Interesting design with some reflections of Lange and Iucci involved.


Tension bolts have a head akin to the head of a blind rivet. one is missing


Heavy fret wear, well loved and played

One celluloid button, and a replacement tuner bushing, I'll try and make that nicer

A lot of problems on bottom edge of resonator, missing much of the marquetry

That is what should be there.
We will measure it and see what we can obtain today, that will blend.
I'm certain that it will be a total change , there is too much gone.

I see something of Super Paramount in this view
The tension nuts are the same as some Iucci's



Nice engraving, I like the "Punchmarks"


Adding in a new section of binding

After heat press, working  the frets
There is a large knot in the neck right in the area of a bow
I cannot be sure how long the neck will stay down if at all, under tension
We will see later


Blackening inlay

Sealing all marquetry before sanding.
It is taking very much cyano to fill all under the voids

All sealed and taking clear on neck, rim and back of resonator

I have all the old broken marquetry from the side

Inlay dyed and neck taking on clear

Here is the knot in the neck, the warp is right in this area.
I will press it once more but it is still very soft here

Rim ready to assemble

Will protect the old gold with the Nikolas

Old skin is torn, we will go with Renaissance


Now to make the one missing tension bolt

I will use a pneumatic nail gun nail
The head is made offset as the original

My threader does not like working on hardened steel but is cutting well enough to make the thing work

Painted gold and installed

Trying to install neck, oiling the board at the same time.
With the plastic head pulled properly, barely clearing the neck joint....

Poor pic, but it shows that the stretcher band on head is already against neck joint and can not go further down
This is because it is 2 times as wide as original flesh ring.
Neck must have some trimmed off in this area, will wait for permission.

Excessive neck bow under normal tension-Truss bar required

After I set the instrument up and allowed it to set a few days it had severe Warp, or Forward pull.
Being as it is a multilaminated neck both under the fingerboard horizontally and vertically it just has lost all of its tension as glue joint after glue joint failed over time.
The new fingerboard inlay was created by Dave Nichols, Custom Pearl Inlay on a board I had slotted and sent up to him.

As usual Dave never fails to please, that's a hard set to replicate.

I will trim down the sides to binding width while I wait on a carbon rod for truss installation

Board removal

I thought I would pull the frets for a look and WOW, am I glad I did!
Like on old Martin Guitars
No regular fret wire could have ever been used in these slots and had I refretted in the beginning we would have had to either use Martin Bar Wire or.........replace the board!

Look at the slot width
Bar wire was used to help in trussing Martin Guitars but just like on this instrument when they lose retention, up cometh the neck.

These laminates are dried all the way out and have no retention either, I can move them around with my knife

Chiseling off the board.
Its basically just coming up in pieces with no real pressure on the chisel
See how it separates from the laminate....

This shows how low a retention the fingerboard/laminate assembly has become over time.


Now for the bottom laminates

Again, not very stuck, no hammer needed
Going carefully so as not to gouge into the base wood

Taking my time ,  my chisels are super sharp
When it is all cleaned off, I will run thin cyano into the center laminates to revitalize the adhesion of the side to side aspect.

 Cutting the laminates for under the board

Cut to profile

Ready to press with hide glue

Wax paper barrier helps

Now for the board, I'll bind it first

Ready to glue, Ill place 3 drift posts to make sure the board stays centered in clamp off

It will stay in 4 days in these temps

A little finish applied, that's all for now
Next I will cut the end off and fret the neck  and add side markers and relieve the area on the heel to make clearance for the medium crown head


I'll cut that on out now and touch up the edge

All fretted and runoff trimmed down

I can see some of the dye in the laminate bled over into the maple laminates
Unfortunate, but I cannot remedy.


I changed one inferior screw and washer on the D tuner and I replaced the one ivoroid button with a spare MOP I had in the drawer

Final polish and wax

The one extra nut that was in the case fits this thread so I used it to back up the big thumbwheel, looks right

Good fit now and room to adjust, neck angle came back as I'd hoped

Setup on GHS compliments of www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
5 /8 Grover bridge now that the neck has some angle
The old marquetry is in the zip lock bag, we still have not heard back from Karin Rost after 3 months of trying as to if or if not they will make us this marquetry.
Not real happy with their customer service, am looking else where when I have time.


There must have been armrest posts of some kind in the threaded holes here on top

Banjo is playing nicely up and down the range of the board, with a nice full tone,.
One never knows how an off make banjo will sound but this is as good  or better than any Lange Archtop, more akin to the Iucci in tone projection
These 2 extra brackets were in the case, I can find no place for them and they are too big for armrest holes

Resonator Binding
Created by
E.L. Henson
Falling Waters, West Virginia

After many months of searching when I could find time, A banjo friend did some searching...
Thanks to Jay Downing, for finding Lee for me!

Lee sent me some .500 marquetry from his on-hand stock that has enough elements to suit this particular design.
To have the original style made up proved impossible for any reasonable costs.

Even though the resonator has a few small warps and this cavity is not a perfect .500", it is going to work just fine.

Since it is vertical grain, it can look different shades from different angles

One quick wisp of walnut to brown it a tad, it is a little reddish with just the clear
The White/Black breaker lines are taped off

Looks darker here......

Less dark here.......its simply light refraction and vertical grain opposing horizontal.

Now to finalize this with clear coats.

Final Pics

Ok, at long last, she is ready for a trip across the pond.
I hope Karl finds it playable to his liking, it has been a long journey for me!
Thanks for watching