Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I decided on "rusty water" - vinegar, water (roughly 50/50) with rusty bits of metal and torn-up steel wool. I've had this mixed up for a few weeks and did some tests on scrap pieces prior to this. After this may be a second treatment of rusty water, then linseed oil, a little dry time, then multiple applications of shellac and a final polish with olive oil and rotten stone, ending it all with a light coat of wax. That's the plan anyhow.

Views: 127

Albums: My Banjo
Location: Ladenberg PA

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on May 9, 2012 at 8:34pm

Note:  I was tired after sanding, but couldn't resist putting the rusty water on!

Comment by Bell Banjos on May 9, 2012 at 8:46pm

At the speed you're going, you'll be done in ....   about 20 minutes !!  This is a great little documentary, not just about the kit, but your traditional finishing, too.

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on May 10, 2012 at 5:57am

Haha!  Well I did have to sleep and eat and just got to work today, so it'll be a few hours until the next steps.  I checked how things dried this morning and will need to go back to the rim - had one erant drip spot gah!  Glad you like the photos Terry!

Comment by Dave Culgan on May 10, 2012 at 6:24am

Got any of that rusty water left Matt, I'm hoping for a package soon myself?

I'd better get my stuff together and be reading to hit the ground running. Dave Culgan

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on May 10, 2012 at 6:55am

I do have more Dave!  Plenty infact.  I'll post photos of my test runs on samples of maple.  It really is a neat finish! 

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on May 10, 2012 at 6:57am

Oh and if you take a look at the rag I'm using, below it and directly below the neck you'll see the container of "rusty water", that yellow, brown mucky lookin stuff. 

Comment by Steve Jeter on May 10, 2012 at 8:25am

cool, I am anxious to see how it turns out

Comment by Roberta Perkins on October 8, 2012 at 1:47pm

Hello, Matt:  I'm curious, what does the rusty water do?

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on October 8, 2012 at 6:51pm

Hi Roberta!

The rusty water - which is mostly vinegar with a little water and rusty nails and other bits - will react to the sugars in the wood.  Maple has a higher sugar content (depends on its hardness) and will reenact an interesting way.  See the images of the rim to REALLY see the effect it can have; turned it gray!  But it changes it another color after the linseed oil and shellac coats.

Comment by Roberta Perkins on October 9, 2012 at 9:34pm

Thanks, Matt: This may have been in an earlier comment and I missed it; how did this mixture come about?


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