Work Page 8-2020
Stromberg Deluxe

19 fret tenor
Circa 1930s
Rosewood Neck-carved
High end inlay work
Celluloid peg head overlay
Engraved Armrest

Gold plated hardware
Rosewood resonator, with black/white concentric rings
Grover tuners, MOP buttons

(1 is replaced-will change)
Waverly tailpiece- orig.
10-7/8" rim, with Cuppophone tone ring
Additional arch ring-9-1/4" active playing surface
All orig. hardware


I will start with the resonator, showing 1/2 stripped off so one can see a "Before/After" look.

I know, that there are those that THINK an instrument should be left alone, original patina and that's OK too.

But my take on it is that if the builder, whoever built it, wanted it to look like the "before " side, they would have aged it and yellowed it accordingly. Rant Over.

OK, so I  finished stripping it, then scraped all the binding rings and all,  to make them look fresh as well.

They are shrunken in as usual, so you have to go down and get the grime.

I went darker on the inside of resonator, since it will have a clear head, that will make the tone ring stand out.
If you got it, flaunt it.

8-8 Update
Rim dis-assembled and stripped
Tone ring comes out with 4 screws, recessed in tone tubes.

Rim skirt/head bearing is the same style as Vega Little Wonder, but with a longer skirt and shoe screws through the skirt.

They are on very tight as a rule, and I remove them in the method shown to avoid top of rim damage, working my way around using ever increasingly larger shims to leverage upon.

The banjo had an aftermarket mute in its life, I have seen the style, but the only vestige of it is the string post on the front of the rim and the hole in the dowel where it attached, nothing else.

The bottom rim ring is still almost all god plated with a little oxidation
The rim skirt gold is all but gone, and I will buff it back to nickel.
I will leave the top bearing edge gold since it is still gold, for effect with the clear head.

I will seal loose laminates after stripping and dye the top of the rim black, so it "pops" when the clear head is on it.

The rim will be a reddish brown, darker than before to also give contrast to the hardware. The anchor shoes are still an nice gold.

On the rim refinish  only the areas that need finish get it, you do not want to spray finish in these places because parts will not fit.
So those get taped off first.


The rim skirt cleaned up very nicely to nickel, with on a few tiny spots of brassing, the gold shoes look excellent on it
The head size is not 10-7/8s on this one, it is 10-15/16
That caused a problem, since I had no new 10-15/16 in clear
I did have a good used one that was worn on one side so I had to make do.
I will change it out when they become avl., and when BG comes back thru for a break -in tune up.
I have owned only 2 Stromberg's that were 1015s, not 1014's.
Both were late model.

All hardware cleaned and waxed, and ready to assemble


I will strip the old finish, and work with the frets that are on it, I feel they will take a light leveling and be good to go.

If not, I will it in some new ones.

And it will get side markers
Neck refinished, 6 coats Nitro
Overlay and Heel cap not finished, buff ed andwaxed

Inlays were sealed and engraving wax added to the lines

Fingerboard oiled and polished

Frets sealed ,leveled , crowned and polished

The neck hardware is shown as is the odd style tension nut, for visual purposes

Final pics.
I set the banjo up so that Barry could test it while he was in for a visit.
The finish is curing so it is not buffed out yet
When the new head comes in off back order I will do all of it at once.
It plays very well, no fretting out anywhere with a low action.
It will be a worthy adversary to my older version Deluxe (Last Pic)

Thanks for watching, sharing and inquiring