of Ginny Luetje
Because of her...The banjo lives on
note on banjo repair...
We are needing young faces in the repair business as well so if any of you kids want to know about the repair of banjo and banjo related instruments feel free to contact me.
I have many examples of repairs as well as banjo building listed on my restoration page at the link below.
Very early Montana, Round Hole Flanged
Repair as needed to make playable and look decent as well
She's pretty tired
Heavy wear on Fboard, cracked bindings
Finish wore off, well played upon instrument
Plain back, pre-celluloid
Heavy oxidation and dirt on instrument
Celluloid crazing on peghead and heel cap
1 lug broken from flange, all orig screws missing
Instrument has chrome plating on flange
rim and neck have been refinished several times, possibly once by Bacon
Shoes and screws are still nickel plated
Heel contact OK
Grover 2:1 pancake tuners
Heavy crazing on both sides of peghead celluloid
3 collars, one is missing, I should have something
All binding needs replacement
Montana is not on the dowel on this early model
rust on the nickel plated parts
Rim celluloid is OK, needs cleaning
Needs frets and fingerboard detailing
In a line of Bacon, looks like a breakfast buffet
I will talk to Mike about a battle plan
Pulling old wire for replacement
Guard dog earning his pay.
Under that ugly old varnish is a white ivoroid peghead overlay, Im going to have to be brave and go real slow...
... but I think I can get it off and leave all my graving lines
I will place 5 or six more coats of clear over it and the neck
All the old varnish removed, leaving just enough of the old gravings to recolor, that was close
Leveling around the fret slots, the celluloid is worn but serviceable, and I will work with what I have
The varnish is always crystallized , it comes off in shards
and when it is sprayed over celluloid it can ruin it easily
Even after I got down to the bottom you can see where it crazed so deeply it will never go away
I will seal this right now and call it as far as i can go" depth wise.
I have a method that will seal it off and when I get some color back into the gravings I can make it look nice , but with patina
It's a necking party with no "spin the bottle"..... "_"
removing the rest of the varnish with profile sanders
Ready for frets and finish
Frets all in and sealed, ready to level
Leveled, polished and crowned
I will get some finish over the neck and work on the peghead overlay next
Hardware machine buffed, all missing pieces , I had in stock
I have pulled the last to lugs from the flange where the thumbscrews go in to hold on the resonator.
I will use the more modern parts to mount it
I have added threaded collars into the rim and made thumbscrews to match them
That is a much more positive mount, no more broken lugs
Installed the new Remo Renaissance, my favorite synthetic head if it cannot be calfskin, I want these
I have a coat of sealer on the neck for now.
I will remove the old yellowed varnish and take away a little of the buckle rash, but there will still be some stains and patina, it is white holly and once stained, its stained.
That's light sandpaper, 320# I am only scuffing away the last of the old varnish to shoot on some sealer
Back and neck taking on finish
I use a specific type of acrylic that is meant for another purpose but I discovered that its very light opacity gave an opportunity to create a nice near original look for certain restos
As you can see it goes on opaque but as it dries it gains clarity and is transparent
You can see the peghead changing color now as I move down the board
After this dries a second color will be applied
The purple and the red will end up as a nice maroon although it looks as if that will not be the case! LOL
See it changing colors now.....
A good shot to show the clarity of the Acrylic after curing and a coat of clear to protect it
I think it gives a nice look and it is the best product I have found to give the old look with a modern compound.
The crazed up heel and peghead reverse will receive the same
Then 2 more coats of clear and the neck will be buffed and final assembly can begin
New geared tuners installed
Strung to pitch, and settling in for final adjustments
All polished up and ready to go
Banjo plays with the nice clear tone that Silver Bell
is known for, and I hope its new owner gets many years of pleasure and
that it can carry him or her down the road of pleasure that these instruments
have brought others over the last 100 or so years.
It's been fun to be a part of helping keep banjo alive and I know that Mike feels the same as I do .
THANKS GINNY..........we love you
Now it will be up to Don and Joe to take it the next step.
MIKE VIGNOLA and VINNIE MONDELLO
Presented to Kyle
Letter from Don Dempsey
Mike and Vinnie-
Thought you might like to see the happy face of Kyle
after he received your awesome gift yesterday.
Thanks again from all 16 members of the STL BandJos Youth Band. Your kindness will be forever remembered.
STL BandJos Youth Banjo Band
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