Whyte Laydie/Electric style tone ring prototype

I bought a ring roller earlier in the fall with the idea that it would make the production of tension hoops faster and more precise, and would also enable me to mess about a bit with tone rings and such.  This is my first experiment.  It’s an Electric/Whyte Laydie type tone ring made from brass and without the skirt, as I am not equipped to learn to make those.  I put it in a 12″ walnut banjo very similar to the last one I built which had a wood tone ring.  I was curious what it would sound like, so I made up a quick video that includes both banjos for a direct comparison.  I am sorry to say that I can’t play my way out of the proverbial paper bag, nor do I have equipment or skills to make high quality recordings, but I hope that this video may give some idea of the difference between the two banjos.  I’ll be making more of these tone rings soon.  Here’s the link to the video:



My first longneck build

I have thought sometimes about making a longneck banjo, but I never actually did it until last month when I was lucky enough to get a custom neck building job for a short longneck, which ended up being a 29″ scale length.  The owner wanted the flexibility of the longneck design without having to reach all the way out to a full size longneck.  It tuned down to E pretty well with medium strings.  The owner sent me the pot and I made the neck to fit.  It’s curly maple with rosewood veneer pinstripes and a rosewood fretboard.  This was my first time working with plastic binding and plastic dots.  The customer wanted light colored dots that would show up, and I have noticed before that when I put maple dots in a rosewood or ebony board that when I sanded it the dots were darkened by the dark sanding dust.  I had a few bumps along the way learning to use the plastic binding, but it came out all right in the end.   This was also my first time installing a Shubb capo.  There’s always more to learn, and I like to get the chance to try new jobs.PC010039.JPGPC010040.JPGPC010041.JPGPC010042.JPGPC010043.JPG