Customized for Josh and Whitney Cox
1920's Wm.Lange Banjo Uke
New premium Calf Skin head
New inlay in fingerboard
Side marker dots
Custom "MAC" inlay on Peghead
Soprano scale - AECG
Uke is in VG condition for
Several older repairs over
the last 80 + yrs, all stable
Frets are already
replaced and VG
Pulling all of the brass
I will go with a standard
look for Lange Paramount
banjos, which on the "A" model, is slanted diamonds.
Hearts just are not
cool to be for a boy's instrument
I am setting them to as
close to lerfect depth as possible, so I have little to do after
With frets in place, you cannot level them all at once
All in and sealed, a coat
of dye , 10 min dry
Cleaning the top of the binding to see the
Now to fill these holes
and "Banner Blue" will go to "No Banner Black"
Time for side markers
Now to strip old finish and go forth
Decided red was not going
to work on the mahogany, so will go with a Gibson style Sunburst.
Since it has blue binding
and center laminate this is more appropriate
Stamping in his I.D., my
init's and the year
Tint coats shot, getting
ready for clear
A little color on the dowel
After buffing and before cleaning
Showing the brass hearts are the same as the skirt cut outs,
probably all stamped at once with the same die.
After rim work, polished/waxed, ready for head.
Copper ring is "self centering" but you have to watch it as you
tighten because it is also "Self un-centering" and you can keep
it in line with your fingers.
These heads are from the U.K., and the top of the line calfskin,
I only use them on important things.
Nice and thin, pressed and polished, the U.K. has been hit hard
by "Mad cow", they were our #1 source .
I have a few pigeon-holed for special projects.
Heads like this can last 100s of years if treated properly.
I used all new hooks since the old ones are ugly.
This makes for a much better look with old plating that
otherwise is still nice.
Now to get the inlay cut for the peghead, some more clear coats on the wood,
and it will be ready to assemble.
I'm hoping for a Christmas time frame.
I had some "Vega" inlays from the 1950's i my stock and I will
use a few of them creatively, to get what I want.
A little trimming on the 2 V's, and the G, and I'll have it.
Now for some borders
Nothing too fancy, dots and flourishes, now to get them
Dentist burrs for the outline and downcut burr for the bulk
I changed my inlay pattern (what's new) and now that I have
removed them after scribing, I will cut the cavities.
Setting the pearl
Scuffed off, that's the general look now.
After tint, a little amber to yellow up the pearl makes the
finish appear older.
next, just clear coats for a couple days
As with all vintage production banjos, no effort was made to
make all inlay perfectly in line and I follow that tradition
when I work on stuff like this from the past.
They were always pushed and little differences were of no
So I gofst and without a lot of marking out placements and to
me, it always looks more like it was done then.
Pearl is hard to photo and it always looks better in person.
All back together, ready to string up
Resonator hardware I formed works good enough and the back will
It does not have to come off for head adjustment
Set up Soprano Uke
This means the bottom string (closest in the pic) is a higher
They call it the "My Dog has Fleas" tuning
If there was a Low G there, it would have a bassier sound.
Either will work for GCEA tuning.
Plenty on the web as far as hearing the sound and tuning with
digital tuner, is easy once you get used to it.
Ok , it is all tuned up and ready to head over to Josh and
Whitney so that Mac can have it for Christmas.
Play's nicely, neat little tone for sure, nice and clean but not
If he is half as good of a kid as his mama, he is worth the
I hope he gets some fun out of it and helps me to keep banjo's
(and Banjo Uke's) alive.!
Thanks for watching