Taropatch Banjo Uke


Rick Nestler asked me to turn this Mandolin banjo into a Taropatch Ukelele, which, if you didn't know, is a double strung ukelele with the two bass strings octaves and the top treble strings unison.

Here's what it looked like when I got it:
  
The finish on the peghead and part of the neck looked like it had fried in the heat. There was also a chip on the top corner. When I looked closely I Realized that it was Brazillian Rosewood veneer!

So I decided to patch the chip and refinish it!


Heres what it looked like after I scraped the finish off.


I cut off the burnt and broken chip and glued in a piece of Brazillian Rosewood.


Here it is with finish on it:

Of course the dowel stick needed to be reset.
It also had very weird dowel stick hardware
that must have been from some other banjo.
Who ever put it on cut away part of the stick
to fit it on? So I filled the holes with some maple, filled the hole where the old hardware was screwed on
Oh! Someone also cut the bottom of the dowel stick
probably to chang the neck angle! What a mess!


I just got these super large rubber bands from LMI!
They were great for gluing on the end piece.



I sprayed the stick with "Perfect Brown"
lacquer from Mowhawk.

Then I tackled the fingerboard!
Here it is before:


The frets were wiped out and the fingerboard was
mishapen, cracked and chipped, so I removed the frets and dyed the fingerboard and the refretted it:



I also gave it some new dowel stick hardware and
a calf skin head:


Here it is all finished!


I strung it with two sets of ukelele strings except for the bass strings which are octaves. I used a .40 and .30 for those.