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May 8, 2021 - 2:19:12 PM
266 posts since 2/11/2009

I've seen mandolin banjos, and 12-string mandolins, but never have I seen the two combined before. I also don't recall seeing a banjo whose headstock is longer than the diameter of the rim.

From the list I have, the serial dates to 1911. I assume this was a one-off custom order, though aside from the number of strings it seems to resemble other Weymanns from the period. It needs a bit of work, including a new head, but generally it's in good shape. The neck is very straight and it sounds reasonably good with 8 strings on it. I'm wary of the original tailpiece, since those tabs are prone to breaking off even with 8 strings, so I've ordered a new 6-string no-knot and plan to retire the original.

Anyone ever see another like this?






May 9, 2021 - 6:57:57 PM
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1481 posts since 2/9/2007

You could call that a bandriola, or should that be banjeriola? banjreeoaler?  Mandriojo? Mandrill banjo?

Edited by - Dan Gellert on 05/09/2021 19:01:03

May 9, 2021 - 7:31:17 PM

57397 posts since 12/14/2005

I've never seen anything like it, but I've only been noticing banjos since 1961 or so.

May 10, 2021 - 4:40:08 AM

266 posts since 2/11/2009

I just call it "confused". That way we match.

Interestingly, the fretboard appears to be dyed rosewood rather than ebony. From the side, it looks brown. I know that Weymann used dyed wood fretboards in the '20s, but I'm surprised to see one this early - and it doesn't look like maple or pearwood.

Question: I notice that it's missing a piece of neck attachment hardware that should go between the metal triangle and the rim. I also notice that a lot of other Weymanns are missing that hardware, and they seem to be doing fine without it. Is this a problem for the stability of the neck joint? Should I see if I can rig something to replace it?

May 10, 2021 - 5:37:01 AM

8547 posts since 8/28/2013

There doul be a hardwood wedge on both sides of the metal triangle. They ar there for stability and to keep both sides of the neck tight to the banjo rim. Although this may appear to be okay without one wedge, it isn't, and will eventually cause problems (if it already hasn't).

You should definitely fashion another wedge. You can probably just copy the one that's still there.

May 10, 2021 - 6:37:16 AM

266 posts since 2/11/2009

Oh it's wood? I assumed it was metal, but I haven't seen one in person. That's good to know, it'll be a lot easier to fabricate a new one.

May 10, 2021 - 8:52:54 AM

1481 posts since 2/9/2007

The lightest mandolin strings you can get will be way too heavy for that instrument. You could take regular light gauge mandolin e, a, and d strings and use them for the a, d, and g. Find some .008's (or .007's, if you can) for the e's

May 10, 2021 - 10:15:23 AM

266 posts since 2/11/2009

My plan is to string it with a pack and a half of GHS mando-banjo strings, which happen to be 8-26 gauge. I tried them on my conventional Bacon mandolin banjo and they were too light, even though the Bacon has a longer scale, but I think they'll work out pretty well on this Weymann.

Edited by - OldFrets on 05/10/2021 10:15:54

May 10, 2021 - 10:26:19 AM

11413 posts since 10/27/2006

Hmmmm... don't show this to Gibson. Someone over there might not understand that it's way too late for them to sue over the gull-winged shape at the top of the headstock.

Though I've never seen a Weymann banjo with this headstock shape, I've not seen one of their mandolins without it. Again, better not tell Gibson.

May 10, 2021 - 12:16:19 PM

81 posts since 10/15/2010

There are variations of the ukulele that have additional strings. These have come and gone over the years. These include the Tiple and the Taropatch. They have sets of 4 strings, so you have essentially an 8-stringed instrument. Martin made a whole range of them at one time.

Here's a link to the "Unique Guitar Blog"
uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2010...iple.html
There's someone playing "Sandy River Belle" on a 10-string tiple.

Perhaps someone wanted a "6-string Tiple or Taropatch" with a banjo head and the Weymann Company obliged. Can't imagine much sound coming out of that small banjo head.

Here's a discussion of how to tune a "6-string uke" on the Ukulele Underground:
ukuleleunderground.com/2016/03...uitalele/

May 10, 2021 - 2:10:17 PM
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8547 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by neuronz

There are variations of the ukulele that have additional strings. These have come and gone over the years. These include the Tiple and the Taropatch. They have sets of 4 strings, so you have essentially an 8-stringed instrument. Martin made a whole range of them at one time.

Here's a link to the "Unique Guitar Blog"
uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2010...iple.html
There's someone playing "Sandy River Belle" on a 10-string tiple.

Perhaps someone wanted a "6-string Tiple or Taropatch" with a banjo head and the Weymann Company obliged. Can't imagine much sound coming out of that small banjo head.

Here's a discussion of how to tune a "6-string uke" on the Ukulele Underground:
ukuleleunderground.com/2016/03...uitalele/


A "six string instrument" would imply strings in six pairs. The photos of this Weymann, however, show  strings grouped in four groups of three. There is a small possibility that the nut was re-cut, but that, to me, seems doubtful.

May 10, 2021 - 2:30:07 PM

11413 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie
quote:
Originally posted by neuronz

There are variations of the ukulele that have additional strings. These have come and gone over the years. These include the Tiple and the Taropatch. They have sets of 4 strings, so you have essentially an 8-stringed instrument. Martin made a whole range of them at one time.

Here's a link to the "Unique Guitar Blog"
uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2010...iple.html
There's someone playing "Sandy River Belle" on a 10-string tiple.

Perhaps someone wanted a "6-string Tiple or Taropatch" with a banjo head and the Weymann Company obliged. Can't imagine much sound coming out of that small banjo head.

Here's a discussion of how to tune a "6-string uke" on the Ukulele Underground:
ukuleleunderground.com/2016/03...uitalele/


A "six string instrument" would imply strings in six pairs. The photos of this Weymann, however, show  strings grouped in four groups of three. There is a small possibility that the nut was re-cut, but that, to me, seems doubtful.


6, 8. 10, 12 stringed ukuleles in all sorts of courses (string groupings) are fairly recent i. e. last hundred years or so.

12 stringed mandolins in 4 courses of 3 pretty much died out as a common instrument over 100 years ago but up to the late 19th C. were not uncommon at all. Once wire strings became commonplace, there wasn't that much call for them, especially with the additional strain on ther neck and sound board.

Each region of Italy had its own style. 

Here's a brief article with lots of names but little information. The most interesting feature is the picture of a Paris Swing mandolin designed by Greg Rich.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandolin

May 10, 2021 - 2:30:43 PM
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266 posts since 2/11/2009

The nut is a bit of a mess due to some additional slotting, but it looks like the original slots were in groups of three. The wear pattern on the frets also indicates four courses. Not that I've seen anyone advertising a tiple or a taropatch banjo, but I would expect neither of those to have 12 strings.


 

May 11, 2021 - 5:08:14 PM

81 posts since 10/15/2010

It is possible it is of the mandolin family, but the nut, with strings in groups of three suggests to me that it was meant to be strung as a tiple.

Here's the Wikipedia entry for tiple:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiple

Whatever it is, and however it's tuned, got to sound strange.

May 11, 2021 - 5:41:50 PM
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266 posts since 2/11/2009

Tiples (and the whole uke family) were rather obscure when this banjo was built; they were primarily introduced to the American public through the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, where they sparked a new craze. And even then, all the tiples built by major US manufacturers had 10 strings. And even then, they all had scale lengths in the 15-17" range.

On the other hand, 12-string mandolins were found in most distributors' catalogs at the time, and they all had scales close to the 13" of this banjo.

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