Iucci also made a portable tone ring that could
be installed in any banjo
The wooden rim is a neat little thing, hidden in all that Brass.
It has minor delaminations, I will seal them
Bottom and top sides both have some loose areas
The top section and bottom is both tone ring and Decorative tension hoop.
Hooksets are extremely short and they fasten in a very unique manner.
All well thought out, Mike was a genius as a Luthier.
I spoke with Carl Lunsford the other day and he was telling me about him and Harry Reser going to NY to see Mike Iucci and to buy a banjo.
Carl got Harry to play it to Mike ,and it brought tears to his eyes
Carl still has the Iucci Banjo.
Carl also was the last banjoist to play on stage with my Great Uncle Victor Mondello in Revere Beach.
Vic closed with Robt.E.Lee, walked back stage and collapsed with heart failure.
What a way to go....perfect for a Banjoman like Vic.
He also played at his funeral.
Carl played many years with The Turk Murphy Band.
After cleaning with fine compound
This engraver had a sense of humor
All 4, are different patterns but all from one banjo.
Good show, but I've caught him finally!
Now to defret and work out this lift in the neck
It is a multi-laminate center, very tight glue, then 5 laminates and a very thin fingerboard, which I will not attempt to remove.
Barbless wire has zero retention, the can be pulled with fingernails
And mine is painted Vintage Amber! LOL
All out no problems
After sealing all laminates and smoothing, time for 1 coat finish, it needs to be very light
Curing the finish
Adding a few squares, all and all VG condition
Red veneer where a little is gone here and there
Piece work, just tedious and under magnifiers
Stripping the old finish (s)
More than one
Some is varnish, one seems to be Varithane
After 2 strips, still coming off heavy
Nice wood at the bottom
Sealed and taking on clear
Peghead has been stripped and sealed, all gravings filled with Laskins and clear started
Beautiful work, now visible again.
After prepping the board, Im dyeing all the wood between the fret block then will polish the MOP and blackwax the engravings
Removing all old finish from neck
Laminates will "pop"with color now.
I have a perfect 10-3/4 flesh hoop and a 14" hide from Stern Tannery in Chicago.
Now to decide where I want to crown it
A little less than half looks correct
That is where I need to be, to start the tuck
Very easy tuck, no hooks needed with this style, that's a first .
You must make sure to align the neck attachment holes now.
Then , it all has to be flipped and worked from the bottom side.
I have the head pulled well and its tight on the flesh ring
put a nut on a hook with a few threads, then work the J thru the tension hoop
I'm pushing it over to the recessed hole on the first one.
Going round the horn just barely getting them into the slots.
The trick with any head on this banjo is to feed in the hookset then push so that the hook stays in the hole as you tighten on each nut its the same and held up Gravity does lend a hand
After snugging it, trimming the excess
You can see I still have clearance for more adjustment
Ready to cure
That was alot easier than anticipated, going on the first time around with perfect crown.
All pieces under the lamps getting warm between coats, going as I'd hoped
The areas around the MOP and binding are sucking in cyano, so its doing its usual wonderful job of going where man cannot easily go.
Trimming as I go
Dressing the ends
A little off the sides and then it will be fine 1200 paper and fine wool
Then after machine buffing to high shine.
Camera does in no justice.
I will ask Karl if he wants to leave this inside original , faded and stained or should I go get a matching color in spray and recolor.
Tuners and buttons cleaned and polished
Another snug on the new skin.
Remember, push on the nut while tightening, to hold it in the hole
Strings from www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Owner Mike Amato, a New Yorker and Iucci lover
Skin head is smoothed and burnished, now to let it start settling in under tension
MORE TO COME