Save The Banjos

A Homemade website by Tim Smith

FLASH: HC DOBSON ARTICLE NOW HERE, SEE BELOW

"Save The Banjos" is dedicated to finding old, beat-up banjos and returning them to playable condition.I get most of my banjos and parts from eBay, auctions, and estate sales here in York County, Pennsylvania.It is remarkable how many old banjos are discovered in attics, basements, chicken coops, and other obscure places almost every day.Mostly, they are "low end" instruments.The "low-enders" were manufactured and sold in the largest numbers and therefore surface more frequently than the expensive models in any particular manufacturer's line.

I don't produce museum quality collectors' instruments.Very few people could afford them.I take an old banjo, disassemble and clean it, repair any damage, replace the missing parts as necessary (either with period spare parts or new reproductions as available), set it up for maximum playability, and get it back into circulation at a reasonable price.After all, banjos are made to be played, not hung on a wall.

 

I usually have a number of projects going, some of which are featured here. In the future, I will be adding pictures of banjos from various sources, scans from old catalogs, and anything about banjos and the playing thereof that I see fit.Mostly, you will see 5-string banjos because that is what I have played for many years.

 

If you donít know the names of the different parts of a banjo, go here: FRETS.COM

 

Be sure to read my article in the Fall Old Time Herald  (Vol. 10, No. 1), 2005.

 

Privacy please!

 

I don't have a store or shop.  Don't ask to come to my home.  UPS and USPS come here; use them. I will meet you at a local business in necessary.

 

Due to the number of people e-mailing for free information and advice, I can no longer afford the time to answer every one.  Please try to do your own research before writing.  I do NOT do appraisals, so don't ask me how much your banjo is worth.   Thanks for your consideration.


1867 H.C. Dobson Banjo New April 2012

A rare example of an early archtop banjo. SEE IT HERE (warning: LONG!)


   1870s Fretless Banjo  New November 2010

  The first two parts of this article were posted on Banjo Hangout in the Banjo Building Setup and Repair forum on October 18th and 22nd, 2010.  I'll put them here as time permits.

   

    This is one of the oldest instrument that I've ever worked on.  It is interesting to me to follow the evolution of banjo making from the one-of-a-kind instrument made in the home shop to cottage industry to mass production in the factory.

 

New Banjo Knowledge Article:  Casting Brackets (new August 2010)

 

 

 

SEE IT HERE

 

 

 



 

Completed Projects:

 

Regal 5-String Conversion (NEW August 2010)

Read About It Here


Lange-GoldTone Conversion

Go See


 

Weymann Style 50 Conversion

 

    View


 

Lyon & Healy Banjeaurine 

     

     See it here

 


Sears & Roebuck Supertone Model 402

 

 

"Its a little rough."

 


Acme Professional "Regal" 

      Lemme See!!


Cammeyer Zither-Banjo 

  

Get It Sorted!

 


Nice No-Name

  Read All About It


 

Gretsch Blue   overall

 

 

 

 

Looky Here


Kay Waterbound

overall front

Part 1 Assessment Part 1

Part 2 Work Part 2        


Freemon's Five ca 1880s

freemon's front

Part 1 Repairs Needed Part 1

Part 2 Finished Part 2

 


Vinnie's Castoff (mandolin banjo)

vin

      Go There    


 Luxor Tenor

lux

Part 1 As Found - Yikes!

Part 2 Repairs

 


No old, but still fun down here --

   Deering Goodtime Modifications  GO

ackk

 


     Banjo Knowledge

   Part 1: What is an "A Scale" Banjo?? FIND OUT

    Part 2: What are Planetary Tuners & How Do They Work??

LEARN HERE


Saga OK-2 openback banjo kit review: Go

saga

  ...and I just built another one for fun: Go There


How To Remove A Dowel Stick   NEW

   The long-awaited, frequently requested article! 

Put Down That Hammer!

 


Dowel Stick Joint Failure   NEW  August 2010

or   

How to mess up a re-set

And How To Fix It


  How to mount a skin head

box  

 

 

 

 

     Let's Do It!

  

 



 Around my house:

          

Clearly, we are people of refinement and sophistication.

Thatís all for now (April 2012).

If you have a really beat-up old banjo and want work done on it, contact me at Timmo_1949@comcast.net