WORKPAGE
 

1930s
LA SCALA GRANDE

RARE BANJO - OBSCURE BUILDER
Rocco A. Carlucci
West New York, N.J.

MARKETED BY OSCAR SCHMIDT


 



 


 
 



ARRIVAL PICS


 


 


 
 


 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 



 
 


Neck got hit sometime in it's life, this is a very old crack that will be easy to seal and will remain stable, its only on this side of the neck


Disassembly


 


Neat neck angle adjuster on front of dowel
Others could have learned from this addition


Nice elevated fingerboard
 


I will work the dents from the flange


Replacement nuts on the hooksets


Anchor screws and shoes are unplated brass


I plan on buffing all that tarnished brass, then applying brass lacquer over it to keep it shiny for many years to come
 


Arch ring on stanchions, akin to Paramount and Orpheum, and Epiphone


 


Orig frets need replacement


Nice method of attaching the device to the dowel in a yoke.


Armrest is Very Vega, but different mounts
Same supplier is my guess


 
 


All of the wood on the top and bottom must be sealed, many small cracks, but it will come together fine
 
 


The brass rim  shell is one piece, those are not individual sections


Very precise fit, I will not attempt removal for this operation, the wood may fly apart, so Ill seal it all at once.


 
 
 
 

After steel wool to get as much crud and oxidation as I could, the rim is all sealed and shell is lacquered along with it.
That's not bad looking, considering.
 
 

Now I will work on sealing that neck crack, I have my plan for this.


I worked glue fully into the crack and will clamp 48 hrs


Resonator stops glued back into place, one repair on top edge where a chunk was missing, remove old finish and add 2 coats new
The  White Holly is normally an open grained wood and over time, it takes on this appearance when made into a veneer.
Now I will work the outside


Note:
When you are refinishing White Holly and trying to maintain the patina its not that hard.
I have removed all of the finish on one side only with a stripper.
Now I went over it lightly with 320 paper.
This is ALL YOU CAN DO on Holly that has moisture penetrations into the grain and cracking...and dark areas.
What you achieve is the same look as original, with a fresh covering of finish to protect your investment for another 50+ years


The facing side is the refinished side, the other side is untouched.
Sweat stains will always be there
Ask anyone that has White Holly banjos of any brand!


Adding some clear after neck repair


I saw some weak grain in the dowel so I want to pin it to ensure it stays good



RIM ASSEMBLY
 


I was able to flip the flange, so better plating could be seen
All hardware was cleaned, lacquered and waxed


Now to find out if we need white side markers, there are none

Side markers it is....


 


Refret with 147 Stew Mac wire


Cleaning slots

Some have to be deepened and when binding is still on...., the Stew Mac tool for this job.
 


Jaws to compress the rest of the wire
They will then be sealed in with Cyano


Leveling


Crowning
I'm oiling the board as I go to get that started
 
 


Dressing the ends
 


Fine wool to finish up
 


Cleaning the nut slot. prepping for new bone
 


Ready for setup


There is alot of slack in the tenon hole, I will jam shim wood all up in here to pin it tight.
It really doesn't matter what sizes of wood or how you get it in, as long as you do, or the neck will rock.


Strung to pitch, tone is good, I'll let it settle in


New resonator felt, Hardware installed
 


The instrument is performing well, and the tone is getting better as it settles in.
I deem it a great Single String player, very 20s Ragtime sounding with a great sweet spot in the middle of the head on up to the bridge area.


 



 

After a few more tweaks, its now ready to go.
It has been a pleasure, I love all the fine old Banjo Obscura from this era.
Its the small builders such as myself that sprinkled in the diversity then, as now.
Thanks for watching
Vinnie