New bridge, nut, and strings. No new rosette.
New friction tuners.
I’m glad that I was able to resurrect this little uke. It will never be a great instrument, but at least now it is playable.
See it in action!