c.1895 Buckbee 5-String Banjo

Another customer's instrument, this is a c.1890s Buckbee-built 5-string banjo. I did as minimal a job as possible to get it into playing status. Sometime in the 50s or 60s someone overhauled this in their own way and set it up as a steel-stringer (these were originally gut stringers)... but the job was not so workmanly. I've cleaned it up, replaced some missing parts (hex shoe & some hooks, and a new neck brace ebony shim), and set it up. Plays nice and easy and sounds good, to boot, though without recutting the heel to fit the pot again, the neck angle means it's using a low bridge (in this case an ebony parts-bin find that does the job).

Typical period Buckbee style headstock. Ebony veneer and ebony fretboard with MOP dots, one of which I replaced.

Original head as far as I can tell... and yes, it does have a pretty good pony on it.

50s/60s tuners. Probably Japanese-made. Originals were more than likely ebony pegs.

Funky brass 5th peg.

Rim is double-spun and the wood used on the neck and rim and dowel is most likely maple. A little hard to tell exactly with the dark stain.