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Dec 1, 2023 - 7:20:45 PM
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1748 posts since 3/1/2012

Way back in May, a collector friend in England sent me photos of a unique little circa 1850s wavey arm banjo.
I had to buy it!
For a long time my luthier friend, John Flory, and I were puzzling over how to get the the horizontal cracks in the warped wooden pot back into alignment without causing more damage.
We finally took everything apart, soaked and steamed the end of the pot, and when the wood was pliable we clamped things back into alignment. We left it that way for a couple weeks, then took off the clamps and glued the cracks on the inside of the pot.
John, the long-suffering luthier, then glued a reinforcement piece of veneer inside the pot at the tail end.
After that it was a matter of getting the head and the tension ring back on snug.
I didn’t want to put too much pressure on the wooden pot when I tightened the wingnuts, so put washers on the hooks before tightening.
Just strung it up as a 5 string with a 19 1/2 inch scale.
Nylgut strings are still stretching, but it is starting to sing once again, after at least a century.
I’m loving this one!


Dec 1, 2023 - 7:22:37 PM

1748 posts since 3/1/2012

More photos…

Dec 1, 2023 - 7:51 PM

1748 posts since 3/1/2012

And what the cracked and warped wooden pot looked like initially…

Dec 2, 2023 - 4:16:14 AM
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2331 posts since 5/19/2018

That is one beautiful instrument!

Congratulations on the preservation, well done by your luthier.


Dec 2, 2023 - 8:02:03 AM
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324 posts since 12/19/2017

I love the style and unique design. Get some good sound bites and share them with us. It will thrill me for sure.

Dec 2, 2023 - 6:30:50 PM

1748 posts since 3/1/2012

I forgot to mention that I discussed this banjo as it was being worked on, in my third book, Even More Banjos, pgs. 48-52.

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