Mike Runyon in the Mass Street Music Repair Shop has been working on this 20s Gibson Mastertone banjo, brought in by a nice couple who rediscovered it under a bed. They’re getting it fixed up for their granddaughter. Even after all this time, it only needs a set up. However, when Mike pulled off the resonator, he discovered two small light bulbs on the interior.
Because most banjo heads long ago were made from skins, cooler weather and high humidity could really take a toll, cause the skin to ‘sag’ and the bridge might even come loose. Some players remedied this by attaching warming contraptions like these bulbs to keep the skin warm and dry. A cord came through between the resonator and the head to plug it in. Nifty. Mike is leaving the bulbs in place though the cord has long since been cut.
Jigs and clamps…this sweet mando was set up in a jig by Mike Horan who was doing some repairs on it. Often the shop will use jigs to hold things in place while working on another area of the instrument, or to hold something together while glue is drying. They have a million uses and look pretty swank too. Note the clamp on the back end.
And just because, here are a couple random shots from around the shop the other day….