Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Princess Banjo-Mandolin Reassembly, Pt. 1

Can you believe it?  I'm back working on the Princess banjo-mandolin.  I started working on it back in April.  And I'm finally beginning to put it back together.

I wanted to polish up the hardware, but I was concerned about getting polishing compound residue everywhere.  When it dries, it leaves white residue on stuff and it's sometimes hard to get it out of cracks, etc.

So I used masking tape around the lugs on the rim and then went at the lugs with my smaller polisher.  Then I put the hooks on and polished them too.

Worked pretty well.

Funny picture though.  When you use a wide-angle lens, the foreground looks a lot bigger than anything else - way out of scale.  You'd think the polisher is twice the size of the peghead on the bench.  It is not.

I thought it might be a good idea to use a bit of anti-sieze compound on the lug threads.  Just a small amount should do it.

The anti-sieze is messy and tends to go everywhere.  So I've been using gloves when I get near it.

Here I'm putting the nuts onto the lugs.  You can see the head is already on the rim.

The new head installed onto the rim.  I still have the original skin head, but I think the new head will work out better.

I procured a nice new bridge.  If you look closely, you'll see that I filed the top into more of a nice curve.  It came with the saddle sections cut squarely.  I like to taper the saddle so that the string only contacts the bridge at one point - it prevents rattling.

Although on a banjo I think rattles are part of the game!

I'm going to put a bunch of coats of Tru-Oil on it.  I don't like leaving raw wood on instruments, especially where the parts will be exposed to moisture and dirt.

We also need a new nut.  I'm going to make one out of the small stash of buffalo bone I have.  The old nut is in the foreground - I'll transfer its string spacing to the new nut.

The old one is plastic and we know bone is far superior for good tone.


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