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  • jackenwaters

Spencer banjo - restoration complete

So this little Victorian short-scale is back up to playing condition - and is a pleasure to play!

The owner preferred a minimally-invasive set-up to a complete overhaul as it was all structurally sound - and we agreed that a lot of the mismatched brackets and marks of alteration over the years are nice indicators of this banjo's story, rather than something to cover up.

Nevertheless, it needed a bit of work here and there:

  • As it had lost its fifth tuner I sourced and installed an appropriate new one

  • The remaining original tuners were fine, but needed a clean to make sure they were neither sticking nor slipping

  • It had lost a couple of brackets so I put in new ones and brought the skin back to tension

  • The fretboard had dried and shrunk over the years, so I oiled it and filed down a few protruding fret ends

  • The dowel stick holding the neck to the pot had lost its bracing, so I made a couple of cherry blocks to hold it tight

  • I sourced a new bridge and resized it so that the string action and playing height are comfortable

  • Finally, I put on a set of nylgut strings

There's some more info on this banjo in the Gallery, here.

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