Restoration #7 - Geo P Matthew fretless
This banjo was brought to me for alterations and set up January 2022, and was ready for return to its owner in April.
Like the first Geo P Matthew banjo I restored, this was likely built around the turn of the 20th Century. Unlike the other, it came to me in generally fine condition. However, the neck was poorly aligned - possibly an issue that had always been the case, rather than being a more recent result of damage or warping.
Talking to the owner, we decided that although a dowel-stick re-set would be the most comprehensive way to address the problem, given the generally good condition of the instrument we'd avoid that invasive work. Instead, I designed a piece that would connect a re-aligned tailpiece to the existing lug, bringing the strings back into position without having to completely disassemble and rebuild the banjo. I therefore shaped a small oak block to serve as a connector between the two bolts.
I also did a general set-up service, including:
- Adjusting the nut and bridge to bring down the action slightly
- Setting the skin tension
- Waxing / chalking the tuning pegs
- Cleaning and oiling the fingerboard
- Cleaning and dusting the pot
- Putting on new strings