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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Help ID old 5 string banjo


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/369253

JwallENC - Posted - 10/06/2020:  03:03:20


hello. Just picked up this old banjo. No markings. 38 brackets, 11" pot, about 23" neck, talon tailpiece. Came from the mountains of Virginia. the head looks kind of like a buckbee, but I have seen some other info about George Washburns using the talon tailpiece. Any thoughts appreciated.

how should I clean it up to keep it as original as possible, but playable?





 

Clifton Hicks - Posted - 10/06/2020:  03:55:02


The ubiquitous catalog Buckbee--probably the most commonly played banjo 1880-1920. The tailpiece, tuners, etc. were probably added later. I sell these periodically for $300-$500 depending on condition: youtu.be/8MIVzc74Ypg

JwallENC - Posted - 10/06/2020:  04:01:37


Thanks Clifton. Ironically I sent you the same question on patreon last night ! I have seen a bunch of Lyon and healy's with a similar look also.

Would a joel hooks bridge work nice here?

What should I use to clean wood and metal?

Bob Smakula - Posted - 10/06/2020:  04:23:06


The banjo is a low end Lyon & Healy. The telltale detail is the shoes. Their manufacturing technique was patented. They were made by producing a long bar with the shoes profile, then slicing off lengths for individual shoes, and other machining to get them to fit the banjo.

Though It is possible that Lyon and Healy could have sold the hardware to Buckbee, my call is the banjo was Chicago made, not New Your City.

Bob Smakula

Emiel - Posted - 10/06/2020:  04:30:55


The strings should be attached more like this:



JwallENC - Posted - 10/06/2020:  05:39:09


Thanks emiel. I know I need to replace those steel. What brand is recommended? I have no experience with nylgut. Or changing strings for that matter. This will be my first time

Emiel - Posted - 10/06/2020:  06:24:40


quote:

Originally posted by JwallENC

Thanks emiel. I know I need to replace those steel. What brand is recommended? I have no experience with nylgut. Or changing strings for that matter. This will be my first time






Nylguts are way too heavy compared to the period gut strings that were used (unless you're after the Nylgut sound). Better use La Bella No. 17 nylon banjo strings: 19 - 22 - 28 - 25w - 19.

spoonfed - Posted - 10/06/2020:  06:33:12


Another shout out for Labella 17s, I have them on an old Fairbanks Vega, perfect !

mike gregory - Posted - 10/06/2020:  06:38:29


Wow! I'm 3/4 of a century old, and that's the FIRST time I've ever seen a talon tailpiece.

JwallENC - Posted - 10/06/2020:  06:42:41


What I paid I figured was worth it just for the tailpiece

Joel Hooks - Posted - 10/06/2020:  06:47:12


quote:

Originally posted by JwallENC

Thanks emiel. I know I need to replace those steel. What brand is recommended? I have no experience with nylgut. Or changing strings for that matter. This will be my first time






La Bella 17s

JwallENC - Posted - 10/06/2020:  06:49:07


Joel, will reach out to you for a bridge. Heard about you via Clifton Hicks

Emiel - Posted - 10/06/2020:  10:30:28


quote:

Originally posted by JwallENC

Joel, will reach out to you for a bridge. Heard about you via Clifton Hicks






I've got Joel's "Morley" bridge. Excellent…

Clifton Hicks - Posted - 10/06/2020:  14:26:12


quote:

Originally posted by JwallENC

What should I use to clean wood and metal?






I wouldn't do anything other than brush off the dust and wipe a thin coat of oil over the wood. If I really wanted to cover up the wear spots in the fingerboard, I'd just carefully brush on a little bit of black India ink before letting that dry and the rubbing in a little oil.

Brett - Posted - 10/06/2020:  14:39:09


I have a bridge Joel made in a banjo I bought from him. It’s a fantastic bridge. And a well set up banjo to boot.

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