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Oct 9, 2019 - 5:45:14 PM
66 posts since 9/19/2005

I have this damage to the inlay on my Stelling Sunflower. Geoff says he can fix it when I have fretwork done with him. I don’t think the banjo currently needs any fret work. Geoff says he would drill it out and replace it. He would also do the engraving. I’d love to have Geoff do this work but I’m leery about mailing banjo cross country. There are some good luthiers in my area. I haven’t checked to see if they could do this work. Thanks for any feedback. Pat

Oct 9, 2019 - 5:59:43 PM
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Alex Z


3637 posts since 12/7/2006

No need to send the entire banjo.  Just the neck, without the tuners.

Can put it in a piece of PVC pipe or other indestructible mailing tube.

Oct 9, 2019 - 6:25:19 PM

500 posts since 5/19/2018

Or you can have Geoff send you the inlay, which I am sure he would be glad to do, and you can have a local reputable luthier do the work.

If it was me, I would rather have Stelling do the work. Guarantees a perfect job. Sending just the neck as above, in PVC is the best option for shipping.

Oct 9, 2019 - 8:04:35 PM

14806 posts since 2/7/2003

Knowing Geoff I would expect he would NOT send just the inlay, Geoff considers every banjo he has made his family, and I would not think he would send an inlay with HIS name on it for some unknown to work with.

By all means send just the neck have the work done perfectly by the man who made it, yu wont regret it ever


Oct 10, 2019 - 11:51:19 AM

66 posts since 9/19/2005

Thanks for all your input. I hadn’t thought about just sending the neck. I do want Geoff to do the work because it would be perfect and authentic. I’ll follow up with him on possibly just sending the neck. Although I’ve had the banjo a year and may just send it in for setup. Thanks again!

Oct 10, 2019 - 8:52:22 PM

843 posts since 8/7/2017

Geoff has setup instructions (they were included with my Bellflower back in '87, also online). I personally would not like to ship a banjo a long distance: My new banjo was wrecked during shipping from builder to dealer (dealer dealt with it). Then the shipping from dealer (repaired banjo) to me was scary- the box arrived and had 2 big holes in it, looked like fork-lift forks. I had a choice of accepting package or rejecting it, (shipping company would not let me open box to check for damage). I accepted it and opened it at home with trepidation - the forks, if that's what they were, straddled the neck, and nothing was damaged. Both the builder and dealer had Lots of experience shipping banjos, so there was nothing wrong with them.

Several stories on BHO where shipping company refused or delayed payment for insured damage they caused, so buying extra insurance is no panacea.

So, I'd ship the neck only, per above recommendations, and handle the setup locally. There are lots of setup experts here on BHO, so you'd have access to good advice if you got in a bind.

Hope this helps.

Edited by - BrooksMT on 10/10/2019 20:54:07

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