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Jan 16, 2021 - 8:13:46 AM

codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

Good morning from Canada and thanks for letting me join in. I received a beautiful old banjo from my son the other day. He found it in a garbage bin on the street. I am trying to identify the instrument. It has no logo or manufacturer markings anywhere. The only marking I can see is beside the centering pin for the metal back, it says "B1" in pencil. Also on the top ring that secures the skin, between two of the rim clamps are some faintly scribed, written letters that are almost obscured. They appear to be "AW G or C AN" hard to tell really they are so faint. The neck may not be the original, it is Bird's Eye Maple. The skin has been repaired badly on the inside with a piece of leather. The tuners are all metal and work fine.
If the instrument has any collector value I will leave it as is. If it doesn't I want to fully restore it and play it, it is so beautiful!

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:18:35 AM

codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

Here are some quick shots

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:30:51 AM
Players Union Member

Emiel

Austria

9768 posts since 1/22/2003
Online Now

No photos showing…

Jan 16, 2021 - 9:21:20 AM

926 posts since 1/30/2019

Hi Tracey,
Is it the one in your profile photo? If it is I don't know what it is, but it could be home made.
Some one might know more but they'll ask for more photos.
Hope you have some fun with it anyway.

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:31:07 AM

codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

No, the profile photo is a tenor Cigar box guitar I built years ago
I uploaded some photos to your site but they don't seem to be there.

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:46:11 AM

codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

No photos showing…


I tried uploading some photos but they are not showing.

Jan 16, 2021 - 12:23:55 PM
Players Union Member

Emiel

Austria

9768 posts since 1/22/2003
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by codfather
quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

No photos showing…


I tried uploading some photos but they are not showing.


They have to be in the jpeg/jpg format. Go to your BHO profile, to "media" and upload them. Then in your posting, they show up underneath and you can easily attach them…

Jan 16, 2021 - 2:32:26 PM

codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

On closer inspection, I think I'm getting somewhere. The tail piece is the original and is a mandolin tail with 8 slots. The cutaway area around the rim at the point the neck meets the body to allow the strings to pass through is much wider than necessary. There are marks on the outside of the body that suggest a wider neck was there. I think someone made this neck and attached it to this body! It would also explain the wooden wedge system to tension the neck in place.

Edited by - codfather on 01/16/2021 14:36:40

Jan 16, 2021 - 6:02:38 PM

1388 posts since 2/9/2007

That appears to be a really cheap old tenor neck badly fitted to a pot that may (or may not) be of a bit better quality, and perhaps a bit older, though it too is damaged. It has no collectible or historical value, though the hardware would be worth a few bucks as spare parts.

That kind of wedge was used on a lot of banjos back in the day, though that one does look like it's part of the "repair" work that was done.

If you're into making stuff, I'd suggest first of all seeing if you can fix that rim where it looks to be coming apart (at the neck heel), at least to where it will support the head's tension.

If the neck isn't twisted or badly warped, it could be reset so it's on there at the right angle, but I would NOT string it as a tenor banjo. Neither the pot nor the neck are sturdy enough to tolerate that much string tension. Nylon strings and tenor or baritone uke tuning would be possible.

More sensible would be to trash that neck and make a new one. A pot like that was most likely originally fitted with a 5-string neck and gut strings.

Jan 16, 2021 - 6:12:37 PM
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codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

Thanks Dan...I build Cigar box Guitars, Strum Sticks etc, and build all my own necks. Making another is easy, but this one is straight as an arrow with no twist. It is Bird's Eye Maple and feels good in the hand. Because the instrument really has no value it gives me carte blanc to have some fun fixing it. I love this kind of stuff! I'm a retired engineer so it keeps me off the streets ...LOL

Jan 16, 2021 - 6:16:40 PM

codfather

Canada

7 posts since 1/16/2021

After more research I think the body was made by the Stewart Company circa late 1800's early 1900's. My son who lives in Kimberly where it was found, says that is about the time the Mine opened up in Kimberly. Could have come there with the miners.


Jan 16, 2021 - 7:26:59 PM

5967 posts since 9/21/2007

What makes you think the rim was made by SSS?

BTW, it was not.

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:12:11 PM

8187 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

I agree with Mr. Hooks.

I also believe that this is a cheap tenor neck grafted onto a different rim, probably one of equally dubious quality (it's also splitting apart at the neck heel).The tailpiece is not original to either the neck or the rim, and the metal resonataor is an after-market add-on, so it also is not original to either the neck or the rim.

There is no real value here, so do whatever you wish with it.

Jan 18, 2021 - 2:12:37 PM

11078 posts since 10/27/2006

The Waverly mandolin tailpiece was used on many different instruments. No idea how old but the company didn't exist before 1915.
 

Here's the banjo version. You can see that it's the same 'piece crimped to fit a tailpiece hanger. This one is from a '30s Kalamazoo but it could have been any low end Gibson or private label of the time.

 

Vega used a version with the bottom cut off that they bolted to the tension hook. 

What's missing is the 3 or 5 lob "cloud" tailpiece cover which can be engraved or plain.

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