Mash's Stromberg Workpage
Tokyo ,Japan

Stromberg Deluxe Tenor
Chas A. Stromberg and Sons, Boston Mass, U.S.A.

Convert to 5 string with custom neck by Mash




The first picture is the neck of Stromberg Deluxe. The center laminations look like red-blue-maple-blue-red, so I prepared these boards which I dyed sometime ago.


The red board at the left is a little thicker. The neck wood is Madagascar Kingwood, a kind of rosewood.


The inlay pattern was traced and glued on abalone blanks.

Then glued on a balsa board.

Hand cut with a jewelers saw.


The left half of the Stromberg logo, which is included in the case, seems to be a part of original inlay of this banjo before it was modified.
Other abalone debris are also included, but not re-usable.

The inlay of this Stromberg has been replaced sometime ago and the quality of craftsmanship is very poor.

It looks like a bird.

It might be a bird.

Is it a bird ?

Traced and routed with Dremel.
The center line of the picture is the center line of the neck, but not the fingerboard center line. The fingerboard center line is the 3rd string line, though it doesn't seem to be located in the center. 5 string neck is confusing.

The fan keep blowing ebony dust away during routing. It's a little bit too cool and noisy.

Set with epoxy and charcoal powder. Some fret slots had to be protected with teflon sheet .

Peg head inlay

Sanding with a sand paper on a wood block.


The leaf is eaten by a bug.

It's actually worm eaten part of abalone.


Pearl set


but . . .
the pearly layer of the bird's head is almost gone. This abalone block was a bit too thin.

Beheaded and waiting for a brain .

A new brain is grafted. Is she smarter than before ?

Fingerboard is shaped and polished.

Engraving lines are drawn.

Engraving with gravers.

Straight lines need a guide.

Scriber makes the initial lines.

The resonator side wall is broken and repaired more than one time, sometime ago. It is very unstable and about to separate.

Newer marquetry has been used. A little different.

The lower one has similar color to the original, but the dimension is different. The upper has nearly equal dimension.

. . . . only nearly. A little taller. And the dye is not penetrated deeply enough.

The side wall lip is very thin and it will break again easily. There is a space between the lip and flange to accept a reinforcement.
Old glue and finish are scraped off.

At first, the cracked lip is glued .

A wood strip is bent .

. . . then glued inside of the lip . Now it is stabilized and further treatment is possible.

Non-matching marquetry is removed.

The new marquetry with slightly reduced height is fitted to the place.

Another one.

Blue stain added.

Peg head shape was traced with a white carbon paper.

Shaped with a spindle sander after rough cutting with a bandsaw.

Routed for marquetry. Slightly tilted inward to match to the contour of the neck.

Glued with Titebond.

Bound. The 5th peg area was pressed with a wooden rod.

Done. Then scraped.

Rough shaping .

Heel cap glued.

Here’s Stromberg replica( if one ever exists ) 5-string tailpiece.

traced on 3mm brass plate.

shaped with sander and hand files.

The original is one piece cast brass, but this one will be made of three parts.

cut out.

the angle of the 2nd string slit is wrong . I have to fill and do it again.

locating pins.

welded with copper weld. Skilled craftsman will not leave such an excess. .

I was going to stamp “STROMBERG” logo, at first, but after some practice, I was sure I would not be successful .
Now I’m considering where to put the 3rd string loop end post or hook


Dowel stick is fitted.

But, if it’s once glued to the neck heel, later adjustment of neck angle is not easy. So I made an anchor rod , like Epi banjos, and connected with a lag bolt.

The machine screw is for the purpose of removing the rod . The rod can slide up and down by 2mm when loose , so the finger board height is adjustable, a bit .

Heel carving. Outlining.

A bit deeper.

. . . and deeper.

Vanished then clear lacquered . This rosewood, Madagascar king wood, they say, is very porous.
The black heel cap is ebony.
I forgot to put the side dots. Later I do.

The birds are singing now in the Spring.

Editors note:
I know that Charles and Elmer Stromberg would be very proud of this fine effort.
Thank you to my good friend "Mash"...for sharing with us the wonderful conversion
It has a very special place in my heart.
Vinnie Mondello