The banjo on the left is a Bart Reiter Standard, circa 1985, that I'm borrowing from a friend. The banjo on the right was made by Dave Godwin of Mountain Home, Idaho. It's a beaut.
Paul Gorman Says:
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 @8:49:00 PM
I am working on a Orpheum #1 for a friend who just received it as a gift. It looks like an early 1900s piece to me because of the extra fine inlay work. The serial # is 6506. I know the tenors started with 3000, presumably in 1903. Do you have a serial number and date for yours?
Also, the dowel stick brace is missing the wedges. Do you have the wedges, and could you tell me the dimensions (length, width at each end, thickness) and possibly the type of wood?
Thursday, September 25, 2008 @8:51:51 AM
Good morning, Paul,
The serial number on the dowel stick of my Orpheum #1 is 4566. I remember trying
to find a date over the web for that number a year or two ago, but it appears
that precise Orpheum manufacturing records don't exist. Is that what you are
finding? For some reason I had the impression that my instrument was made in the
1915-1920 period, but I can't remember why I think that.
Re: the dowel stick wedges... Interestingly, my banjo was missing them when I
bought it - because of that, it just wouldn't play in tune. So several years ago
a luthier friend of mine from Oakland (across the Bay from you!) put in two
~1.4"-long rectangular shafts. I assume these are what you are referring to.
Just looking at them, I can't tell if they're made of wood or of metal. The
dimensions of the rectangle (semi-eyeball measurement with a ruler) is
approximately 0.25" x 0.125".
This is a very nice little instrument. I put a Rennaissance head on it last
year, which I think improved the sound even more.
Hope this helps.
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