Stromberg Deluxe

19 fret tenor
Late 1920s model

Restore as needed to Excellent condition

All original rhinestones and sets
Orig Inlay VG

All orig inlay in fingerboard in good cond.
Ill need to seal them all around the filler.

Personalized block at 17

I have seen the rest but never the " T.W.P."

Nor have I seen a "D5P"
Since there are no numbered Stromberg banjos we have to wonder if it was added then, or later in both accounts.

Also I never saw the plate mounted here, or on a plastic plate but there is no old holes in the dowel so....maybe it was always here.

Standard Waverly tailpiece but not the standard Deluxe which was stamped as the armrest in the same tooling, diagonally

When the  peghead was broken in the past some Luthier did a stand up job of building a scarfed joint to remedy the problem and its never going to be an issue.

Its as tight as a joint can be and I will use a little fade in this area to mask it off.

Good show though, nice repair.

One of the King armrest holders is missing and a homemade one in its place
I THINK I may have one, Im hoping.


The archring was crudely soldered in th pst, not by Stromberg and I will take all this solder off and go again.

Removing the 4 screws that are holding the cuppophone in the rim


Lifting gently, the outside rim skirt/head bearing
Its the same as Vega Little Wonder, with a longer skirt.

Ready to clean and get parts off to the platers
It will be a multicolored plating job, I think they look best this way and Lance said I could so I will.

And a picture next to a Paramount A
I always like to show the similarities as Stromberg was using Lange in these years for necks, rims and resonators, as well as some hardware.
As with many custom builders from days gone by until now..., we have needed and used subcontractors both then and now to make a product that meets our wishes.
Only a scant few can say they have made the entire instruments themselves and even less can tout the greatness of it when good parts were passed over for something they thought may work!

Removing old finish, revealing a nice Brazilian rosewood.
The marquetry is some of the best I have seen on a Deluxe as far as no buckle rash and messed up places.


Sealed and taking on clear coats
Rim has been redyed the correct color to match the rosewood and the bottom and side blackened


After removing all of the finish from the board, I'll start removing wires
Tape method, the ebony is very brittle.

Little tiny chipouts, not too bad.

Last inlays are poorly reset and broken, I will  add the missing MOP piece and reset them.


We need to think about the "Sully" inlay
Its not an original owners name, its been cut into the mop block with a Dremel tool of sorts, it is not engraved
The slots are all sealed and leveled, and I will seal the inlay and add filler where it is missing.
Its not going to be a perfect fingerboard but it will be much better than before.
Stromberg inlay is crude on all the later models, it is something they did themselves and wasn't subcontracted.
The bird inlay was also used by Lange in the Contracted Slingerland "Deluxe" models


Stromberg utilized the Waverly for a period, but they did not use them with the cover, and I have pulled this one off to recreate a more correct version
I will grind the plating off the face to bare brass and then take my Letter stamps and stamp in the name Stromberg at an angle, like it was on other examples I have owned and worked upon.

I think that was a pretty lucky shot considering these are all individual punches and I had to eyeball it in
Now to buff it and it will be ready to go to the platers

I think I will smile a minute, that was a good lick.

Adding coats in the nice warm Tx sun

I carefully scraped all of the excess dye and finish off of the topside of the bindings, and used my micro scalpel to go around all of the rhinestone buckets to remove all the built up finish, then redyed the black area in between the inside and outside binding

Now the side of the bucket shines again and the whole area is just alot better now.

"Big Brother" is watching!!!!
 3 coats of clear inside and on the top

I just made a resonator for my 11-1/2" rim version and am liking the new projection it offers.
Ready to buff the outside.


This is probably the best job I have seen on a Stromberg as far as plating goes in a long time.
Any plater can attest to the fact that old metals can be quite tricky to plate and this is very consistent in both the nickel an gold pieces.
I prefer to have the mixture of color.

The  important thing that I do not wish to leave unsaid, is this plating was at my my Plater in Nashville TN, while the recent floodwaters were inundating the entire area.

They called me and got last minute instructions as there were frantically trying to get all the work they could get done, before the city cut water because of contamination.

And in their haste, they manage to turn out some excellent work.

My Hat is off to you guys, thanks for the "above and beyond the call of duty "effort

This banjo is now taking on the appearance of a "DELUXE" and making me smile.


Now to give  that nicely repaired neck a bit of camouflage.
I plan a reddish brown, that will fade at the heel and over the repair area at the peghead, leaving the center light to go with the resonator look

A look against a walnut neck for color view

And one outside pic before I scrape the bindings and laminates to really make it POP

She will take on 6 more coats of clear and I will work on the fingerboard between coats and prepare it for modern tuners.

Cleaning the new tint and old finish from bindings, showing the true colors

Cleaned the heel area as well.
It is this type detail work that can really give you a good look in the final stages.

Now to come up the back laminate.
All this is done under magnification to ensure that I stay in between the lines

Now I am applying more clear for protection and the result is positive.
I will match the dowel next and move back to the fretting

First, I have to fix these inlays and flip ol "Sully" over.
The 2 birds were in poor condition, and when I heated them out they crumbled some more
 Interesting, you can see the wool fuzz on my magnetized driver, that was what was under the inlays.

I will make 2 new birds and shine up the other side of the block

Also, the 1 block inlay has a really deep depression, as if the inlay was reset and sunk way into the cavity.
The cavity is very large and is this way on many Strombergs.
They bought pre engraved inlay from Lange, and set them in Boston and that was not their forte.
Luthiers today would not be able to get away with such a cavity, with all of the CNC routed fingerboards nowadays!
Part of the wing tip and tail tip is obscured
I will heat it gently to soften the filler

As I go around and bubble up the filler, i will get a pick under it and make it rise up then squirt in cyano under it for a proppant.
"Squeeze job" something Lancer can understand!

Now it is up higher, tedious to do and not crack it.
Filling under it with thin cyano

Now to clean it on up, redye blacken gravings and dye around the filler.
It will be alot nicer.

Sully is flipped over and now,. I have to make a couple birds.

Getting ready to fret 3 necks tonite

Starting the process, prepping the slots as I go, I want it to look nice this time

Gluing in the wire as I go, to get excellent fret retention

Working on the last 3 blocks
I decided to go with one bird, I had some pearl that just worked out in that cavity
Here it is in ebony colored epoxy

A little more fine sanding to finish these blocks for fretting
Will add some detail graving as well.
Once dyes are applied, all this will look nice.

All dyed and fingerboard oil soaking in, I will polish it again soon.
Frets have been leveled and polished

The 4 "non stromberg" stones have to go, they are just poorly set and a cheap plastic
Also I will fill where these is missing filler
These two inlays need some dressing up, I will see what I can do for them

Pulled, and packing cavities with rosewood powder
Cleaned and polished glass stones in metal buckets... as I did on resonator

First sealer, a little more dye around the filled cavities and this will look nice again.

Stones are much brighter and picking up light once again, this is almost complete



Offset 4:1 tuners, with Ivoroid buttons

Pulled the plastic off the back of the logo plate ,and placed  it in a better place


Setup up on GHS Custom tenor gauges


I'll get some outside shots if it quits raining before I ship it.

Very nice clear tone, and fretting well all up and down the board
The neck is acting properly so setup should proceed swiftly. I'll let it settle in and tweak it on out.
I think we made a lot of progress on the instrument, and gave it some beauty in the process.
Its never a sad moment when there is A Stromberg in the shop, to keep Big Brother company
Thanks for watching and thanks to the Stromberg's for being a part of my family history.