MIKE VIGNOLA'S
B&D MONTANA #1
Ser# 13373
Circa 1924
 



 THIS BANJO WILL BE DONATED TO
 "STL Bandjos Youth Band"
 

In memory of  Ginny Luetje
Because of her...The banjo lives on

http://www.stlouisbanjoclub.org/STL_Bandjos.html

A 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.

http://4stringbanjos.com/Restorations/RestorationPage/Resto.html
Vinnie



 INITIAL PICS

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


DISASSEMBLY

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



Repairs


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

 c


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



FINGERBOARD / OVERLAY DETAIL


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


FINAL ASSEMBLY


New geared tuners installed
Strung to pitch, and settling in for final adjustments


All polished up and ready to go



FINAL PICS


 
 

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



 
BANJO ARRIVES
1-13

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.

Donald Dempsey
314-842-0188
C: 314-952-0646
dldempsey@earthlink.net
STL BandJos Youth Banjo Band


 

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