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On most models, we use a catalyzed varnish which is more durable and flexible than the commonly used nitro-cellulose lacquer. It is harder to apply, but the results are worth it. Approximately twelve coats are sprayed on, with sanding in between each third application. After the final coat has cured for about a week, a last extra fine sanding and polishing are completed. This finishing process takes about three weeks to complete.
On Vintage Series models, we use a user-friendly tung oil and wax finish. This environmentally sound material renders the instrument’s finish easy to repair and maintain. It also provides for a natural look and feel of the woods used.
The metal parts of OME banjos also play an important part in building an exceptional instrument. The banjo is roughly one-third metal and two-thirds wood. The metal parts used on the OME’s are specially alloyed, then cast, spun, stamped, and machined using our own special patterns and dies.
After machining, the finished metal parts are first polished then triple-plated with traditional nickel or tarnish-resistant chrome. Upper line models often feature our hand-engraving and are usually plated with 23.5 kt. gold that has a cobalt hardener added for increased resistance to wear.