Jeff Riddick's

Accutone Workpage
Mondello Ser # 2007-4

Gill Quilted Maple Resonator
11"  Cox Rolled Maple rim
Yellow Amber/Green/Purple stain
FQMS  Gold Engraved hardware
Sullivan Flathead tone ring
Custom neck by Vinnie Mondello


The resonator stain is completed, and sealed, now taking on some clear before binding.
I like to bind after staining and sealing, that way if cyano gets on the stained wood, it will not show .
if you get cyano on bare wood, no stain will penetrate that area.

Addition of the Color Scheme

Setup on REMO 1100 M2
That will change to clear when they arrive, I just want to check "fit" of all parts

I have added 2 painted pinstripes, of metallic gold leaf to help enhance the purple and green.

After 8 coats clear
It has much more "Fire" than pics denote

That is a pretty good pic of it

Installing resonator attaching hardware
I will pull it back out to shade the inside

Its is set so that the one thumbscrew that is always under the armrest, is one space forward of it.
Remo 1100 M3 now installed
4 more coats of clear, shade the inside, and I will final buff it and prepare for the neck.

Inside shaded with green and sealed, I will add 3 coats of clear.
I am shading the top lip with the green stain wash, a little between each coat.

Inside finish complete


Here is a pic of the neck........finally
I had some fiascoes with my first attempt. and scrapped the whole idea, theme, neck and all and started over.

No not the only Accutone 5 string RB3 series you will ever see built, the short one :)

Since this is an over the top Mardi gras banjo I decided with the very Art Deco 30's Gibson 18 series boat paddle peghead design, bound, with a custom Lion head inlay and Mondello logo, and an Accutone block at 19.
That is a very strong statement in both peghead and inlay I think.
These pegheads were , and this one is, Maple, and painted over, then inlays cleaned off before clear was applied.
Now the neck is headed up to Dave Nichols at  CustomPearl Inlay, to decide on what we will chose for the fingerboard theme
As long as we have some nice Fluer Dee Leis in there somewhere Jeffbreau will be pleased.

Inlay complete

The peghead inlays will be surrounded in black lacquer, in the same fashion as Gibson Guitars and Banjos of the 60-70s
Those are blond maple just as this one is, and then painted over.


We chose an inlay pattern that accents Jeff's association with New Orleans, the Mardi Gras, His Musical career and also his Theatrical endeavors

Peghead stained, Bound and fretted (Time compressed)



Ready for final neck shaping

Gill Quilted Maple Resonator
11"  Cox Rolled Maple rim
Yellow Amber/Green/Purple stain with gold pinstripes
FQMS  Gold Engraved hardware
Sullivan Flathead tonering
Custom neck by Vinnie Mondello

Back or upgrade -  pearl inlay 2010


Jeff came up with Arvilla for a visit and brought the Mardi Gras in for an upgrade.
It turns out that the coloration on the inlay pleases him but they are hard to see from a playing angle and like me, Jeff likes to look at them while playing so we chose to inlay the rest of the fingerboard in "Slab Ab"....or in layman's terms block Abalone

 Jeff had placed white tape in the blanks as a stopgap measure and now we are going to finalize the work.

All cleaned of tape glue, and scuffed with 0000 steel wool

I have cut paper templates to glue onto the blocks of pearl that will quicken the sizing of the blocks.
I had went back and forth in my head about doing this myself or sending it to Dave and with his schedule and my anguish over what could happen to the carefully tinted and pinstriped paintwork.
Well.....lets just say if that gets messed up I want it to be on me.

Ready to rough in the blocks

Jeffbreau wanted the highly figured side to face up so here is a mockup of how that will appear
In the end, the new pearl will have the same gap on each side as the Accutone block and this will look uniform

Routing the first cavity
Large Downcut inlay burr works best  to hog out the bulk after the outside is established with a finer point

I polished the inlay before placement to ease my work after I get them all in and sealed
This one is fully set and profile looks good
Setting the inlay with frets still installed require perfect depth so that there is no ups and downs when the glue sets.

After the inlay was cured I still had several thousandths to shave off the edges because of the imperfections of the pearl which in turn took the some of the tinted finish from the bindings so I have decided there is no way to have my beignets and eat them too, so I will have to remove the colorant from the inlay and reverse the process when I am done with the inlay.
If that is all that will be compromised I am still happy with the way it is going
Now to polish the Pearl again

Personally  i like it with the bright contrast now that i can see it against the white markers.
I have the Abalone in a mirror finish that cannot be seen, very fiery.
Im taking my time and will continue forth.

All the inlay is sealed amd bindings scraped on the topside.
I removed all of the tinted inlay coatings .
You can only tell up close, that the abalone is so fiery that the overcoatings looked very dull in contrast.
Jeff and I think we may leave it this way and now that I see it all at once I am really leaning that way if he is.
Now to amber up the bindings on the top, and seal that with a wisp of clear.

Binding retint complete
I decided to make a MOP truss cover out of the same style MOP  in the Liger head
Now to add some honey amber and clear to make it match up with the rest

Back to square one, and beyond.
Karen likes it, thats a plus!
You cannot see any of the true coloration in the pics, the flash will not react as I want.

We have a problem, the Presto is broken in its joint
 I will return it to FQM for a replacement.
No big deal, i will string it up with something  for testing

let's string her on up

I will let it settle in and see how she does.
Looks pretty spiffy!


Tailpiece is now gold plated, and she is ready to go back below sea level to Jeffbreau.

Happy MardiGras!

Thanks for watching,