Bill Ihnow's
Bacon Silver Bell #7

Assess Playability, repair as needed


Banjo has a lack of tone
 The first thing I notice is head is way too slack

And neck has a pronounced bow under tension starting at around the 8 fret and it is severe.

Even with no tension..... if you have an eye for these things you can see the bow even with no tension.
The bad part is this is a later model BD and one that already has a steel bar inserted into it from the factory
You can tell by the laminate stopping in the neck center and that block of wood instead, they all look exactly the same.
This is no easy fix, there is little hope of compression fretting driving the neck back
Heating with celluloid is tricky and usually doesn't go well.
On Celluloid cover boards they have to have all the blocks removed if they are cupping.
This one is a little, I will study it more
Or if Im lucky a heat knife can get up under the whole board (sans binding) and come off without any breakage.
Either way, its pretty useless as a player even before we get into the rim.
I'm wondering if the rhinestones are orig, they are not set very well.


Removing old wire, it is barely in the slot, the celluloids have shrunk back, allowing the tang barbs to lose retention.
A lot of sound is lost in loose fret wire.

My plan of attack is to remove the binding and all the blocks to see if I can plane the board, reslot and reinstall them
If not, I will have to go it, re-truss, and come all the way back up

New binding and frets will be installed

Removing the blocks under 100 F heat lamps
It will be slow going but I do not want to break any.
Pearwood board under the blocks

OK, time to rest my back, always an arduous task but it went well.

Now to heat the board off
I'm trying to save it, its a hard replication so slow going

That's a pretty darn clean board removal, I should be able to re-use it
Im going to run stiffeners down each side of that square bar to compensate for softness.
Then a maple laminate over the top to add height since I will have to level the fingerboard.
The addition and then the reduction so leave me at the same height.
Then I will deepen the slots and replace the celluloids

I heated the beejesus out oif the truss bar and softened the glue around it, bowed the neck back, injected new glue and let dry.
Then added a top laminate for more rigidity.

Fingerboard reinstalled, I will level it and resl;ot before adding the celluloid blocks back on.

Wood stripped and cleaning the carvings down in the recesses

Ready for a sealer, then some celluloid

Leveling the board

Gluing the celluloids back on

All must be cleaned and flattened and compsenation given for shrinkage

All lining up OK ...Tedious!

One to go

Time to bind it with new Ivoroid

Ready to fret

Stewmac 147 wire

Sealing the new wire with #10

Drilling for side markers

Finish completed, time to finish frets

Recrown file

Black filler  added to graved lines
End dresser and burr chaser file

Buffed back to high shine

ready to paint detail witjh acrylics

Not the multi color it had on it, just a Black and Red to match Peg head.
Its color coat, then clear to protect them.

Ready for clear and new stones.
These are Dale Small's old Stones and boxes that you see.

Bottled Hide glue is good for these.
Any excess will flake off.

Only gold in the top crown, red the rest of the way

Rim all tightened and head adjusted, was very slack




Banjo plays well up and down the board, I think its much improved, but only Bill can tell if we made progress.

Kathy O. doing her "Cover up"act!
She is ready to go into the box and go back home.
It was a challenge, and the outcome I feel, Favorable
Such a pretty banjo, it needs play time
Thanks for watching