Hi vintage Gold Star lovers,
Here I attach a picture of the tooling used for 1981 Gold Star JD Crowe model engraving. I also prepared a felt wheel on Dremel, masking tape, and abrasive compound for mirror and mat finish. After engraving process, tension hoops and arm rests were sent to a plating shop and processed thick copper platting. Copper plating parts had frosted surface. The area to have mirror finish surface was polished masking the rest of area. Completed parts were sent to Tokai. These were all I did for JD Crowe models. Saga outsourced the later JD Crowe models to other builder in Japan.
Playing Since: 1973
Experience Level: Purty Good
Occupation: Automobile engineer
Banjo: '77 Gold Star GF100 prototype #2 & #3(3 Prototypes were made and Saga has #1), '78 GF100-HF, '80 GF100HF,
Flatt & Scruggs, Reno & Smiley, Tom Adams, JD Crowe, Bill Keith, Ben Eldridge, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, Jack Hicks
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Last Visit 5/29/2019
When I was around 12 years old, I was fascinated by the banjo sound from The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. I bought my first banjo (Tokai made) when I was attending university. In 1977, I went to work for a banjo manufacturer to help develop best sounding banjo. , I was fortunate to have a chance to develop new banjo called Gold Star GF series. I left the banjo company and joined an automobile company in Japan but continued to support the banjo company on the weekends. In 1981, Tokai started Gold Star JD Crowe model production. This was my last role with Tokai. I helped produce this banjo by doing the engraving and gold burnish finishing process. I moved to the United States in 2001 to support our American Automotive Plant in Ohio. I worked in the Engineering Department for 4 years and then returned to Japan in 2005. For the past 7 years, I have been traveling back and forth from Japan to the United States to support our Automotive Plants in Ohio and Georgia. I spend around 3 to 4 months each trip. Recently, I have been developing new Tone Rings. The trial Tone Rings have finished lathe process and are waiting evaluation.
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