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vw1300

Restoring a banjo

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I have a late '60s-early '70s Baldwin/Ode Style C banjo. It has a good sound and plays pretty well, but the metal rim has oxidized and corroded over the years, and is now pitted and greenish at places. How do I go about restoring it?

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Take the banjo apart and put all the parts you want replated in a box. Find a shop that does chrome plating for motorcycle or car parts, or just take it to your local Harley dealer and have them send it off. They will come back all shiney.

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Yeah, I'm just nervous about giving all those little pieces to a shop, I envision them losing a few. There's one near my neighborhood, I should just get this overwith.

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Yeah' date=' I'm just nervous about giving all those little pieces to a shop, I envision them losing a few. There's one near my neighborhood, I should just get this overwith.

 

[/quote']

 

You know if you want the thing shiny, sometimes you just got to bite the bullet. The good news is that in terms of antique banjos this one does not qualify-way to young yet-so even if the replating place "lost" a few pieces -usually J hooks, you can still get brand new ones just like the originals. I know that does nothing to calm your fears because you consider this to be a "classic" banjo and want to keep it original.

 

Trust me, I have been rebuilding ANTIQUE banjos (ones 100 years old and older) for some time now and I have rarely ever had a replating place lose any small pieces.

 

Jan

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Jan:

 

You are correct, I should just bite the bullet. No worries about losing/replacing a j-hook or something, I have no illusions about this being a classic - for one thing it's a Baldwin - most people go "huh?" when they see it, I have to explain what it is. It's a good player, but it's a bit beat and the finish on the headstock, back, and neck are severely cracked/checked too. It deserves better.

 

Regading the Baldwin name on the banjo - I can't help but wonder what the rationale was for a piano company buying a banjo company (Ode). I understand guitars were booming in the late '60s so they bought Burns and Gretsch, but who in their right mind would consider banjos as a growth industry? Did some pinhead exec think it was the next big thing? It's a mystery to me.

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Nashville Plating Service is a reputable shop that does specialty work on banjos. The're on the web. http://www.nashvilleplatingservice.com/

 

Check the history of your banjo, banjos are usually nickle plated not chrome. Some folks think chrome on a banjo makes it look like a bathroom fixture.

 

A Baldwin style C is actually a valuable, desireable banjo.

 

Finally, replacing the bracket hooks for about a buck a peice is probably better than replating. The nuts will be OK.

 

Good luck.

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To avoid possible rust or tarnishing, I would recommend not allowing a leather strap are leather ties to be left in contact with the metal parts of your banjo when not using it!!!

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