Interesting example, one has not passed thru my shop of this style

All original hardware with original skin head
Some playing wear

Resonator and Neck have been refinished in the distant past with a Varnish that is completely degraded and checking

Resonator has veneers lifting all over the back and could benefit from sealing and a fresh finish

The neck as well could use a real finish, and i se now that it needs a treble side celluloid binding so it may be a good time to suggest extra work
Planet tuners were added later, it came with Grovers by the old hole patterns

Unlike other Van Eps with the hole in the head, and a moon hubcap internal resonator, this is a removable resonator and the flanges are on the rim itself
Torsion rod neck adjuster
Archring is on top of stanchions

This banjo is one of only a few in its time to use the new space age metal, Aluminum
It is used on the neck adjuster, the tailpiece and spacer


Van Eps is one of the coolest tailpieces ever

The archring is bent on purpose in the front, to make clearance for the TP

All interesting hardware

Archring is designed to fit snugly on a land with a backstop on top of the stanchions
That device, hard to tell what it was for, it is only an anchor  for the stanchion but all others are screws.

Original plaque

Aluminum spacer

All hooks are set in the rim at this angle but it does not affect the tightening, it is by design


Rim finish is original and will be cleaned buffed and waxed
Hardware will be machine buffed and waxed

There is the pic showing how ring must rest in the stanchions to set correctly

Skirt is a perfect fit, excellent latheing


4pc flanges, retained on rim top by wood screws


3 plates where the neck attachment hits, better than many designs.

Hex nuts imbedded into the rim, to retain the stanchions and hide under rim skirt

Hardware buffed and waxed

Sealing the rim top only with fresh finish

Ready to assemble rim



Now it is time to think neck and resonator

Finish is shot and the wood could be better protected


Stripping the bad finish

Before stripping the resonator I sealed all of the spider cracks in the veneer.
The trick I use is secret on the sealing, I will tell you how I did it if you ask me though!
You do not want to melt varnish into the cracks before doing the seal job so now I am stripping it.

Varnish and sealer lifting

That's much better, ready to put down a sealer coat of shellac before Nitrocellulose finish

Nice to see the true colors of the marquetry

Sealing inside with a coat of shellac

Adding the missing binding

Scarping to profile

Trimming to height

After smoothing, 0000 steel wool to burnish things back down

Ready for finish

Adding in the black lines that said "Van Eps" the graving wax is for this procedure, it fills back in the graved lines after stripping

Now adding clear coats and using Solar power to dry.
It will be much more handsome now, Dad can be proud.




My friend Leo at IMGB tells me the little device is where the original adjusting tool lived!
Thanks Leo!

Revitalized fingerboard with Tung oil

String Gauges

Choosing a better bridge

Added new felt to the resonator



Banjo plays well, with Very good tone
Its a solid design and it has been a pleasure to have it in my shop
Thanks for watching,Vinnie

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