View Full Version : 1924-25 Gibson Trapdoor Banjo Ukulele Restoration

04-11-2011, 06:11 AM
Hi all,

Though I don't delve into the building of instruments that often, I do love a nice restoration project now and then, and this one really fits the bill! It's a Gibson Trapdoor in decent condition and should prove to be a challenge and a lot of fun. I thought that I would post the progress that I make on this forum as I track my own progression.

Here are all the parts:


As you can see, the toughest area of restoration will be the trapdoor, itself. The laminate appears to be water damaged and half the assemble is in pieces. I do have the trapdoor hinges, hardware, and binding. The wood will have to be replaced.


I have all the hardware, brackets, original j hooks, etc. Everything needs a good cleaning...


Continued...next post...

04-11-2011, 06:15 AM
Here's the neck and headstock. The fretboard is in excellent shape. The frets might need a light dressing and that's all...




And finally, the pot itself, which has sustained some damage and will need to be addressed:


That's it for now. I'll need to get a new skin but that can wait. I have alot of work to do before I'm even close to that point. I'll post more as I progress.

Obviously, I welcome any observations, suggestions, etc. about this projects.



Ken W
04-11-2011, 06:29 AM
Hey Mike, this looks like it has the makings of a great restoration. I hope you are planning on a new skin head and not plastic.

04-11-2011, 06:33 AM
Excellent, Mike. I see you've got the 'python' headstock, which is my favorite of the two styles offered. And amazingly, I've never noticed that they had both the dowel and the rod on the UB. I don't think I can offer much in the way of knowledge, but I'm very interested in seeing your progress! Good luck!!

03-22-2013, 04:07 PM
Are the spring/hinges hooked at the ends? Does that make them pretty near impossible to remove without taking off the wood??

03-22-2013, 06:57 PM
Good luck, friend! I have put a couple of those back together, so feel free to drop me a line with questions.

03-23-2013, 02:43 AM
Looks like a cool project. I wonder why the holes in the pot have hardware stains on one side only. Maybe someone used to play it in the bath tub :p

03-23-2013, 03:22 AM
Shame this thread was abandoned, seems like a highly interesting project!