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Open-back Restoration

Posted by Banjo Mountain on Friday, May 16, 2008

I just recently bought an old open-back banjo at a flea-market. It is an old "Harmony/Sears-Roebuck" style pot banjo with the name Holiday on the peghead. I bought it for a good price, took it home and began restoring it. I removed all the old crusty strings and cleaned the fingerboard. After that, I used simichrome polish to clean the tailpiece, armrest, tension hoop, and tuners. I removed the tuners and sanded the peghead. I did not like the cheap look of the peghead, so I painted it a semi-gloss black. To finish the peghead off, I put a simple star inlay(actually a decal) in the center of the peghead. It now looks like a real old-time banjer. Before I put the banjo back together, I adjusted the head to the correct tension, set the tailpiece, installed a new geared fifth-string tuner, and cleaned up the milldewed neck. This banjo plays really well now and makes a great lightweight camping or clawhammer banjo.

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