Dr. Anne D.V.M's
"THE CHI CHI"
1920s Weymann 225 Banjo Uke
Will be setup as Melody banjo
THEME - LONG HAIRED CHIHUAHUA'S !
It's OK, I have done Dog Banjos in the past, no animals
will be hurt in the process :)
Weymann 225 with long scale is well known as a powerhouse
Dr.Anne decided she wanted me to make her one into a GDAE
Melody Banjo and then we decided to gussy it up with a nice
Since she rescues Pits, and I already did a Pit Bull
banjo for Cap'n Mike Moe that is on my Customs
Page, we decided to do one on the Chi-Chis, her
I will be using Ron Raymer for
my artwork and engraving, he has made me look like something
special for quite a few years.
will be in charge of the Bright work, they do top notch plating.
I will do the paintwork and fretboard and setup as well
as sharing the load with Ron, on thinking up the theme.
The Uke is in VG condition with all its parts
The tension hoop will get a little engraving and the
metal will all be Gold plated.
I will make a nice back plate for it so it gets some more
Before it gets to the Chi-Chis, My Boston will serve as a
Just another nite on the Job for Domino.
Next to a full sized Weymann that's in for some work
I will reduce the thickness of the peg head s o that
modern geared tuners will fit properly
After the reduction I will veneer over the back of peg
head and end with a back strap
This will provide contrast for a painting on the peg head
A few delaminations to seal, nothing at all major wrong
I plan a new overlay , with an inset of white
celluloid that Matches the profile that can be engraved and
Then I plan for full width white Celluloid blocks where
there dots and also blocks at 1 and 3
This will give me an engravable area so that Ron can do
his thing and we can make the Dogs and other Designs have a
As an example of engraved/painted celluoids would be
"Bob Wren" or "The Captain" that is on my Customs
You have to envision only engraved blocks at the markers,
not the complete board as the Wren shows.
The paintings will be akin to Cap'n Mikes Dogjo on my Customs
The peg head reverse, the neck heel... the resonator back
and the areas between the shoe sets will have artwork.
Let's get started Doc!
Rim stripped and I added dye to give the effect of having
a veneered bottom.
Mohawk and some Trans Tint
I have decided that a Bordeaux and a Gold theme will be
After tint and a few coats, it will soon be ready for art.
I will stop after one more clear coat to let it cure
I'll do the same to the neck after I customize the
Then I will get it back and add more clear to protect said
I will strip and polish the tension hoop myself to prep it
for Ron's etching's
There is not enough tone ring skirt showing to warrant
The rest will go to ACME for plating and Ron can send over
the hoop to them to complete the order.
Some pics of the "Perps"!
Dr.Anne gave me some shots for Ron to give a look at, we
want to get these actual dogs sized down and onto the theme.
We can get a few more if Ron needs them, and we can also
use links on the net if the Doc has some pics she wants to look
I'm wondering what we want on the Back plate.
I can see this, but in full blown whitewater and a crazed
look on both of the faces!
I'm just not getting the "Thrill of the ride" here! LOL
We will let the Doc think on the back plate and Ron can
offer assistance now that he can see my next crazy idea.
White Celluloid - Axiom
Removing half the block to make a platform for white
This is the method of reducing the blocks
Moving down the neck
Domino keeping watch, while he isn't napping
After re slotting and polishing board
Adding the finish
PEG HEAD INSERT
Using a pattern from the late Dale Small.
This is his personal box of templates
I will modify one to suit this peg head
Will cut from the .040" white
Fret saw is the tool for the cut-out
Scribing the periphery
Smoothed and outlined
Ready for Mr Raymer's fine handiwork
I'll use a 1/8 Spruce for the plate
The center of this board has the best straight grain
Ready to seal the grain
Shellac for that step
Now for the outside, bored and chamfered and countersunk
for 8 mounting screws
Inside tint, now for a clear coat
Outside tint, 4 coats clear, ready for Mr Ron to take over
The edge is darker than the heat lamp and flash allow you
It is boxed up and headed to Missouri to see Mr. Ron Raymer.
The plating was also sent out to ACME plating for some
Grabbing some online art
Preliminary thoughts by Ron and I
Nothing set in stone
here, just a few ideas and from them will spring forth another fine creation.
All this is just
superimposed on for looking
We are thinking
some in caricature style and some that are more realistic
A few things I have
already decided upon.
I chose the full bodied dogs, not just
the heads for the rim
And the running dogs on the tension hoop, with some
And some form of "Mexican Scroll
work" around this back plate scene
I went with this for the back scene, of
course it will have more busi-ness around it when completed
Some more caricature Art by Ron
What we will do more or less, on the Artwork.
I leave alot to Ron's own hand, it has never failed me yet.
These will be engraved and painted markers, and they will really
I like to have art on the heel sides and we will have something
in this fashion, very colorful'
ON THE PEG HEAD
This will be the general theme I envisioned..., and I will ask
that Ron cram in as much beauty into it as he sees prudent!!
R.R. got the theme done and it was just as I wanted
1 Face at the front....full bodies, and some Mexican scrolls
Now off to ACME Plating it
goes, for some Nickel/Gold Plating
By the time that is done and returned, I'm sure Ron will have
the woodwork gussied up and ready for some clear coats
Carving - Painting
Once again. Ron has done a fabulous job coming up with themes to
meet my visions.
It takes alot of hours to get the sketches made up and transfer
the ideas to the wood.
I will just let the pics run, they are in no need of wordage.
The one thing I will add is that these are not clear coated, I
will do that here.
And when the clear hits it, they will POP.
All on a 7" rim Banjo Uke!
I cannot wait to get it here for completion
has the plating all ready so it should come right together.
Plating and Artwork arrive same day... Sweet
Pictures will not tell the tale, its over the top good on all
Thanks to ACME and the Ron Raymer for making this happen
Now to protect it with Clear coats.
The wood that is
Fiebigs to get it dark up to the piecework
Only the celluloid's will get protective clear the wood will
It gets taped between each coat
A few more coats to go, its starting to really make the color
All 4 of the colors of tint served me well, this is what Id
hoped for when it got clear coats
Ron blended the theme perfectly, couldn't be more pleased.
Back carving easily seen here, but you cannot see it around the
animals except in person
This is a good view for size reference, it will be a cute
Clear coats completed, will assemble rim first
The Gold and the Burgundy are elegant together
Its from my Motorcycle loves, this one being the 1974 Honda Gold
You can see the relief carvings in this image
The relief carving around all of the animals is not visible in
pics, it is much more defined than the camera can show
Small one says "Heel", so Ron knew what end was
up.............Ironic, I'll leave it! :)
Fretted and ready to seal fretwires
I hid the Doc's init's under the neck hardware, just in case
something ever happens to it.
Torsion rod properly adjusted
You either love these or hate them, I love them, super high tech
for the day, or today.
Head tweaked on in, nice and tight
Resonator standoffs are drilled nylon acorn nuts, old Dale
This is the last of the Custom Bone inserted ebony nut
blanks from the Late Great Dale Small's estate.
I added some red veneers to the ends to cap it off.
Time for tuners
I opted for White Perloid, it goes well with my theme
TUNED MANDOLIN - GDAE
Here are some gauges I ended up with, that feel comfortable and
not too slack
We are well within the range of comfortability, an a nice low
GHS Strings and Tuners provided by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Up to pitch, playing well right out of the blocks, so ....we are
definitely on the right track
I decided it needed something so I went with something
simple in mind.
2 piece Gibson Style, made from Spruce ply
The sidewall will be
That piece of wood is from the resonator of Lars Edergan's
Bacon Silver Bell that was ruined in his New Orleans home
during Hurricane Katrina.
I saved the banjo and put a new resonator back in it, but
saved the relic for posterity.
I have used this in other places that needed prebent wood.
Lars is a Tenor Banjoist and has played every venue in that
town I think.
All glued up and sanded to profile
I have a gold plated backplate and screw.
Now for some black dye and some clear coats
Also, I will reduce the
bottomside of sidewall by half to show more of the
nice and not overstated
I made a deco plate for the front in
It will serve as reinforcement as well
as look nice
I have sprayed it with clear to
give it the gold look and keep it from
I ran it over the tailpiece because this is
comfortable when playing in a normal fashion
Many a Ludwig Wendall Hall uses the same idea, its
armrest spans the tailpiece.
Will will stop there and ask the Doc "Leave it plain, or send it up to
Raymer for a Lil more art or a name"
Until then... some tweaking and settling in time, and then it will be ready
to head up to the Doc, to see if she passes muster.
Weymann's do have the Moxie to become Melody Banjos as well as
Killer Concert Ukes
Gig Bag courtesy of my Son in Law Kenny
He was right, it did come in handy.
Domino will stand guard on it, whilst we ponder!
MORE TO COME