Flea Market Baritone Electric Uke Conversion

You never know what you’ll find in a flea market. This $15 Rogue Baritone Ukulele electric conversion will be a couple or three projects for me.
Apparently the modifier wanted to electrify his/her baritone ukulele and also add an adjustable bridge, a rare item for an acoustic uke.
This did not turn out well as the bridge was way too tall. The nut would have to have be elevated monstrously and the action would have been too tall to play. Intonation was also sour because the bridge was badly located.DSC07152
So the amateur luthier flipped the bridge upside down and sort of wedged the strings into place, leaving them floating in space instead of resting on the saddles.

Now they were too low and the two bass strings were actually scraping the pickup.
At that point he/she gave it up as a bad job. Since I plugged it in and tested it before I started taking it apart I know the pickup is functional. Given a proper build I believe the bridge and pickup will work on another instrument.
Taking it apart took twenty minutes. I plan to plug up the holes in the instrument, maybe mount a small pie pan in the hole for that dobro look, paint it green, restring it with old guitar strings, tune it E, A, D and G like a bass, and use it like a contrabass.
The pickup and adjustable bridge I’ll save for another project.

BTW, web research found NO MENTION of any Black Bird Pies acoustic electric piezo pickup so I’m guessing no PDF of the operating manual will be found either. Oh, well. Looks simple.
The components.
And while I was shopping I found this Fender gig bag, brand new with the tags still on like Minnie Pearl, for $25USD.
Sure, I have no guitar to put in it. And I can’t even play guitar. But if I ever get another short scaled bass I will be ready. I love a flea market.

[Edit 25 Nov, 2019: further web research found me this website supplying parts for homemade ‘cigar box’ guitars: C B Gitty. So this is just a cover plate and resonator pie pan and I don’t know who made the, presumably, piezo pickup silicon glued to the underside of the cone. I had assumed it was all one unit. More research needed.]


A customer’s project.

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2 thoughts on “Flea Market Baritone Electric Uke Conversion

    • Well, strictly speaking a broken eviscerated cheap Rogue uke is pretty much junk. But someday…

      Check my next post though, that flea market binge also obtained me a ‘cro-mo’ steel frame lightweight English Raleigh Record roadbike converted to single-speed.
      We are talking chop-n-flop old school goodness. Upcoming.

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