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May 14, 2022 - 10:43:57 AM
2 posts since 5/14/2022

Hi all,

Just bought my first banjo (deering goodtime) used off of Craigslist. The seller was asking $75– and I’m starting to see why.

The neck was cracked and repaired at the nut (seems sturdy enough now). And the previous owner refinished with a gloss, which is now very worn down. I’ve buffed the gloss with steel wool to a satin finish, but it’s still just looking…dirty.

I’ve tried using a damp cloth and have tried lighter fluid, both of which picked up some grime…

Would it be irresponsible to try to sand and refinish? I’m particularly worried about the fretboard and about how the finish will look around the repair.

I’ve attached pictures. What would you do? Thanks!


Edited by - knotjonah on 05/14/2022 10:52:07

May 14, 2022 - 11:00:06 AM

4329 posts since 5/29/2011
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For $75 I would not hesitate to sand it down and refinish it. As far as the appearance, after the refinish it probably won't be as noticeable as it is now. If nothing else, it will give you an opportunity to get hands on experience at banjo repair.
The Goodtime banjos don't have a separate fingerboard. The frets are installed directly into the neck. So that cruddy looking playing surface is not something you are going to be able to do much with.

Edited by - Culloden on 05/14/2022 11:01:26

May 14, 2022 - 11:27:05 AM

2 posts since 5/14/2022

Great, thanks! Do you think it’ll be possible to sand/refinish without removing the frets?

May 14, 2022 - 11:32:15 AM

15 posts since 8/13/2021

You might try Murphy's Oil Soap on the end of a soft cloth, just rubbing where you want to clean most. It's an older named brand and seems to work well for me. Larger areas you could mix the solution as (label) recommended, wiping dry so moisture isn't a problem. On the neck "fingerboard" some lemon oil might work to counter any dryness in the wood after it's cleaned. kb

May 14, 2022 - 11:57:25 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


25898 posts since 6/25/2005

Best cleaner is Formula 409. That’s been researched and documented by banjo picker/luthier/bioscientist Sean Barry. How much work to put in is up to you. It’s still a Goodtime no matter what.

May 14, 2022 - 12:14:42 PM

9470 posts since 8/28/2013

Cut your losses. There is no way to make those fretboard divots look good.

Either that, or live with the aesthetics and just play it.

May 14, 2022 - 6:40:20 PM

6 posts since 2/17/2014

In the world of Fender guitars folks pay a premium for a "reliced" maple neck like that.

May 14, 2022 - 9:57:24 PM

4329 posts since 5/29/2011
Online Now

Originally posted by knotjonah

Great, thanks! Do you think it’ll be possible to sand/refinish without removing the frets?

You can sand and refinish the back of the neck without removing the frets. You'll probably have to live with the fingerboard the way it is since the Goodtime doesn't have a separate fingerboard.

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