Friday, April 20, 2007

Stelling Banjo Sold!

I had planned on writing the next blog about our new Stelling banjo, but it sold so fast I didn't even get a chance to say anything about it! A very nice gentleman who lives near Carbondale, IL drove down today and bought our Stelling Red Fox banjo. We'll be getting a new Stelling Golden Cross banjo in sometime this year.

Stelling banjos are wonderful! They are handmade in the United States (in Virginia), and only three banjos a week are made. Geoff Stelling personally sets up and plays every one before it leaves the factory. I have a 1982 White Star that I love. If you haven't ever been to their website, take a look:

It was an early day today. I was at the shop by 9:30 a.m. The first part of the morning was spent planing a bass fingerboard. I have a long ways to go with that still, but I can only do that for so long before my arm and back starts hurting. I rubbed out the finish on a fiddle, installed some spikes on a customer's banjo, and then located and fixed a truss rod buzz.

I am currently working on a fiddle repair for a customer. Part of the pegbox is missing. I started the fitting and glueing process this morning. The glue is drying right now, and I have to wait for the glue to dry before I start the next procedure. I will be doing a cheek patch on it next. This will strengthen the pegbox patch, and it will also correct a peghole crack.

We had our jam session on Tuesday this week. It was another great one! Nine-year old Nicole came and played her banjo. She had just finished ball practice and was still wearing her uniform. She is doing great on the banjo. It was good to see Gary again. I love his singing and guitar picking. We had two dobro players this time: Ben from Sparta, and first timer Dale from Belleville. Warren and his wife stayed around for a little while and we talked a bit. Warren can play guitar and harmonica at the same time. I think we had about 20 pickers in all. Four or five of us actually picked until almost midnight. Pretty amazing for a weeknight. I'm just glad I don't have to get up early!

The Flinthill mandolins have been selling like hotcakes. This is a brand I had not heard of until about 6 months ago. The first one I received sounded so good I thought it must be a fluke. I ordered another one right away to compare the two. The second one sounded just as good as the first. This is a $150 A Style mandolin that is simply unbeatable! We have sold 5-6 since then, and the one I got in today has already sold.

Ron and Madonna came in this afternoon and we had a nice talk. They bought a vintage student size guitar from us for one of their grandsons. This was a really neat old guitar, probably from the 1960's. It's not that often that you find one that has a straight neck. This particular one was a "Lindell" brand. Nothing special, but it had a straight neck and very low action. It had a steel rod in the neck, so that's probably why it stayed straight all these years.

Tonight I will be attending the dinner auction for Special Children Inc. and the Mamie Stookey School for the developmentally delayed. This is an event I have gone to since its inception five years ago. Every year, we donate an instrument for the oral auction, and I come and play the instrument so the bidders can hear what it sounds like. This is a really nice event that benefits some truly needy children and families.

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