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Oct 19, 2020 - 7:42:28 AM
9 posts since 10/19/2020

I just picked up a vintage banjo from a local music store for dirt cheap. They didn't seem to know much about it, hence they sold it cheap. I did a bit of research on my own, and the headstock shape leads me to believe it may be a Buckbee. Am I correct or not so much? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Oct 19, 2020 - 7:46:46 AM
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9 posts since 10/19/2020

Here are a few pics




 

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:44:33 AM
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4758 posts since 3/22/2008

Look at the neck stabilizer attached to dowel inside rim. Does it fit down into grooves cut into the dowel? Or, does it just fit tightly against the dowel? That shape neck stabilizer was used by Oscar Schmidt Co. if grooves cut into dowel. That shape stabilizer was also used on Gretsch banjos but no grooves cut into dowel.

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:48:43 AM

9 posts since 10/19/2020

I believe it has grooves cut into it. I'll double check when i get home. Thanks for your help!

Oct 19, 2020 - 9:06:59 AM

9 posts since 10/19/2020

A few more pictures




 

Oct 19, 2020 - 10:57:47 AM
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231 posts since 8/11/2007

I love the hand carved thumb peg!

Just judging by the peg head shape, it looks more like the Oscar Schmidt shape than the Buckbee shape. And the tension shoes are not anything I've seen on a Buckbee before.

Oct 19, 2020 - 11:33:03 AM

9 posts since 10/19/2020

Awesome, thank you for your help! Is there anything else that i should look for in terms of identification?

Oct 19, 2020 - 11:52:11 AM
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216 posts since 1/26/2020

It definitely looks like something that many have described as a “catalogue banjo,” of the 1890s-1920s. They could be bought for $3-$10 as they were economically manufactured. I tell you what though, they sound and play better than some of the junk that’s out there today.
I played one in a music store in Galax, VA about a month back and man was it a treat.

Oct 19, 2020 - 12:01:26 PM

9 posts since 10/19/2020

Im definitely excited to get this thing playing again! Thanks guys for all your help! I would imagine that my best bet would be to string it up with Nylgut strings? Or would light gauge steel strings be alright? It has some pretty rusty steel ones on it now, however i would imagine it would have came with gut strings when it was new.

Oct 19, 2020 - 12:05:03 PM
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216 posts since 1/26/2020

I would suggest some LeBella #17s or some Nylgut 1B Medium Tension or 2B Light Tension strings.

Blaine

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:06:47 PM

9 posts since 10/19/2020

quote:
Originally posted by beezaboy

Look at the neck stabilizer attached to dowel inside rim. Does it fit down into grooves cut into the dowel? Or, does it just fit tightly against the dowel? That shape neck stabilizer was used by Oscar Schmidt Co. if grooves cut into dowel. That shape stabilizer was also used on Gretsch banjos but no grooves cut into dowel.


There are grooves cut into the dowel.  At a slight angle similar to a wedge. 

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:15:36 PM
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9 posts since 10/19/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Clifton Hicks

I love the hand carved thumb peg!

Just judging by the peg head shape, it looks more like the Oscar Schmidt shape than the Buckbee shape. And the tension shoes are not anything I've seen on a Buckbee before.


Thanks for the reply.  The only downfall to the thumb peg, is that it has worn out the peg hole over time, and it slips tuning.  I may have to fill and re-drill the hole to make it function properly.   I would really like to keep it as original  as possible,  but it needs a bit of work.  Im not quite sure about the tailpiece, it has six string spaces, and appears to be incorrect for the banjo.  Funny thing is I had watched a few of your YouTube videos vefore posting on this forum, and have since subscribed.   Your videos are informative and thorough,  which is much appreciated. Thank you!

Oct 19, 2020 - 9:30:14 PM
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55994 posts since 12/14/2005

Oh, leave the 6-string tailpiece on.
Like the 5th peg, it's not original, but it's part of the Mysterious Past of the instrument.

Oct 20, 2020 - 3:16:21 PM

9 posts since 10/19/2020

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Oh, leave the 6-string tailpiece on.
Like the 5th peg, it's not original, but it's part of the Mysterious Past of the instrument.


I like that!  Its something I use as a guideline when getting some of my vintage guitars set up.  They all tell a story as they are!  Thanks for the comment. I did get the 5th peg settled well, and even tuned up with rusty old strings, she sings!

Oct 20, 2020 - 3:24:48 PM
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55994 posts since 12/14/2005

Y'all done cheered up a gray day!

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