I am the surprise winner of a CE Special on Ebay - a surprise because I wasn't expecting to win!

It arrived today and I have taken off the blackened metal strings and put a set of nylons on; it has the original case (one that opens at the bottom) and original Clifford Essex skinhead.  The fly in the ointment is that there are 3 small holes on the back of the neck

- I'm worried they could be a sign of active woodworm.  Does anyone have any experience of this or could offer advice.  I checked the case but didn't see any critters or dust. I will upload some photos.  Thanks in advance.

Views: 268

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Put the banjo neck in a transparent plastic bag for a couple of months, you'll see some activity by then.

Hi Joel - I guess I could do that.  It's hard not to play with a new toy though.

Joel Hooks said:

Put the banjo neck in a transparent plastic bag for a couple of months, you'll see some activity by then.

Hi Carrie,

That is a nice maple CE Special...just like mine!  From what I can see the edges of the holes look so old that the beetles will have long since gone and died of old age!  I suggest holding a hole over a piece of white paper and tapping the neck.  If you get a pile of dust out of the hole it may still be active, but if you get nothing more than arm ache... they are long dead.

Thanks Ian - I just tried that and no sign of any dust.   May be they packed their bags when they heard me playing banjo :)

thereallyniceman said:

Hi Carrie,

That is a nice maple CE Special...just like mine!  From what I can see the edges of the holes look so old that the beetles will have long since gone and died of old age!  I suggest holding a hole over a piece of white paper and tapping the neck.  If you get a pile of dust out of the hole it may still be active, but if you get nothing more than arm ache... they are long dead.

"Bug Bags": good title  for a Banjo Solo.

carrie horgan said:

 May be they packed their bags when they heard me playing banjo :)

Carrie , the wood of the neck is Maple :

BTW , do the wood covering the head of the neck has a kind of red color or reflects ?

if Yes , your banjo could be from the same serie than these......

https://classic-banjo.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2667446%3ABlog...

That is interesting Marc!  My CE Woodhoop has a "Rosewood" peghead and fingerboard that is a red/brown colour.

Carrie's CE looks as though the fingerboard is ebony or ebonised, also the tailpiece is different to mine.

Mine:

My peghead and fretboard looks like ebony - there is no reddish/brown colour.  Yes, a different tailpiece also.

I think the bridge is original but I may change it to one with wider string spacing as the fretboard is wider up-the-neck.  What bridges do you guys use?

This might be an opportune time to mention the problem with dating Clifford Essex Banjos, with the Badges,

which were affixed to the Perch Pole / dowel. The Clifford Essex Co. name was changed in 1919 , to

Clifford Essex and Son. They obviously had many Badges left and continued to use up the stock.

This makes dating an instrument precisely almost impossible. The only model which can be used as a

guide, is the Paragon. This was introduced to their line in 1924 and my example which is Serial number 53,

a tenor was probably made in 1925. This till has the Clifford Essex Co. badge fitted.

When they moved to Shaftesbury Avenue, in 1937, is when the new badge starts to be used with their

NEW address.

Keith 

Marc, I am very confident that the Roman numerals are manufacturing control numbers and have nothing to do with dating.  It has to do with keeping different parts together during the various processes of manufacturing. 

Example-- if you are building banjos in batches of 10 at a time you would have parts marked I to X for each individual banjo.  For the next batch of banjos you would repeat.

Regarding the tailpiece, the "Professional" tailpiece (as found on Ian's Special) was introduced sometime between August of 1920 and March of 1925.

Since we are missing those issues of the BMG I don't know the year, but with access to those issues we could likely narrow it down to the month that the Professional tailpiece was introduced (as well as the Professional banjo model).

I've done the a similar thing with SSS banjos-- for example, the Stewart Common Sense tailpiece was introduced in June of 1891.  The main difference is that the Stewart CS tailpiece could have been bought and put on older banjos. 

The CE Professional tailpiece requires drilling and tapping the stretcher hoop or bezel.  This would still leave the end bolt that would need to be replaced with a flush mounted bolt.  Because of that, it is unlikely that Professional tailpieces were commonly retrofitted to older CE banjos.

Carrie's Special predates 1920-1925, Ian's Special postdates 1920-1925.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service