Visit Walnut Valley Festival




View vintagewells' Homepage


View vintagewells' Homepage

Read vintagewells' Bio

Contact vintagewells

You must sign into your myHangout account in order to contact vintagewells.

Playing Since: 2004

Experience Level: Purty Good

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: retired

Gender: Female

Age: 75

My Instruments:
no name aluminum rim Asian banjo - reworked, and set up to be purty good
Little Bear - my own creation
Sleeping Beauty - another of my own creations
36 bracket fretless
Cookie tin banjo
Slingerland tenor
Squirrel Head - another Asian Aluminum rim banjo with a walnut rim insert

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Stanley Brothers
Benny Martin
Don Reno
Red Smiley

Classified Rating: not rated
Rate this Member

Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 8/27/2006
Last Visit 8/28/2015


Latest Blog Entry

1890 Banjo Project

Saturday, December 1, 2007 @6:05:27 PM

Over a year and a half ago, our friend Don asked if $40 was too much to bid on a banjo at an auction.  AGH!
Since that time I have been trying to educate him as to when $40 is too much....
One thing I said was the more brackets the better - with reference to a 8 or 9 as compared to 20 - 24.
Well Thursday, he called saying he had bought a banjo at the auction and it had 38 brackets and since he remembered me saying that more is better...he paid $50 for it.
So after gulping down dinner and driving over we purchaced the banjo for $100, which I felt was a more than fair price.
It is a project banjo, The neck is not original, and has a slight bow. The first four frets have been filed flush, and the top four or five removed. The scale is 25" and the neck shows evidence of having been shortened at the heel.
The remaining frets above the 12th have been replaced and are pulling up. Since they are set directly into the neck, no fretboard. there is no problem - just remove them and put it a fretboard!
I don't know what the neck is made of. It is not maple, and considering the age, it has held up very well. There is a minor crack alongside the 5th string nut, but it isn't going to be a problem as it will be covered with a new fretboard.

There is also a minor crack at the back of the heel, but it is shallow and does not go through the neck. When I removed the neck from the rim, there was clear evidence that it was not original. There is a screw hole in the heel and none in the rim. The neck has been shortened by removing material from around the dowel and carving out the notch for the head/tension hoop. The hole for the dowel was cut out at the bottom to allow for the lowering of the neck  relative to the rim. This was, I believe, a compensation for the slight bow. I believe the missing frets on the heel end indicate that it was intended to be a clawhammer open back.

If you look at the spun over metal, it has buckled from the pressure of 38 brackets. i've been told that this is common. The metal is rolled over the wood at both the top and the bottom. The wood is bent maple.

When I removed the brackets, all 38 of them..... I noticed that the head had a small hole in it from where the bracket  touched it. Each bracket has a nasty point on it from being cut that should have been filed down. I have to get a picture of one to post.

The bracket shoes are the hexagonal style. I haven't found any info on them and would appreciate any comments. There seem to be three or four that are not original, but do not match one another. One has to look closely to see the differences. There seem to be the same number of non-original brackets.

The Grover no tip bridge is very thin and the string grooves worn.  The head is an old Remo Weatherking, frosted top. The logo is smaller than modern logos. The Tailpiece is an Elite,and is marked pat'd Sep't 17, '95. This one differs from the  one shown on Mugwumps page in that it has prongs on the bottom which initially hold the strings, instead of balls. It does have the balls across the top.

The tuners are most likely Grover Sta-tites. They appear to be in fine working order. The two on the bass side of the peghead appear to be of larger diameter than the ones on the treble side.???? did someone have the idea that  that   would work better? The 5th works smoothly and matches the others.

There is absolutely no inlay, position markers or any ornaments/ makers marks, or anything to indicate where the rim and neck were made. Tuners, bridge, head, and tailpiece are identifiable, as mentioned.

since this appears to be a Frankenbanjo, I view this as a rescue project, rather than a restoration. I can do pretty much what i want with it without decreasing it's value.

I plan to make it an openback for clawhammer.

Even with the ru

4 comments vintagewells' Blog Archive

Recent Forum Posts

Rate the avatar above you Part 12 (1714 days ago)
Answer a Question with a Question / Part 40 (1717 days ago)
THIS OR THAT GAME Part 4 (1721 days ago)
Enter Your Completely Pointless Comment Here (1721 days ago)
Find all non-archived posts by vintagewells


Train Enthusiast Pickers
Pick what you made
Aluminum Rim Outcasts
Arizona Banjo Enthusiasts
The Thrifty Banjo
HeliX Banjo Enthusiasts
Hide Heads
Banjo Head Decoration


vintagewells has 372 friends. View entire friends list.

Ks_5-pickerPlayers Union Member
Just Bill
Just BillPlayers Union Member
frailinPlayers Union Member
mainejohnPlayers Union Member


Click for Details

 Ken LeVan posted forum topic '12" banjo scale length' 8/16/2017 5:59:27 PM

Click for Details

 DeanT replied to topic 'I survived the 300 post game Part 41' 8/16/2017 4:06:03 PM

Click for Details

 Cornflake replied to topic 'Fitch Banjos' 8/16/2017 3:11:25 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic 'High Blood Pressure' 8/16/2017 3:00:30 PM

Click for Details

 5stringJim replied to topic 'Bishline "Woody" vs. Traditional Tone Ring Sound Comparison' 8/16/2017 1:38:37 PM

Click for Details

 Forrest replied to topic 'Fitch Banjos' 8/16/2017 1:36:51 PM

Click for Details

 Emiel replied to topic 'Fitch Banjos' 8/16/2017 1:08:52 PM

Click for Details

 RODNEYJOHNSON replied to topic 'August 16th Thought of the day.' 8/16/2017 1:00:08 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic 'An Aspiring Banjo Player?' 8/16/2017 12:39:56 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic '1981 JD Crowe model original photos before shipping' 8/16/2017 12:25:34 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic 'RIP Glen Campbell' 8/16/2017 12:24:07 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic 'amber tuning pegs' 8/16/2017 12:22:20 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic 'Banjos and their "problems"...' 8/16/2017 12:18:43 PM

Click for Details

 mike gregory replied to topic 'Yankee in Toronto' 8/16/2017 12:15:35 PM

Click for Details

 TOMCAT replied to topic 'New Fingerpicks from Randall Wyatt!' 8/16/2017 12:15:21 PM

Browse History >

Music (45 files)

Newest Photos

View All Photos

You are not logged in.
Log In

Not a member? Create an Account (FREE!)


Viewing desktop version - switch to mobile version