Posted by skoobee on Monday, April 19, 2010
So some time ago I acquired a Clifford Essex Plectrum Banjo out of Grandads loft. The current post-holder of Grandad decided he'd like to learn Plectrum Banjo, and as I've been busy frailing, I left repairs to him.
The varnish is in a shocking state, the Nickel plate is pretty pitted and rough but we've replaced the torn vellum with a Fybreskin head, replaced the bridge, put on a set of Nickel strings, and replaced the string winders. I've also removed as much of the 1960's varnish and enamel paint as I dare.
When the original coating started to wear, dear old Grandpa got out a tin of Ronseal and slobbered it all over the neck and headstock (quick drying varnish, just in case no-one knows what I'm talking about!) covering most of the inlays to the extent that he then went around with some enamel paint, re-painting the inlays and the 'Regal'
Honestly, people have been flogged for less!
I've done what I can and advised current Grandpa as best I can regarding parts and replacements, on the 'do no harm' principle.
And it sure is a sweet sounding instrument!
It looks 'lived in' but sounds like the day it was made, I'm sure. Maybe, one day, when we've got some disposable income, we'll send it away to get it professionally re-varnished and re-plated (fret-wire needs replacing too!) but until then, it's a sweet sound and current Grandpa (when he eventually makes it back from the states!) is enjoying learning too much to let it out of his sight.
Anyway, I finally posted some pictures - take a look.
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