Montana 3 Workpage

Silas will help me on disassembly.
He is a Bacon lover from way back:)

I have the proper wrench for these tuners, not many exist.

On Silver Bell, always be sure when you remove the 4 resonator screws, you must line up the screw with the hole in the rim or you will break loose the soldered threaded retainer.
Look twice, and only screw them in far enough to hold it on.

Ser# on armrest, makers did this

Special "Dino tool" for head removal :)

You can see clearly the binding cracking and celluloid shrinkage.
I will pull the frets and seal it all up.

The fingerboard blocks are loose as they are many times on these models.
Only the fret wires hold them from falling off many times.
This time only the actual yellow celluloid is coming up, the bottom white base is staying put.

Clean removal, binding still in place.

When the celluloids shrink, the fret wire ends push thru the binding.
When I seal it all it will still show, but not actually be cracked anymore.

This model has a steel bar for truss, that's a good thing.
You can tell because laminate is not all the way thru neck, truss plug is showing.

More makers marks "74 Gold"
74 may be the bin # where it was kept.

If a Silver Bell is missing this part of its tone ring, it sounds awful.

"74" etched here as well

Ser # is here, cannot get a pic to show it clearly

Also in the mute spoon

Rim assembled with Remo non frosted head.
Cleaned, polished and waxed.
Now back to the neck

GP contact cement will be the adhesive, applied to both the fingerboard and the bottom side of the blocks.

3 hours in clamps

Cleaned up and ready to fret

Stewmac 147 wire

Clamps cracked the old thin celluloid her on the tail, I will cure this.

Got most of it back in, and the rest I am making with #20 Cyano, Amber tint.

Neck finish removed and clear being reapplied, about 4 coats total after sanding.

Final finish completed and buffed
 Fret work completed and polished


Now to find out what tuning and finish the setup.

DR Banjo Strings - Made in U.S.A.
Furnished by

Tailpiece buffed and coated with Nikolas Brass Lacquer

To remove mute spoon:
Untighten that one tension hook and remove spoon
Make sure "Nib" (with the ball in it) is tight on the shaft.

Last thing, add detail to the inlay markers. I used an acrylic that emulates stained glass. It goes on opaque then becomes translucent.

You can see it reddening on the #1 as I do the #2 block

All cured and strung to pitch, sounds real good to my ear, plenty of volume and brightness.
She is ready to get packed to go and make music, I hope the outcome is pleasing and it has been another fun challenge.
Happy Birthday Blair!