Hi folks,

I got myself a Windsor Artiste 3 about a week ago, for alsmost no money (sometimes a man's got to be lucky...). It was in a pretty decent state with only cosmetic flaws. Here's a few pics of it when I got it:

This had me worried but it's only cosmetic:

And then I did a pretty sloppy job of "restoring" it. I didn't want to spend to much time fixing it, just make it playable. The main problem being veneer getting stuck on clothing. The veneer on that thing is extremely thin, about 0,3 mm, I would say. I don't have thin veneer like that, and also no rosewood. Tried with some mahogany veneer on a small patch and it was a pain in the a**. Since I anyway wanted to fill the lining with a wood putty, I had the great idea (after a few beers. I shouldn't do work in my workshop after a few beers...) to also fill up the missing veneer with wood putty. Not a very satisfying result... The wood putty had almost the exact same colour of the lining when I put it on. After it dried it turned a lovely gray... :-/ I also stuck and covered the veneer sticking out on the sides with shellac, just enough to make it not stick on clothing.

Well, I'm not very happy with the looks but I worked with only shellac and hide glue, so it will be easy enough to redo it one day if I want to. Here's some pics:

I'll post a video of me playing it. Unfortunately my camera (or microphone) is not very good. And I still need to learn to play the thing... :-)

Oh, it also misses three tensioning bolts. So if someone have a few spares, I would be interested in buying them.

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I've got an old Cammeyer Patent ("Patent" is the name of the model of zither-banjo) that has lost lots of its veneer. I bought it As Is and have never strung it up. You've given me the idea that maybe I should see how it plays, even in its ragged state. There's nothing structurally wrong with it after all. 

Yeah, I think you should. Then you would also know if it's worth restoring it.

I could even give you my recipe for my wood putty if you want to... :-)

Jody Stecher said:

I've got an old Cammeyer Patent ("Patent" is the name of the model of zither-banjo) that has lost lots of its veneer. I bought it As Is and have never strung it up. You've given me the idea that maybe I should see how it plays, even in its ragged state. There's nothing structurally wrong with it after all. 

I have spares... Shoot me an address and I will send you some... Give me the head size so I make sure to send the right ones.. Windsor uses 2 sizes.. :)The cracking in the veneer by the neck is just visual The necka are screwed to rhe rim quite well before the veneer is applied. However, it is a sign... When these things sit too long with string tension, the body (pot) will warp. I bet if you measure the inside lip of the rim ftom neck to tailpiece, and crossways, you will find that the neck to tailpiece measurement is shorter.  :) The effect is a super high action. If you are willing to tinker, this can be fixed fairly easy.

I even have half a body I could send you.. It has more than enough veneer and binding to repair yours..I have been using bits of it to repair the rest of my collection.. :)  Few layers of painters tape over the top, so it doesn't fall apart, then pass a cloths iron across it a few times to soften the glue. Peel off with sharp object of your choice.. Leave the tape on..

The rest of the cracks in the veneer I would repair with CA glue.. I use thin glue and let it soak in so everything is secured. Then I use thicker glue to fill and level the cracks.

Got this banjo in pieces a few years back to use for parts. It has helped save 4 other Windsors so far... Happy to see it help out a 5th... :)

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