Here at MayosMusic, in addition to offering great guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo and autoharp lessons, we are also a complete luthier service that includes guitar/bass, all string instruments plus amplifier, studio, stage, sound reinforcement and guitar effect electronics repairs/restorations
Below are pictures of the repair and restoration of Baseball Legend Maury Wills' (LA Dodgers) Vintage/Antique Kay Banjo. The Kay Banjo is a Silva Artist model (a four-string plectrum type).
As we (Mayos Music) had previously repaired numerous guitars and basses for Maury and his family, he intrusted his favorite banjo to us. Maury told me that this Kay Banjo came with him when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles and that he took it on the road trips from ballpark to ballpark playing it on the tour bus. A note of interest, after Maury Wills retired from pro baseball, having played and/or coached with the LA Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Montreal Expos, he played/sang in numerous Las Vegas lounge shows for years. This old Kay was his go to banjo.
The old Kay banjo was for sometime put into storage where it sustained extensive water damage. It was a rusted out basket case needing a complete tear down and rebuild. The original truss rod was rusted into place and had to be forcefully removed to be repaired/replaced. I think that these pictures tell the sad story. But this "Old Silva Kay Banjo's" story was not finished being told.
The before and during pictures show the as-is condition of Maury's 1940 Kay/Silva Artist model banjo. Most pictures show the disassembled Kay Banjo. Pre-restored condition showing: Fretboard becoming unglued from neck, water damage to truss rod in neck, water damage to all metal parts, water damage to the neck, rim, resonator and all wood parts.
These photo's show Maury's finished Kay Banjo. All original parts, with many metal parts having been refinished. Note the finish on the wooden parts (neck, rim shell, resonator, etc. were only cleaned wet-sanded and polished.) The Kay got a complete set-up w/fret dress (top and polish). Hey Maury, how about a little bit of "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue"?