Custom Tenor Banjo
Late 20s Gibson TB6
Checkerboard Neck - radius fingerboard - Vinnie Mondello
Custom Resonator with deep sidewall -
Checker binding by Clifford Seales
Bound by Eric Sullivan First
Special Tube and plate rim assembly by
Eric Sullivan First
Prucha Hardware - Greg
Boyd House of Music
Custom Armrest- Vinnie Mondello
Tailpiece by Dan Goodrich
Engraving - Ron Raymer
Argentine Gray finish - Mohawk
Lacquer -Vinnie Mondello
Head and strings - Bedfordbanjoshop.com
Now to send the metal to Ron for a special pattern that
sort of emulates the "X" design of the Style 6, but with an
Alaska flair to it.
ENGRAVING BY RON RAYMER
Well Ron did a stand up job as usual, giving me what I
asked for and I like the theme, it will look "6ish" enough to
suit the original neck inlay
But I have some problems that I did not forsee, and
will have to see what I can do about them
The Prucha hardware fits the rim correctly, but the holes in
the tube are drilled to the inboard side of the tube causing
some deflection against the bead of the rim, pushing the hooks
Secondly, the holes in the plate are
constriction the movement of the hooks, causing them to
"Splay" and not line up with the notches in the hoop.
What I will have to do is to drill out each hole in the
plate flange that is not already 1/4", to 1/4"
This will allow for all of the hooks to center up on the
And since we cannot end up with
.............. some "Brain food" is in
And a look at the rim with it "Normal".... checking to
see how hardware acts in that fashion
Its fine, it all lines up but the tube holes are still
making hooks run outwards.
I will jig it up so its immobile, and bring the other
holes out carefully
All done, no blowouts to the inside
Scuffed off to get the burrs, I will polish it all back
out, braced on a plywood backing so as not to bend it .
I will test it all, drill
the armrest and tap the tension hoop,
Hook sets will all line up now, another disaster averted!
But still have to re-angle the tube holes, and will use
hook sets with short 1/4" nuts for plenty of room for the
Screws are both centered in a snowflake
I sawed down both sides for the heel cut, now nipping it
I'll dress it with a file
Room for felt, good fit
Neck tweaked to fit, mocked up for a look see.
Waiting on Rods and Resonator Hardware, and a set of
hooks from FQM, I will be working on the rim/resonator finish
for a while.
It is starting to look like a banjo! .
Re-angling the tube holes
It will touch the bead but not enough to matter
Looking at rim air gap after getting the heel notch I
can see it
I need to have 3/8 here, will reduce rim bottom
Trial and Error, the beauty of "One off" customs.
Ser# and init's under the tone ring
Taped off to have a stopping point, I will use my
"Sure-form", no better tool for a safe rasping, doesn't cut too
deep and has low chatter
After the cut and re-sand, matched the headstock color
and I like where it is, so more clear coats.
Ring fits perfectly, the dialing in by hand was really
Brass Instrument Lacquer
This has been used since the early 1900's for Brass
instruments such as Sax's and Trumpets
This will emulate the look of real Gold as good as
anything in the world.
all metal was made to have some
satin effect with fine steel wool.
After 4 coats, heat dried
Temporary one more time, checking neck alignment and
Common Late model Gibson style tailpiece bracket is
perfect for these jobs
Remo head provided by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Neck temped on without rods, I will use brass rods from
Eric at FQM
Temp hook sets to do the setup, I have a new set en
route with slim nuts
provided by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Anyone want to say that does not look like Gold???
Good neck angle, I used New Gold plated 5 star tuners
Lets get a temporary nut and string it up
I will want to cut a premium bone nut to the radius of
the board, same as with bridge
That's a big part of any radius job, having a nut and
bridge to match the degree of angle
provided by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Thanks Doc, for letting us have the old 800 Truss cover
with the B mans name on it.
I have it on a high bridge, that will work down as I
radius the top
Tension lock working well
That's a good Gibson like look, with a flipped flange.
Did I mention...that's not Gold??? :):)
14 bucks worth of Lacquer
Now for the resonator, will get the Argentine Mindset.
Bumped the bridge crooked, no its
not constipated ...I mean compensated :)
The tone on this is so clear up and down I want a second
opinion, it is a POWERHOUSE
All I can say for now...
Bridge and nut radius-ed to 14"
Resonator hardware will be 2 attaching points utilizing
thumbscrews with wheels and Resonator lugs into the sidewall.
This resonator fits so tightly that it only needs two
Signed and sealed, 3 coats clear on inside
OK, ready to do the 4 part tint
Saved time on pics, that is the color, ready to clean up
binding around the tape line and shoot clear
Scuffed for the clear coats
2 coats clear, stopping for a look to see how it matches
the Original Neck color
5 star tuners with perloid buttons
I'm OK with that, now I will make up a yellow wash to
make the binding look a little more like the neck color.
Then to the finish line with clear coats
Dogs are on the late shift as usual.
Black added to the lip.
Clear'ed over that.
Red felt, commemorative to the TB800 :)
Now I will take it to Eureka Springs for a test run, and
come back, add more coats to the resonator.
It made it to Eureka and I had the best players in the world
play on it.
They signed off on it after I made a few more
tweaks so now I will buff it on out and shoot the final shots
before BG and Missy get here to pick it up.
Setup on Remo Renaissance head and GHS strings provided by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Retro BG Truss cover from TB 800
It's a little fat but who cares!
lock looks stout on there, Thanks again Dan!
CASE - TKL
One last addition...............
And that was the last one of these plates, ....fitting
Since Barry made them for me
Can't wait to jam in a few days!
That will be the last pics
Barry came down with his Wife Missy and Brother Kevin .
We had a great visit and got to jam all nite until we couldn't
The 6 played out fine, no extra tweaking so I'm glad it will
head out and Barry a Happy Camper!
Kevin is cutting a rhythm out on the Slingerland and turns out
Missy loved it and Barry bought it for her as a present.
I'm glad it's going to a good home.
It was bought in Arkansas and I fixed it up into a player.
Missy had her flute with her and played us some nice tunes.
It was great to hear a nice female singer in the shop, not just
Barry and Kevin mugging, Kevin has Dobro Tenortrope ser# 001
that just came in for repairs
Its a cool instrument
BG decided he liked the little Vega 20 fret 10-1/8"
enough to make it the next Eskimo Killer .
So off to the North it will head for extreme duty.
As always too short a visit but I finally got to meet Missy and
Thanks for watching
OTHER CUSTOMS I HAVE DONE FOR BARRY