Saturday, August 29, 2009

Banjo Progress 8/28

8/28/09 Click the pictures to enlarge them ...

The strings were on briefly Thursday, just to check the fretting, and, while it was tempting to tune it up and play a little, the next step was to take the neck off and finish it before installing the fifth string tuner and the little nut that goes with it. After some internet research, Will decided that he would try French polishing the neck even though, except for a few small furniture repairs, we haven't done much of that.

The process .... and there are many descriptions of the french polishing process on the internet ... (Here's one) ... It's not brain surgery, but you definitely want to practice a little before attempting it for real, and you want to have some time AND some patience ... It takes a while to get it right

After doing the research, Will went with thinned, dewaxed shellac, olive oil as a lubricant, and rottenstone as a filler/polisher ...

8/28 The french polished neck curing for the weekend .. it is sooooo smooth ... Strings/notes/music? Tomorrow? Soon? I'm ready whenever ....

Inside view of the pot and the steel rod that holds all the parts together ...

8/26/09 ... Frets and side dots are in, neck is final shaped ... drilled for tuners and ready for the nut and the strings ....

Filing a bevel on the peg head .. I was not on hand for the installation of the frets, but I know it involved a brass hammer, a sand bag, some filing with a special fret file and some sanding/polishing

New banjo top right ... 110 year old project banjo from ebay lower left ... 12 and 3/4" pot ...really short neck ??? Peg head looks right with others by the same maker but Will has not yet found a picture of that exact model number with the short neck online

In an earlier post, we got to the point on our banjo where it was time to shape the neck and attach the fretboard. Will's got that all under control now and says he just has to final flatten the fretboard and then he can start installing the frets. After that I think, is a little finish on the neck, final fit up and bolting to the pot, tuners, strings, and music .... This week, I hope ... Click the photos to enlarge them ....

The jig for holding the neck blank for shaping. The neck is clamped to it on both ends.

The heel inlay

The peg head overlay

Locating the fingerboard placement using the nut against the peg head.

Gluing the finished, slotted fretboard to the rough shaped neck

getting close
The previous banjo post showing the steps in fitting the neck blank to the pot, turning and drilling the pot is here ....

1 comment:

Steven said...

Were you trying to duplicate the old ebay banjo, or were you just using that for comparison along the way?