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The DeWitt "Snuffy" Jenkins Gibson RB-4 9639-1 With Videos

Nov 23, 2023 - 10:27:35 AM
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3289 posts since 1/16/2013
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Nov 23, 2023 - 1:33:07 PM
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2751 posts since 1/4/2009

Incredible

Nov 23, 2023 - 1:36:42 PM
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15590 posts since 10/30/2008

Congrats, and congrats to the new owner.

Nov 23, 2023 - 3:06:56 PM
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Eric A

USA

1832 posts since 10/15/2019

Jim, I saw some of the comments on Facebook on this banjo a couple of days ago. Most interesting thing was about that bridge. Wonder if you would share that stuff here?

I always respect a guy who is not afraid to be unconventional. I always loved Snuffy, but now seeing that bridge, WOW.

Nov 23, 2023 - 3:25:24 PM
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3289 posts since 1/16/2013
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

Jim, I saw some of the comments on Facebook on this banjo a couple of days ago. Most interesting thing was about that bridge. Wonder if you would share that stuff here?
I always respect a guy who is not afraid to be unconventional. I always loved Snuffy, but now seeing that bridge, WOW.


Yes sir, from everything I have gathered the ebony bridge with ivory top was made by NC luthier C.E. Ward and given to Snuffy by him probably in the late 60s or 70s. I actually have a regular maple Ward bridge in a banjo here. C.E. Also made Sonny Osborne's first 6-string banjo neck.

Back when Jim Mills owned it, Jim said that he tried several bridges and kept going back to this bridge. It's quite thin, but the banjo still has a wonderful tone.

-Jim 

Nov 23, 2023 - 5:18:42 PM
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AGACNP

USA

597 posts since 10/12/2011

Very cool Jim, I’d heard this banjo was in the neighborhood. What a great piece of history!

Nov 24, 2023 - 5:43:55 AM

3550 posts since 4/27/2004

My memory is sorta thin but is the tailpiece a true 5-string? I just wondered if it had five string hooks or just the four?

Nov 24, 2023 - 5:58:54 AM

3289 posts since 1/16/2013
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quote:
Originally posted by southerndrifter

My memory is sorta thin but is the tailpiece a true 5-string? I just wondered if it had five string hooks or just the four?


Hey Lynwood, it's four hooks with a hole.

-Jim


 

Edited by - Ceres Banjo Works on 11/24/2023 05:59:41

Nov 24, 2023 - 6:30:05 AM

3550 posts since 4/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Ceres Banjo Works
quote:
Originally posted by southerndrifter

My memory is sorta thin but is the tailpiece a true 5-string? I just wondered if it had five string hooks or just the four?


Hey Lynwood, it's four hooks with a hole.

-Jim


Thanks Jim! After I posted the question, I remembered Jim Mills saying that he had never seen a prewar clamshell tailpiece that was made for a 5-string. 

Nov 24, 2023 - 7:03:21 AM
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6877 posts since 10/13/2007

What an unbelievable peace of history. The well spring from which Earl and many others came from & from which generations of Scruggs came from. I am glad you got to play it. I wish you had been able to keep it. Thanks for posting.
Ken

Nov 24, 2023 - 7:37:53 AM
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36 posts since 6/9/2023

Thanks for sharing these Ceres Banjo Works

Nov 24, 2023 - 8:48:38 AM
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15590 posts since 10/30/2008

The 1937 Gibson catalog shows the ebony bridge with ivory top, made by Grover. Looked just like this. Perhaps Ward had a broken one for a guide...

Nov 24, 2023 - 9:35:27 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

2320 posts since 8/9/2019

Anyone know of any bridge makers that currently make faithful recreations of that Jenkins skinny bone cap bridge?

Nov 24, 2023 - 1:56:43 PM
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14852 posts since 1/15/2005

Great banjo with great history ..... always loved Snuffy. I had always hoped that the banjo would somehow wind up with Randy Lucas.

Nov 24, 2023 - 2:08:43 PM
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Jbo1

USA

1316 posts since 5/19/2007

The banjo looks (and sounds) incredible. The binding hasn't yellowed at all, and no finish cracks that I can see. Do you know if it had ever been refinished?

Nov 24, 2023 - 5:15:04 PM
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Eric A

USA

1832 posts since 10/15/2019

Those pics of that case...

Nov 30, 2023 - 9:06:21 AM
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1909 posts since 9/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

Those pics of that case...


You can sure tell Snuffy's ole style 4 rode a lot of hard miles gigging in that case, if only they could talk. The stories they could tell !!! smiley

Nov 30, 2023 - 9:47:31 AM
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1909 posts since 9/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog

Anyone know of any bridge makers that currently make faithful recreations of that Jenkins skinny bone cap bridge?


Mike Smith (Kat Eyz) has made a few of these in the past.  He might make another one if you twist his arm enough wink


Nov 30, 2023 - 9:49:13 AM

6167 posts since 12/20/2005

I am also interested in that bridge.
I’m thinking about maybe trying to make something similar.
I don’t have any ebony. Certainly not any ivory.
I do have a couple of types of rosewood. Perhaps it could be a useable substitute.
Fossilized ivory is probably as close to elephant ivory as can be had.
Evidently, there must be something really good about this design.

Nov 30, 2023 - 8:08:06 PM
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kat eyz

USA

1165 posts since 10/1/2003

FYI the ebony bridge i made/make has a bone top....not ivory

Jan 2, 2024 - 8:34:09 AM

3289 posts since 1/16/2013
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Jan 7, 2024 - 9:23:55 PM
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1909 posts since 9/10/2003

Sounding good Jim, I love that Style 4 tone !!!! yessmiley Thanks for posting, Looking forward to seeing that banjer next weekend wink

Jan 11, 2024 - 6:36:59 AM
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409 posts since 7/25/2005

I have a CE Ward ebony bridge called his hearts and saucer bridge…it has a heart cutout with a little maple saucer attached underneath.

Jan 11, 2024 - 8:42:50 PM

6167 posts since 12/20/2005

quote:
Originally posted by mattrogers5

I have a CE Ward ebony bridge called his hearts and saucer bridge…it has a heart cutout with a little maple saucer attached underneath.


Would you mind sharing a photo ?

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