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Dec 4, 2021 - 7:53:45 PM
1024 posts since 3/4/2008

While repairing a peghead on a Ludwig Bellevue I made a mistake I was trying to avoid. While cleaning up the repair I sanded it slightly to aggressively. Part of the name was sanded off the scroll. I'm at a bit of a loss as to who or what type of professional I should contact for repairs. Would this be something a jeweler would do? I really don't want to risk shipping and would prefer to keep it local. ..... I did attempt to repair the problem. Nope this isn't going to happen, I did get a tool from StewMac.

Dec 5, 2021 - 5:38:33 AM

DSmoke

USA

1109 posts since 11/30/2015
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You could remove the inlay and send that to someone to be engraved. Or, just send the neck.

Dec 5, 2021 - 11:20:28 AM

1024 posts since 3/4/2008

Remove the inlay? Now that would be interesting and a lot more destructive than I want to deal with. Who would do this sort of engraving?

Dec 5, 2021 - 12:55:11 PM

11934 posts since 10/27/2006

I'd reach out to Renée Karnes. She is the first person many of us would turn to for such restoration on a jazz age banjo. 

Banjos By Renée

You can ship the neck with dowel safely in a large USPS approved mailing tube.

Dec 5, 2021 - 6:05:42 PM

DSmoke

USA

1109 posts since 11/30/2015
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quote:
Originally posted by Hedge Hog

Remove the inlay? Now that would be interesting and a lot more destructive than I want to deal with. Who would do this sort of engraving?


If you sanded through the finish, and then even further to remove the engraving, there is nothing destructive about removing the inlay. 

Dec 5, 2021 - 6:53:51 PM
likes this

8015 posts since 1/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Hedge Hog

While repairing a peghead on a Ludwig Bellevue I made a mistake I was trying to avoid. While cleaning up the repair I sanded it slightly to aggressively. Part of the name was sanded off the scroll. I'm at a bit of a loss as to who or what type of professional I should contact for repairs. Would this be something a jeweler would do? I really don't want to risk shipping and would prefer to keep it local. ..... I did attempt to repair the problem. Nope this isn't going to happen, I did get a tool from StewMac.


Pearl engraving is quite different than metal engraving  or straight inlay. Skilled engravers are not common these days. Glenn Carson is a standout engraver inlay artist and  carver. He's not inexpensive, but is one of the best. 

https://www.google.com/search?source=univ&tbm=isch&q=Glenn+Carson+engraving&fir=r2ZDqftxKbE_DM%252Cia1r4G-

DD

Edited by - Dan Drabek on 12/05/2021 18:55:05

Dec 5, 2021 - 9:45:33 PM

1024 posts since 3/4/2008

Dan - The inlay is ~1/8" thick, a real 1920's MOP blank. I know because the chip went right up to the MOP. With the wood cracking, a BIG chip out and other issues the Peghead cover plate needed some serious work to restore. Most of the engraving is untouched. For just a second I was sloppy with the sand paper. The B, E and some of the L in Belleveu are mostly removed. In general the text is crude right from the factory. The rest of the engraved inlays are good.

Dec 6, 2021 - 8:48:02 AM

8015 posts since 1/7/2005

Michael, you may want to be careful about spending more money on a restoration than the banjo is worth. Ludwig never made 5 string banjos, and tenors and plectrum banjos don't generally bring more than a few hundred dollars--even in excellent original condition. Any 5 string Ludwig will have a replacement neck. Ludwig conversions can be great playing banjos but maybe not great investments in time or money. I've converted a couple of them and they're fun to work on, but it is often a labor of love.

DD

Dec 6, 2021 - 2:42:13 PM

DSmoke

USA

1109 posts since 11/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Michael, you may want to be careful about spending more money on a restoration than the banjo is worth. Ludwig never made 5 string banjos, and tenors and plectrum banjos don't generally bring more than a few hundred dollars--even in excellent original condition. Any 5 string Ludwig will have a replacement neck. Ludwig conversions can be great playing banjos but maybe not great investments in time or money. I've converted a couple of them and they're fun to work on, but it is often a labor of love.

DD


I just sold a Capitol Special for $895, was listed for a week.  The Bellevue is a higher-end model and in the tenor world I live in probably around $1000 in good condition. 

@hedge Hog - I have a Bellevue waiting restoration.  If you bought the graver from Stew Mac maybe buy a piece of MOP and do a little practice.  I'm not very good at it either, but I learned it doesn't take much pressure.  Glenn Carson lives near me, his work is amazing!

Dec 6, 2021 - 7:59:40 PM

1024 posts since 3/4/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Michael, you may want to be careful about spending more money on a restoration than the banjo is worth. Ludwig never made 5 string banjos, and tenors and plectrum banjos don't generally bring more than a few hundred dollars--even in excellent original condition. Any 5 string Ludwig will have a replacement neck. Ludwig conversions can be great playing banjos but maybe not great investments in time or money. I've converted a couple of them and they're fun to work on, but it is often a labor of love.

DD

Interesting answer, but I don't recall ever saying that the Ludwig is a 5 string. It most definitely is a Tenor. While I agree that this manufacturer is undervalued I did not buy this banjo or any instrument as an investment. It is mine because it makes me happy to look at and that would include the minor restoration I'm doing. Except for the head stock it is in rather good condition, especially when considering it's age. Even the peghead repaired very nicely, except for my sanding screw up. I am seriously considering leaving it as is and calling it patina or normal wear and tear. ...... also, I have plenty of 5 string banjo's.


Dec 6, 2021 - 8:08:50 PM

1024 posts since 3/4/2008

quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke
quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Michael, you may want to be careful about spending more money on a restoration than the banjo is worth. Ludwig never made 5 string banjos, and tenors and plectrum banjos don't generally bring more than a few hundred dollars--even in excellent original condition. Any 5 string Ludwig will have a replacement neck. Ludwig conversions can be great playing banjos but maybe not great investments in time or money. I've converted a couple of them and they're fun to work on, but it is often a labor of love.

DD


I just sold a Capitol Special for $895, was listed for a week.  The Bellevue is a higher-end model and in the tenor world I live in probably around $1000 in good condition. 

@hedge Hog - I have a Bellevue waiting restoration.  If you bought the graver from Stew Mac maybe buy a piece of MOP and do a little practice.  I'm not very good at it either, but I learned it doesn't take much pressure.  Glenn Carson lives near me, his work is amazing!


I traded off a couple instruments I bought just to repair them and get them in the hands of someone that would like to play them and tossed in $525 plus tax for the Bellevue. Over all not a bad deal for me. your estimated value is more than I expected. 

Which Bellevue do you have? I see in various searches there are a couple versions from Ludwig. one has a full flange for the resonator and mine does not. I've seen both pictured as Bellevue models. Frankly I prefer mine.  What needs restoration on yours?

Dec 7, 2021 - 5:04:21 PM

DSmoke

USA

1109 posts since 11/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Hedge Hog
quote:
Originally posted by DSmoke
quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Michael, you may want to be careful about spending more money on a restoration than the banjo is worth. Ludwig never made 5 string banjos, and tenors and plectrum banjos don't generally bring more than a few hundred dollars--even in excellent original condition. Any 5 string Ludwig will have a replacement neck. Ludwig conversions can be great playing banjos but maybe not great investments in time or money. I've converted a couple of them and they're fun to work on, but it is often a labor of love.

DD


I just sold a Capitol Special for $895, was listed for a week.  The Bellevue is a higher-end model and in the tenor world I live in probably around $1000 in good condition. 

@hedge Hog - I have a Bellevue waiting restoration.  If you bought the graver from Stew Mac maybe buy a piece of MOP and do a little practice.  I'm not very good at it either, but I learned it doesn't take much pressure.  Glenn Carson lives near me, his work is amazing!


I traded off a couple instruments I bought just to repair them and get them in the hands of someone that would like to play them and tossed in $525 plus tax for the Bellevue. Over all not a bad deal for me. your estimated value is more than I expected. 

Which Bellevue do you have? I see in various searches there are a couple versions from Ludwig. one has a full flange for the resonator and mine does not. I've seen both pictured as Bellevue models. Frankly I prefer mine.  What needs restoration on yours?


Mine is the top tension with the flange.  I love the flange of the Ludwig banjos!  I've wanted a Bellevue ever since I started playing the banjo.  I just love the uniqueness of the black and gold (Pittsburg roots).  I searched for years and never found one, so I started accumulating parts.  I now have all the parts including the gold tuners.  My main project is replacing the fingerboard and salvaging the original inlays from the original fingerboard.  After that, I have to determine if I will replate or not. 

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