Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘building banjos’

amber elite head with a dobson tone ring.

amber elite head with a dobson tone ring.

Recently finished a flush fret banjo for Connie Moxness. She gave me a photograph of a flush fret Stewart from the 1890’s that had a sweet peg head and beautiful lines and I did my best to recreate that lovely banjo. We added some modern touches, but she wanted a clean and simple design. I especially liked the peghead shape and plan to incorporate that much more.

original photo from which design was taken

original photo from which design was taken

Connie's banjo

Connie’s banjo

The Flush Fret banjo has a cocbolo fingerboard and the flush frets are ebony. I added a Dobson tone ring (from Bill Rickard) and made my own adjusting tailpiece to be able to create a 15 degree angle over the bridge. All the hardware was aged by Connie.

The banjo is made from local walnut and the veneers and fingerboard are cocobolo. This banjo is made with a laminated walnut rim, which made if very light. It is a G-scale banjo 25.5″ scale, and the neck is two frets shorter to make it easier to play. I also backstrapped the rear peg head veneer.

front peg head with cocobolo veneer

front peg head with cocobolo veneer

rear peg head with backstrap

rear peg head with backstrap

_DSC7612

adjustable tailpiece

adjustable tailpiece

_DSC7626I will put up a picture of the owner and sound files soon.

Read Full Post »

Stu Mason and I recently collaborated on building a fretless, slot head, tack head banjo. I am happy to say, Stu recently recorded a solo album “Tradition” featuring this banjo, and I am really happy with the sound. IMG_0767 IMG_0769 IMG_0818 IMG_0820 IMG_0823 IMG_0830

IMG_0832 IMG_0835

Stu wanted a slot head so he could use guitar tuners which are much finer than normal banjo tuners, and important factor for him, especially when he is on stage. Costs were lowered by purchasing a bodhran on line, which Stu distressed. The Bodhran tension can be adjusted from the inside. I made a simple wedge and block for attaching the neck and custom made the tailpiece as well. We aged all the brass and I added a brass plate on the heel and frailing scoop. I had to close my eyes when Stu “distressed” the neck.

http://stuartmasontradition.com

You can listen to this fine album here and also hear the results of our collaboration.

Read Full Post »

I am pretty excited. I got a recent email from Jim Connolly of Santa Barbara. I made Jim a custom banjo and he just recorded an album called “Broadcasting Live” under the name “Toy Shop Ghost” and featuring his new banjo. Jim is a very interesting character, bassist, composer, piano tuner. His website is http://www.jimconnollymusic.com. Here is a link to sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/james-connolly-4.

Cocobolo Banjo

Cocobolo Banjo

Read Full Post »

new hardware

I just got a shipment of some more brass hardware, and some brass tension hoops from Bill Rickard, they are superb and I am looking forward to using them on the next banjos!

Read Full Post »