BARRY GRANT's WORKPAGE
STROMBERG MARIMBA


Chas A.Stromberg and Son
Boston Mass.
Circa late 20s - early 30's
Transitional banjo.
Subcontracted parts were Vega/Lange at this time
Hardware is -In House/Waverly/King
Cuppophone Tone rings are proprietary to Stromberg
Early thin flange (Lange made)
Maple neck, tinted
Rosewood back resonator with double rings (Deluxe pattern)
Maple sidewall with Faux Rosewood finish


INITIAL PICS

Orig Case is poor shape , broken hinge but latches work

Banjo came from an friend that sold me my first Deluxe
Thanks John Di.



This is the last of the Vega necks, and the more rare of all of the peghead shapes.
Inlay is fair, neck relief is good without tension
I will put on new binding with side markers, frets and refinish


Waverly reverse geared tuners, missing one screw

Maple on neck was reddened a bit to get a rosewood look.
I will go redder than this to match the back a little better.




It took a big hit in its life
Flange is crumpled up, this will take some heat and flattening
Very thin brass, it has to be worked slowly.



It took it all of the top lip of the resonator as well.
Only a shard left standing
The entire topside must be leveled and a new lip made, with new marquetry.




Note:
Like most Stromberg's the white on the topside of the sidewall marquetry is removed so there is no white outside line.
I will replicate this with the new Marquetry

Dis-assembly





Arch ring is brazed to Cuppo on this one.,


Rim refinish completed



I like the top dark so it pops with clear and opaque heads









King armrest had a weird mount on it, will fix that
Somebody epoxied a peg back on instead of solder, its holding just fine


Correct mounts installed, all is well.


Original Waverly Tailpiece  with Stromberg impressed into it was broken (common)
Replacement Waverly was used, (also broken)
All because they did not know how to keep it adjusted (Common)
I have placed the top of the orig in the case pocket to go along with it.
Came in with 11" head, this is the proper 10-15/16"
Remo, furnished by Bedford Banjo Shop









Catching a few more dents with my flattening pliers.
I have it looking OK again








Found all of the correct pieces to finish off the hardware, this is all from Stromberg.
The  neck attachment screw was gone, and the resonator hardware nuts and screws were as well.
Good to go now, all Stromberg.
I will have to buy another Waverly if someone wants me to Stamp it "Stromberg" I can.
If not, we can put a much better tailpiece on it.

RESONATOR








Will remove all vestiges of the top and make it nice and flat




You can see here how they took the top white section completely off of the marquetry


One piece for the junk drawer


Separated to get the work done on both pieces



Both parts cleaned, seams sealed, ready for reattachment


Now to make the binding channels clean


No one in the USA had this marquetry but me as far as I know.
A big THANKS to Dr. Mash over outside of Tokyo Japan, he is a Stromberg brother and ordered this for some of his projects and was kind enough to share some with me.
It will feel good to get this ugliness hidden!




Rolling it on, a little at a time


After removal of the topside and a shot of reddish brown to show it
Now to rebuild the top lip


Time compressed, a few places to seal on up and then some color



Marquetry tinted to appear older
Basically how it will look when finished, a decent save thanks to Mash!


Other side completed


First inside coat completed.


Now for a tint on the top lip and move to the inside to finish that up before all the clear coats.

NECK Remove warp (Backward pull)
Rebind-Ivoroid, with side dots
Refret with 147 wire



Pull frets


Seal slots


The neck spent too many years with no tension and developed a warp. A "bow" is when the neck pulls forward under tension






I am heating it and a Paramount that has a bow in it at the same time, I will get them to 150 ib the oven and pull them, and then keep a heat gun on them.
I will attempt to move them past flat , then when they cool I hope that springback is reduced.
You are not really heating wood for movement , you are heating to soften the hide glue and hope to relax the assembly.


I used my small drill bit for weight on the Para. and the Stromberg neck is pulled into a forward pull by clampage.


New fret slots, then binding
Taking the bulk off the top
All that powder is highly explosive.


After stripping, sealer and first tint coat


Second tint coat and clear coats.



Fretted and sealed, with side dots


I will put it back in the clamps and hold it flat each day so that when its time to put tension, it will be ready for it.
After that, I will level the wire, too soon at this juncture.

ASSEMBLY



Tuners lubed and missing screw replaced.
I will cherish the thought of the look on Barry's face every time he goes to tune the Waverly's
Reverse gearing will mess with the mind like directional Klusons :)









Neck buffed and tuners installed, resonator completed.
NOTE:
Strung with 4 .040's to pull on the neck overnight since it went back a little
I call this "Cabling".

I tuned all 4 to an even pitch once I got the tension up high.
I kept it at 100 F all night and now it is ready to pull down, level and crown/polish frets and setup on DR's






FINAL PICS




Setup on REMO Renaissance Head and DR Strings U.S.A.
Furnished by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Tailpiece is Prewar Presto
Vegaphone Professional
Boston Mass.
I figure until we get an original or make a repro, a tailpiece that came from a few blocks away, and where the Stromberg's worked part time is as "Fitting" as it gets.


New Basic bridge for setup

















I will allow things to settle in and do more setup work
Banjo is playing well on a good action up and down.
I want resonator to cure longer before final wet sanding and buffing.





MORE TO FOLLOW