There's been a lot going on around Buzzard HQ lately and today I started on a wonderful repair/restoration. I was sent this banjo and the owner really didn't know much about it, only that it has hung on his wall since the early 70's and had a Gibson tag on the inside. The banjo turns out to be an early 5 string conversion of a 1926 Gibson Tenor Banjo, this conversion was done sometime in the 60's I presume but may be earlier. The pot is stamped with a serial number 8257-30 and has a Tag that says "The Gibson, Gibson INC, Kalamazoo Mich.". A little research turned up that this pot was made in 1926 and was originally an open back tenor.
The current state of the banjo is pretty poor, the neck is bowed enough to make this banjo unplayable. So I am in the process of doing a restore on this thing, building a new neck, repairing the rim which was slightly mangled in the original conversion. The owner doesn't want a full reproduction of the original conversion or an original Gibson, he just wants a nice playable banjo. I'll post some more details and images as I progress, but for now here are some images of the banjo in the state it arrived in. The original banjo had coordinator rods if you look close you can see the holes for them.
This should be a very exciting build! I have some other repairs and new banjos going as well, and I will update the blog with other projects soon.
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