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Universal Top Notch #134 Washboard
Larger version of the legendary Zinc King #703
I constantly scour the planet for these boards. If sold out, click "Email me when Back-In-Stock" link to get notified when a board enters the inventory. (Link is below "add to cart" button on product page.) You might also check the Bargain Bin.

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Universal Top Notch #134 Washboards Bought and Sold: Immediate cash paid. Do you have an old Universal Top Notch #134 washboard lying around the house collecting dust? Contact me now to replace that clutter with instant cash.
Vintage Universal Top Notch #134 Washboard
Great for players who want large family-size version of legendary Zinc King #703
Just like the Zinc King #703 - but bigger! Popular full-size zinc washboard features same zinc rubbing surface as Zinc King #703.

Genuine Vintage Top Notch #134 made by the National Washboard Company
Like many family-size washboards manufactured by the National Washboard Co., the Universal Top Notch #134 Washboard is a work horse musical instrument that boasts sturdy construction and a durable roomy rub surface. The Universal #134 washboard is a featured artifact in the collection of the Made-in-Chicago Museum.

Match Your Favorite Version
Top Notch 134 soap drains Washboards made in Saginaw have a dowel in the leg that seems to secure the soap drain. Washboards made in Chicago and Memphis show no dowel. If you have a preference, just let us know during checkout (in the Order Comments text box, step #4) and we will try to accommodate you. Because the supply is so limited, however, we cannot always fulfill your request.

The Great Sound of Zinc
Universal Top Notch #134 Washboard The Universal Top Notch #134 washboard sports that same exact zinc coated metal rubbing surface players love so much about the famous Zinc King #703. The Universal #134 also gives you the same corrugated metal design too. The metal rub surface is basically a big flat corrugated zinc-coated tin can. Serious players really like that great playing surface because of the relatively soft tone it delivers.

Large & small Large Family Size
The Universal Top Notch #134 washboard is a large family-size washboard. It is significantly larger and heavier than the legendary Zinc King Lingerie #703.

So just to be clear, washboards come in two basic sizes: Large and small. The Zinc King Lingerie #703 is a small pail-size washboard. The Universal Top Notch #134 is a large family-size washboard.

Broad Selection
About the only way you can latch onto a genuine vintage Universal Top Notch #134 washboard nowadays is at an antique shop, flea market, garage sale, estate auction or granny's attic. Beware of makeshift versions, hidden damage and missing parts - especially on eBay. (I've got a pile of bad eBay boards in the basement.) Of course, none of these places offer you the broad selection of specially selected vintage musical washboards you can get right here on this web page.

What Makes This Washboard So Special?
You can boil it down to three factors:

701 washboard-detail 1. Zinc Rub Surface Creates Appealing Tone
The ribbed and textured surface produces a full rich euphonious sound. Unlike other boards that are shrill or ringy, the timbre is relatively mellow and understated (at least for a washboard). I suppose the zinc metal must be largely responsible for the distinctive warm tone.

701 washboard-ribs2. Wooden Back Panels Resonate Sound
The three (or occasionally two) wooden panels on the backside form an enclosure behind the zinc rubbing surface. This creates a resonating chamber that adds tonal depth and helps drive the sound - kind of like a drum. Model #134 is one of the few family size washboards that sport such a chamber.

134 washboard-construction3. Brilliant Floating Construction Boosts Harmonics
The frame design is elegantly simple and compact. The metal rubbing surface floats - and resonates - within a deceptively simple tongue & groove and rabbeted framework. So the entire unit is amazingly sturdy yet flexible. That's why the whole darn structure rattles when you play it. And it is all secured in this vibratory state with just six small strategically placed nails. What's more, no elements stick out, fall off, or snag at you.

Which Washboard Grade is Right for You?

Every Universal Top Notch #134 washboard we sell is a fine playing vintage instrument. All parts, including the back panels, are intact and in good working order. For all practical purposes each Universal Top Notch #134 washboard plays just as good as the next. The difference in price merely reflects the outward appearance of the wood, the rubbing surface, and the ink.

Washboards in all grades below are antique objects that might show signs of age, wear or inconsequential damage such as small chips, water staining and paint spots from long term storage or display.

701 washboard-good

Might show scuffs, scratches, minor cracks in wood. Ink might be faded or missing. Might show conspicuous corrosion, soap residue or other slight imperfections. No significant cracks in wood frame. No pin holes, cracks or breaks in metal rubbing surface. No serious ruts, dents or substantial scratches (i.e. washboard was not a musical instrument in former life). No missing back panels. No missing parts. Framework is sturdy yet flexible. Washboard has been around the block a few times but is eminently playable.

701 washboard-better Better
Overall better condition.

701 washboard-near-mint Near Mint
Light wear. Hardly used. Little or no corrosion or soap residue. Ink color and print quality usually good, but not always.

701 washboard-near-mint Mint
Appears unused. Ink color and print quality usually good, but not always. Little or no corrosion. Belongs in a museum. Don't know why you would want to scrape up a fine antique relic like this to play music on it though.

How to Attach Accessories:

The wood on vintage washboards is bone dry and brittle with age. So avoid hammering nails or tacks into the washboard because the wood is likely to crack. The safer way to add accessories and hardware is to drill holes with a sharp wood-cutting bit, then attach with bolts (preferably) or screws.

Grading Scale in a Nutshell:
The weathered ones cost less, the clean unblemished ones cost more.