I also sold my first Dean 6-string banjo (the "pop-top" Backwoods 6) to a fellow from Columbus, who drove out to meet me on my lunch hour. $200 isn't a lot of money, but it was a fair price, and would probably go some distance toward covering further repairs on the Deering.
I also went to our neighborhood motorcycle shop to get some Simichrome polish, which a couple folks recommended, including the Deering web site.
Then Friday, April 24, while I was waiting for some programs to run on my computer, I got out the Simichrome and some rags and went to work. And worked, and worked, and worked. The Simichrome worked like a charm where things were just weathered or lightly tarnished, but there were several places that were very heavily tarnished. Finally, when I had got things to the point where the banjo looked very shiny and nobody else but me would ever know where I hadn't got the nickle plate complete restored, I gave it a rest.
I thought I had a set of silver-colored guitar strings somewhere, so I figured I'd go ahead and try the local guy's recommendation about just tweaking the nut and restringing it. As it turns out, I only had a set of Martin Marquis light bronze - my "go-to" strings for most of my Ovations. Well, I figured I'd probably wear them out quickly trying to get the thing set up, so I'd have time to get to the store and get some more banjoish-looking strings before I played the thing out anywhere.
I took off the strings, took a triangular file to the nut where the low E and low A would be crossing and, scrubbed off the drum head with Fantastic (not recommended, but it was a mess), put some high-grade furniture polish on the fingerboard, then wiped it off, and went in to put the new strings on.
Because the tailpiece on this will go cockeyed if you start with the outside strings, I figured I'd start with the D string. Guess what? It wasn't long enough. Technically, the core wire did reach the peg, but I prefer to have the wrapped part of the wire go all the way. So I did what I haven't done since high school - put an old set of strings back on an instrument.
Turns out the previous owner was using medium strings. I prefer light, so the neck will probably need adjustment after I swap out the strings, but I could actually play it. The action wasn't too bad at all. That said the old strings are deader than dead, so I HAVE to get to the store before long.
Or maybe order the Deering 6-string banjo strings. I'm sure THEY'd be long enough.
Also, Deering hadn't been convinced that just turning the bridge around would do the job - that's one reason I was considering a new bridge. But turning the bridge around seems to have worked. Intonation is very good across the board. So there doesn't seem to be as much point to sending it back to the factory for a couple hundred $$$ worth of work as there did a week earlier.
Before I put the resonator back on, I thought I'd try installing the Barcus Berry pickup that the fellow had thrown in. THEN I realized that the little screws that fasten the magnetic pickup to the bracket were stripped out. So I might have to get little nuts or something to do the job. But not today.
At any rate, here's a picture of the thing cleaned up and restrung for right-handers.
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