Leedy Solotone D
Repair to play per customer specs.
Howard is a well know
Jazz guitarist Worldwide with many fans, I am one of them.
, that has some roots in tenor banjo!
It is an honor and pleasure to get to work on this axe, my Dad
would be Proud
Here is a You Tube of Howard and Tyler Jackson on
Tenor banjo, with Rob Wright, in Arizona
And of course, I have to have one of Howard with a couple of
other guys that know their way around a guitar fingerboard
OK, enough "Name dropping" ONWARD!
U.G. Leedy was a fantastic engineer, one of the most overlooked
banjos from the era with many innovations
Cammed neck angle adjuster is one, this one seems amiss
Neck is loose, will dive in for a look-see.
All inlay present and accounted for, neck could use a re-finish.
Orig frets, thin, may need replacement with modern comfortable
Replate on Kershner tailpiece
Celluloid very good for a Leedy, not pulling up everywhere,
Good dome, like this pattern
Tuners working OK, will lube them
No heel cracks
Tone enhancer in resonator, the name eludes me right now.
Help me TJ!
Neck plane is past flat, actually has a little back bow so
should pull up nicely.
Binding almost looks "In house"
Too much gap, even with front screw tight
That screw is not loose, it just will not tighten because neck
dowel is out of whack.
Cam screw in heel works freely
There is a break in the glue seam showing a clean spot, that
shows me its pulled pout this far from original depth
I will heat this and pull the device, clean and re-glue with a
modern Urethane glue.
Some heat, and the hide glue releases easily, twist out with
It will be glued in with a urethane, this never needs to come
After measuring and cleaning the glue squeeze slots, I have
measured the pin to see the depth in the dowel
Bottomed out it is hiding the line, meaning that it was moved
1/8" when it let loose
You can see the cam screw for the angle adjuster well.
Checking the retention, will tape off to pull
Small thin vintage wire, worn out, will replace with modern wire
of Howard's choice
Fingerboard is super brittle, tape saves the day again
Will rebuild all fret slots and re-saw for modern "tanged" wire.
I save all "Important" old frets, it is sort of a macabre way of
keeping track of whose DNA is what , in case we need to clone
banjoist's in the future!
I do not want the "Wannabe's" mixed in with the "Real Deals" :)
Started in 2001 , this old jewelry chest weighs about 30 lbs now
There are marked ones all thru the years
I was hoping I would retire before last drawer was filled, which
is double in size of the rest.
1/2way there already ...It's not lookin good...
Since there is no taking the wood marquetry off without ruining
it, I have to use my fret slot cleaner to actually cut the slots
deeper for the modern wire
It will be sharpened about every 3 slots to get a smooth cut.
The neck is pressed tight where I an cutting so it does not slip
and break thru the marquetry.
Tedious, but will get it done
Fretting over the binding, compressing up the neck
All in and glued with #10 CA, ends trimmed
Leveling went well.
Removing old varnish to go back with Mohawk Classic Instrument
Will chem strip the rest
Adding some black back into the engraved lines
Tint coat shot
Stripping the tint from marquetry and heel cap laminates to make
All clear coats from here
Scoring the pin, to get better glue
After curing, I stripped the glue squeeze and finish, those
cracks are now tight
2 coats to go.
Since the Leedy Kershner tailpiece had a string post
missing, I will cannibalize one from this already broken Ludwig
The Irony, Leedy was bought out by
Ludwig in the 20s.., so getting a little revenge :)
The Waverly's are threaded posts ,Heating it so it will
Removing the base so I can tap the
Whoever repaired it last soldered in 4 pins and one fell out
All fixed, Replaced all the wrong screws
and thumbscrews, ready to go.
All back to tension and settling in
I took a Kay armrest and modified i to fit well, and it is nicer
than resting on the sharp tension hoop.
If I get in an actual Leedy armrest I will ship it over to
All Leedy resonators of this design have terrible retention
capability, and the thumbscrews only cinch against the rim, no
hole for it to ride into.
It matters not how tight you get them, they will not hold fast
and any "rap" on the flange will knock it off easily.
I will remedy this will some small zip ties, which I also use to
hold Paramount clasps shut
If you want inside you cut them and add new ones
I will continue to dial it in.
As I said at the onset, this neck has a back bow in it and
that makes it VERY flat under tension .
Its very close already and will continue to nail it down.
Tyler will be up in a week or so and he can play it out at a
level that I need.
If there are any small things we can do to make sure it
hits on all 8 cylinders once back in Howard's hands.
Thanks Howard, for the
opportunity to work with you
And as always,
Thanks for watching,Vinnie