#ngd, sort of. The other night I watchlisted a 19-fret tenor banjo on ebay. The seller gave me a pretty good (relative to their asking price) offer, and I somewhat impulsively came back at them with a bordering-on-insulting counteroffer that I immediately regretted because I HAVE TOO MANY INSTRUMENTS.
But they accepted my offer and the thing shipped quite quickly.
Unfortunately whoever packed it did a rubbish job and it arrived with the neck badly split.
I asked for a not-quite-complete refund because I didn't want to deal with shipping it back, and the seller was cool about that, so I'm now the proud owner of a busted frankenbanjo; I got the aftermarket plastic/bakelite resonator off to find the dowel stick creatively married to the pot.
Whoever cobbled it together seems mostly to have known what they were doing, and the tuners and tailpiece alone are probably worth more than I wound up paying after the refund.
The tone ring is a hollow tube with holes drilled into it, not quite a tubaphone but it should add something to the tone.
Somebody put a zero fret on the thing at some point instead of replacing the nut, which was creative. The bridge that had been on it was impossibly low, seems like someone was trying to achieve electric guitar action on the thing, or maybe it had something to do with the zero fret.
Anyway, the neck just needs gluing as far as I can tell; as people on lutherie forums always love to say "It'll be stronger than it was before!" and it's about time I actually replaced a nut... so, it should be a fun thing to tinker with.
Check this mother-of-toilet-seat veneer:
Bonus: the beat-up old wood resonator I've had kicking around for more years than I care to think about is a perfect fit and (if I care to actually refinish it) much nicer than the plastic thing it came with
The neck was actually pretty much split clean through except for just a couple of fibers that were apparently being held in place by the strings.
Having to separate parts made it easer to get glue onto all the surfaces it needed to be on, actually. Current status: clamping for 24 hours and then chilling out for a couple of days before I try putting new strings on it (which reminds me, I also need to come up with a nut blank and see if I can still lay my hands on my very small files)
I *think* it may come out just fine? It was a very clean break, very easy to align the parts. I know it's not an uncommon repair, but it's a thin neck and I don't know what the wood is, but it doesn't feel/look all that hard, so we'll see. It'll be fun turning those pegs and bracing myself for catastrophic structural failure.
Well, two of the clamps shifted and slipped off when I went to move it so I just took them all off and cleaned up the glue. A real luthier could probably had gotten it *just so* but this isn’t too bad; the thin edge of the crack is ever so slightly raised, maybe enough to be annoying when sliding up and down the neck, but it remains to be seen. I might do a spot test on the heel with a tiny tab of nitrocellulose lacquer from the #telecasterkit project and see what happens; it oughtn’t take much to smooth that seam. #frankentenor
Looking closer at the flange, it looks like it was made to accommodate a five-string neck, and although it fits perfectly over the bracket lugs I have to wonder if it’s an aftermarket upgrade to this pot; there’s a nice little bit of purfling visible that doesn’t seem like they would have bothered with for a resonator model.
The tone-ring looks to be home-made, the holes are pretty regularly drilled but not *machine shop* precise. Really curious to see what it sounds like. #frankentenor
@mayor not that this banjo needs help in that department, but imo it adds character
@redoak Oh, yeah, given that I willingly purchased a pearloid-clad neck I am not worried about appearance, lol. It's part of the instrument's story now. When I was lucky enough to see multiple banjos from the mid-1800s at the Antietam gathering, it was instructive to see the obvious repair jobs that had been done to some of them over the years.
The only reason I'd really mess with this repair further is if that tactile edge winds up being actively annoying in use.
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