1890s Buckbee 5-String Banjo

My friend JC, who organizes the Talcville Hayride, owns this banjo. I'd actually sold this sort-of as-is almost a decade ago to a local guy and she'd bought it off of him. It must've mostly-sat for years because it was in pretty sore shape when she brought it back in "just for some strings." Ohhh sigh. I never believe that one.

Work included: a board plane, full refret, and a lot of setup work and new Aquila strings on the house as a thank-you for running our performances. The old "fretboard" (it was ebonized maple and only 1/32" thick) was flaking-off everywhere so it was pretty quick to remove that and the "sort-of" frets that were still in the board. After that I leveled the neck flat, stained it with India ink black to match the Buckbee aesthetic, and refretted it with standard medium/banjo frets. Additional work included cleaning, a new wooden 5th string pip, a weird double-zero-fret (one's the "slotted" nut) mod at the nut area, and a new bridge with custom string spacing.

After work it sounds the biz and the Yellowstone synthetic head I installed oh-so-long-ago is still going strong.

Specs are: 24 1/8" scale length, 1 1/4" nut, 1" string spacing at the nut, 2 3/16" spacing at the bridge, 9 7/8" rim diameter, and 2 1/4" depth.

Materials are: walnut neck, maple (stained) rim with nickel-silver-plated brass cladding, replacement tuners, tailpiece, and endbolt, a mix of period hooks and nuts, and a replacement bridge and head.

I love the Buckbee "boat heel" design.