Banjo Museum
Guthrie Oklahoma


I had so many people ask me about this project that I am happy to be involved in, so I thought I would pick out a really nice one, and show you what it, and the rest of these are going through.
I have contracted with the Museum to do some cleanups, on a collection that they received.
myself, along with some other Luthiers and Craftsmen, will share the load, and try to get them ready for presentation soon, for your viewing pleasure.

Paramount E #305

I chose this one because it is a great example of an early Paramount E plectrum.
It's serial number of 305 is one off from another one I have here that belongs to the Museum, a Paramount C
I will take some pics of it as well
That would mark the first time I have ever worked on sequential serial numbers at once, that's cool, and both being such "near prototype" Lange's, that's neat to me as well
I am so busy doing them, I will not show any more full sequence shots, this one will be the most extensive, and some will just be complete shots.
I hope you plan to visit the Museum, if you have never seen it, you owe it to yourself if you are a lover of 4 string banjo.

Tyler Jackson was in from his latest tour with Ray Price, and I stopped in at Denton to get him to go up with me, and have some fun.

After I dropped him off, then I arrived at the Haven.

The car was plum full of Banjos!

After 14 hours in the saddle, I really didn't want to think ANY MORE!

So in the morning, I got them all organized, and my workstations ready for mass production.

My Brother Greg, is handling the disassembly and cataloging any odd things, or missing things, so we get a good handle on the true condition of each banjo.

And as they go together,Tyler is dropping in and testing them for me.
We are trying to make them all as playable as possible, with just setups, and no restoration at this time.

A typical cleanup/setup

All banjos will have a list if things to check over, from my estimate sheets

First I will use a non water based cleaner to remove the big dirt each time, then on to the buffer and waxing

The Holly always sucks in when the washers are really compressed

nice MOP's on Friction's.

These were used only on early Lange XXX's and some Super Orpheums I have seen, and I guess on the earliest Paramount's

3 in total

I think the "E" is my favorite of the " Letter: series Paramounts, the white Holly is attractive as is the unusual carvings

All wood cleaned , buffed and Waxed, Hardware is hand polished, you will lose all of your old gold when production buffing.
now on nickel banjos, I will get after them!

Nice Veneers abound on the E

Original plating is really quite good, these tend to really degrade

All small parts getting soaked in a strong solution, to remove old crap

The wood has 2 coats of Renaissance Wax, the premium hard wax for antiques, as far as I am concerned
It  never yellows
Museums worldwide use it on many fine pieces

Low crown head works on this model.
notice it has a lag bolt for the neck to attach, not the regular fancy Paramount attachment, with the L bracket.
This is more like Orpheum for sure.

Cleaned up nicely, and is well protected

The oldest Para tailpiece, quite functional

Just beautiful with the multi veneers.


I do Power buff the fingerboard, and the woodwork.
This is my wheel for frets/fingerboards

Then some oil with premium Stew Mac oil
Rosewood loves this!

My soft buff for the woodwork, and a little Carnuba to keep things slick

It also was missing all of its flange retaining washers, I happened to have 6 and donated them to this instrument, I thought it proper for it to be as good as I can get it .

I also swapped the newer bridge for an original para i had here.
hey, these should look right if possible!

Really sweet Friction's with the nice MOP buttons

Sounds nice and clear, really Ragtime like

Ready to go in the case, and on to the next one!
Wish I could show them all to you like this, but,...........I can't!

Really nice banjo, its been fun to work with it.