Restoration Page

Jackie's Gibson TB1
Ball Bearing tone ring
Initial pics

Near original banjo in fair condition
Tailpiece incomplete, missing cover
Plating is fair- recommend cleaning 

Worn finish

Board needs dressing then new fret wire


We are going with refinish-frets-tuners-head-strings-bridge-setup CGDA

Fret slots dry and degraded, no retention.
I will rebuild them now that the old wires are out

Leveling fingerboard

Fretting with 147 Stewmac Banjo wire

Sealing with #10 cyano for maximum tonal output, a common practice on vintage boards.

Batch # 45 stamped in heel

After FON# here

And in the heel recess.

Someone etched in a SSN# I will fill it with #20 black cyano and hide it in the new rim tint

Rim bottom de-lamination sealed, ready for medium brown tint.

Fretwork completed, oiling the board until it is revitalized

Enlarging holes for new 4:1 Gotoh tuners with aged nickel process.
Tuners will come from
Bob is my go to source for good banjo parts.

All peghead edge rebuilt, sealed and now smoothing for re-dye

Fiebigs applied and ready to clean inlay and add clear coats

3 stage tint on neck, Gibson style to "Fancy up" the paint as requested!
The upper tint is on higher end Gibson's of the day and the upper fade helps hide the filled holes from old tuner screw holes.

Taking on Mohawk Classic Instrument Lacquer and now the colors are starting to pop.
Rim was cleaned- lightly stained and clear applied, 4 coats.
It should not lose its Patina completely, its a vintage Gibson.
I will clean up the metalwork whilst the wood takes on finish..

Neck finish complete, waiting on head.
10-1/2 is not common, I spec ordered it  


One of the issues it has is that the neck notch is designed for a low crown skin head and with the Remo, it pulls down to the bottom of the notch.
This means that it will be jamming tighter and tighter, that is why the old head was broken on one side.
It was pinched in this neck joint and could no longer be evenly pulled.
I have had to relieve this in other brands so the modern head will do better..

1/8 reduction, chiseling the rest

The "vintage look" nickel tuners will match the old plating nicely.
I like the fact Bob carries these now for old restos.
Gotoh is the smoothest modern tuner in my book.
Go here for a look see, and other good things.

Will not use the rudimentary tailpiece with no cover to help down force.
I will use a 20s Waverly and an L bracket like on the Gibson's that come after this.
The other design is atrocious and I basically fiddled with it 2 hours before saying, "That's it" so I will give Jackie that time!
This is adjustable, easy to load and gives proper down force on the bridge

Now a final fret dressing and we will string her up

Leveled , crowned, polished

Last board oiling


Going together with its arch nemesis of the day, the Vega Whyte Laydie.

DR Strings and Remo Head provided by
Tuned CGDA
Aged tuners look just right for banjos that have aged plating

That is just a setup bridge, will refine one from a new blank for it.

This banjo has  a slight offset on the rod, that was from the factory.
This is what made the old tailpiece and the new one as well have to "Drift" a little to the treble side to line up the strings.

Setup on new bridge, playing very well with a nice low action.
If you wanted higher you would move to 9/16" bridge
Very good tone, I played it 2 hours which means I liked it!

She is ready to box up and go home.

New cleaning rag from George Banjos, strap, old tailpiece loaded up in pocket

Getting it secure in the large case, will wipe off the shop dust

ready to pack up and leave out.
Nice playing banjo
I thank Ms Jackie for her patience .
She suffered thru the "Shop move"!
Thanks for watching, Vinnie