Restoring an Oscar Schmidt early soprano.

  1. 11 months ago

    I purchased this Oscar Schmidt soprano recently. It has wood tuning pegs, the ones on it don't match. I am going to be restoring it shortly. Has a couple of cracks front and back. I'll be taking the back off for the repair, it has a place on one of the bouts that has separated from the liner and I'll be able to work around from there. It looks to have shellac on it but that in poor condition. I have found several examples of older Schmidt ukuleles on the web to get some idea what the bridge should look like. I don't know it's age and if anyone can give me an opinion on that it would be appreciated. I guess it could be from the 1920's era or from the WWII era. I understand wood pegs were used in both date ranges. I want to put it in playing condition.

    The main question is should I put matching wood tuning pegs back on it or is it ok to replace them with friction tuners? Restored I think it has some collecting value but I don't think it would be a high end price, so I don't think I'd be ruining it and wood pegs can be put back on it in the future if wanted.

  2. I attached photos to the original post and they vanished so I try again.

  3. 10 months ago

    I did some reversible changes to my collectible Wurlitzer. I put friction tuners on that did not modify the tuning peg holes because I did not have the original wooden friction pegs. I did not want to countersink for high-end Waverly tuners although I was very tempted. I also put fret marker stickers on it and they can also be taken off. I super glued a couple cracks and actually had a luthier compliment me on the job I did. I bought a Nomad humilele to prevent any further cracking. I also did the masking tape emery board trick to file a sharp fret wire smooth without harming the neck. Other than cleaning, oiling the fretboard or restringing, that is about all I can do unless I can find some original wood friction pegs. Did you find a source for wooden pegs or are you going to fabricate them yourself? I have no idea the age of your instrument.

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