As I mentioned in an earlier swagerty post, I have a Treholipee that has a broken tuning paddle. As I also mentioned in that post, I got an e-mail (from a fella named Larry) describing how he fixed a similar problem. I wanted to post it here (with Larry's blessing) so other enterprising folks can make use of this info.
If you recall, Larry managed to pick up a Treholipee for a $1 at a garage sale (for this, I will always be jealous of him). His Treholipee, like mine, is missing a string as well as a tuning paddle. Now, Larry is using fishing line to replace his strings.
Here's a handy tip for you and all those fellow Uke fans out there who
need replacement strings. Nylon fishing line of various weights works very
well once you let it stretch in a few days (and it costs a WHOLE lot less!).
It just takes a little patience needing to retune a few times. Pete Seeger
talked about replacing banjo strings with nylon monofilament fishing line
starting with 10 lb. test through 50 lb. test depending on the diameter
If you don't fancy fishing line, though, you can get Worth tenor ukulele strings in lengths of 46" and that should work for you.
Anyway, back to the task of fixing the broken tuning paddle. Larry has found himself with a surplus of chopsticks. And, he was able to find a chopstick of the appropriate diameter to fit right in the hole for the Treholipee tuning paddle. Check out this rad picture:
Now all he has to do is cut it to length and stain it black. I should mention that another suggestion I got on paddle repair was to use a clay mold of one of the other paddles and possibly cast it out of plastic. If I can get motivated, I might try that out and I'll let everyone know how it goes.
When I got my first Treholipee I was a little unsure about how to tune it. I've since found out that the Treholipee was meant to be tuned as a "tenor ukulele, tenor banjo, plectrum banjo, tenor guitar or baritone uke." Larry, being a banjo player, went this route:
I decided that I did'nt need to learn new chords if I would simply string it like the top 4 strings of my banjo, open G (DGBD). Good idea, but much too low. Some strings buzzed. A little research showed that some uke's are tuned to an open C but not the same as a banjo open C. I put a capo on my banjo at the 5th fret and found that GBEG was the open C tuning that would let me take advantage of my knowledge and still play this sweet little instrument like a pro. All of my wife's doubts were swept away when I serenaded her with "Tonight you belong to me".