11/09/2011

c.1930 Harmony-made? Banjo Mandolin


It seems like I've been doing tons of customer repair lately! The workshop is full of old instruments with homes to go back to. Not my usual orphanage at all!

This is one such instrument -- a (probably Harmony-made) banjo mandolin from around c.1930. It's got the full celluloid (read as: mother of toilet seat) treatment on the fretboard and headstock, a dandy decal on the resonator, and a flamed maple neck with flamed-maple-veneered maple pot. A hum-dinger!

My work included a fret dress, cleaning, some take-apart, and setup as well as a new set of banjo-mando friendly strings (28w-09 rather than a "light" mando set of 34w-10).

This instrument has a long 14" scale, big-ish head (someone thankfully replaced the original skin one with a Remo Fiberskyn one which helps tone the ringiness down), and a huge, rivet-driving, gut-busting sound... that's not harsh or unpleasant at all, thank goodness.


Bone nut, cool (originally white, now yellowish) celluloid covering.


Brass frets.


Hardware is all in decently-gleaming shape.




This is a BIG neck. Probably to be able to take the extra tension of the long scale.



I lubed the tuners as well -- all working now.


Fun decal on the back.



...and I love the wrist-rest tailpiece. These always look so classy.

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