John B's Bacon Serenader Silver Bell
Late model, Archtop
Very slim at the nut, Ill have to get creative with frets and
Just thin all the way down
Breakouts from last fret work, but neck is pretty straight.
Will get leveled and fretted, new binding and dots
Flange has poor fit, but rim is drilled and has threaded
inserts, thats a plus.
And it had a mute, that is a Gretsch mute shoe and you see the
Celluloid was peeled or forgone, and some paint applied.
All the break outs around the flange must be repaired, and I
will also look to see if I have a better one.
As much as you all love that Metal-flake, it will have to go!
This would need to be brazed back up and its thin and pesky.
All the way around, these are the last of the flanges they
made and are thinner.
Celluloid was peeled or never used, this will finish up OK.
Richelieu Repro Ottie, all orig screws.
Now......whats is under this black
Usually its a broken peghead right at the neck...
Ho-lee Walnut Batman, its not broken at all!
Some holes to fill from tuner crews, but not a thing wrong
That's a first...
That is no crack in the side, that is the end of the ear wood,
Huh....well that is a PLUS!
Someone had a pickup installed, dowel is hacked on and braced
Normal Hardware here
I can piece in on the top, its still glued in well and at a
good angle, thats a plus,
Heated off Bob's sticker so I could put it back on later :)
Another plus, it has the older heavy archtop ring, that means
no cracks, and it will actually make big tone.
Massive head bearing , bigger than Prewar Gibson
Well that is promising, the rim should pull back together
That hole alone, shows they cared little about tenor banjos by
this time, in this company.
OK, its not a lost cause, but its no Silk Purse.
Maybe Leather :)
No need to worry about taping off, the last guy shattered ever
slot so I will rebuild them after board level
I have done quite a bit of leveling here, still some low
Will stop here, re-cut slots, and put in teflon dams so I can
rebuild the edges.
This Teflon is made exactly .024" which is fret tang width.
You can see how bad the slots are at the edges, this comes
from improper removal when you do a fret job.
You need to tape off each side to hold chipping to a minimum
and make repair easier.
Slotted to depth, Teflon dams in, now will add #20 Black CA as
Dams out, will level the glue down. Fixing one side break,
holding a dam up while the CA kicks
Keeping slots clean while I do the minor fills
Wax paper is my release agent, I am filling those hollows, and
after it kicks I will level and see where I am
Still a slight hollow, and player wear down the side of the
neck that needs leveling
All level and ready for binding - White
Bass side installed, profiling.
Note: Neck is thin at the nut
I am leaving it full thickness at the top, so I can get the
widest frets I can, by fretting over the binding
Finish stripped the res of the way
Compression frets to the heel, hammer in over the heel
Nipping the ends
Stopping here until I get a new batch of #10 CA
in from stew-mac, to seal the wires
Filling the drill holes, gluing as needed
Fabricated a "Dutchman" for the missing block.
A Dutchman is a wood patch or filler which replaces a
damaged or missing area of any wood object.
The procedure involves removing a symmetrical, squared area around
the defect and replacing it with new wood. It is best to use wood
of the same species, grain pattern and color as the original.
I do not care about grain matching, I'll be painting over with
Removing what craft workers call "Glitter", and what Body shop
men like myself call "Metal flake"
This is not like new safe glitter, which is "Plastic flake"
In the old days we had to be extremely careful not to let this
catch wind and blow into your eyes, it will cut your eyeball
like a razor.
Dry stripping will work with whatever glue they used, lucky
Care when disposing is needed
You can see a vestige of the Medium Brown (Reddish) color
still on the side of the lip.
That was the original color and that is what we will go back
Inside washed out with acetone
Taped off, shot a line of Reddish brown and topped it with
black to emulate the original look
Gold metallic inside
Stripping the rim, you can also see the vestige of Reddish
brown on flange lip
The celluloid would have been around the anchor shoe land, and
a fade job would have come up onto it with the Reddish.
Makers mark #6, whatever it meant will be a mystery
Tone ring area was taped of to make it like orig, gold
complete on inside
Bottom lip was celluloid covered, now dyed black and will
smooth on out with clear
Back was shot in the same Reddish brown
The flange is problem-some.
The thin brass is broken around all of the screw ports
It is so thin, it cannot easily be repaired without fear of
more "Blow out" from the torch.
I will seek another.
was an issue concerning washers on the anchor shoe
With washers, all of the
screws were only catching 1-3 threads, they were
made too short.
I removed them all and was able to get good shoe retention,
they were not doing any good in this instance.
Now I need to find out what head John wants on it.
Frets all leveled crowned and polished, leveling went very
well, it should be nice to play.
Ready for side markers, 2 more clear coats, and peghead
New REMO head, furnished by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com, thanks
Adjusting the resonator stop and when I get it right I will
seal it in place so it does not get moved, This keeps you from
dishing the resonator.
Vega could have been better off with such an attachment.
After scuffing the old finish on the peghead, I will buff it,
then paint the detail.
Putting clear over this old finish on the celluloid is not
smart, it could craze so the buffing will have to suffice.
Buff to hi shine, not to detail paint it
I use a Nitrocellulose, water thin, so that it gives the
same translucency of the old stuff.
I have daubed some on the edge to show the color.
Neck height issues
With the factory neck set, the fingerboard is 1/16 lower than
the plane of the arch ring, this will not fly
I will cut the rim and move the neck upwards
After the cuts, you can see the board is up now, moving on.
Changed tuners to period Elton pancakes
Since no flange was readily available I will re-use this one
but make suggestions since it is broken on all 4 points and I
do not want to spin it around and drill new holes.
That will not help its warpage.
This will work and I will continue to look for anther if JB
I will put it on like this no back, so I can squeeze around on
it and then really tighten the thumbscrews.
I can do all the setup with the back off and it will be fine
as long as the flange is left alone.
If he wants in there, he can pull the 8 side screws and pull
the back off that way.
Ready to set up
Back is just under the banjo to show the new look.
Tuned to CGBD (Plectrum)
Slack head, bridge to allow 4-5/32" at 19
While I buff the resonator, I have it next to a very important
Memorial to 9-11, left to me by my recently deceased friend
Don Christian, who was a first responder and died with
WTC debris in his lungs. Certified by the WTC.
It is signed by many of the ladder, emergency, engine and
rescue squads that also lost many men responding, and have
lost many since to PTSD and WTC Dust.
God bless them all, and my family and I will be proud to
display this and other memorabilia on my shop wall.
I love how the stars reflected in this Bacon banjo, so I used
these pics in my process
After a little more settling in, this banjo can go home to JB
and hopefully make some more music in its life, we have done
our part to steward it to the next generations.
Thanks for watching