6/07/2014

c.1920 Weymann Style 30 Banjo-Mandolin


The serial number places this guy at around 1918-1920 and like other Weymann instruments, it's a ruggedly-built, nice-sounding piece of gear. Style 30 indicates a plain (no-tonering) maple rim and super-plain styling.

I worked on this for a customer and when it came in there was the usual rat's nest of issues to clean up: it needed a new head, the frets needed leveling and dressing, the fretboard had been reglued sloppily with some chip-outs and gaps that needed filling, the customer wanted some side dots, the tuners needed lubing, new neck brace shims needed to be made, the remains of the headstock veneer needed gluing, the bridge needed to be intonated... what a laundry-list! It "played" when it came in by which I mean it made different noises when you moved from fret to fret... but not at all how it should.

It's come out of minor surgery a sweet, warm-sounding, cute little thing and it plays spot on with a quick, easy touch.




I used a new Remo Renaissance head (10 1/2" diameter, here) as I just love the sound of them. The logo was hid under the fretboard extension for a nice, clean look.






New bone nut, too, to replace a weird aftermarket molded plastic nut.


The dyed maple board was reglued at one point sloppily and part of the repair and fret level process meant I needed to fill gaps and chip-outs in the board and glue-in loose fret ends and whatnot before work proceeded. There's also a replacement pearl dot in there somewhere.


This 1940s adjustable rosewood bridge came without adjuster wheels and it wasn't intonated... the wheels were supplied from my parts bin (same period) and the intonation was done quickly with a flat file.


I'm glad the tailpiece cover managed to survive this long! There's a bit of cork stuffed under it to mute the string afterlengths.



Weymanns are rugged and sturdy... and you can just get a sense of that from the heavy-duty hardware used.


The enclosed tuners needed a bit of lube but that was it.


This got some new neck brace shims (the lower adjuster right on the dowel) to keep the neck nice and snug. For some reason folks don't believe they're needed on Weymanns due to the big tensioning rod mechanism... but they are! It keeps the neck/pot bit just a hair more stable.


To increase tension on the neck/pot joint you turn this counter-clockwise to press it further back from the rim. I absolutely adore Weymann for this design... it's so practical and effective.


All the rim hardware is original which = great!


The hanger for the tailpiece is replacement stuff from someone's hardware store. The tailpiece cover will also not seat fully "down" with the cork in place... but it was there and worked fine so I left it.


An original case, too.

1 comment:

kistenjc said...

Very cool instrument! Why no sound clip?