March instruments

My first jobs in March were continued from the last part of February.  I made a mountain dulcimer (#45) and a banjo (#108) from the gym floor wood, for the customer who brought the wood.  The dulcimer is a bit of a departure for me as it is the first I have made with a sloped headstock and vertical tuners and a separate fretboard.  The banjo is a slightly modified version of the Bluestem Mountain Banjo Nouveau plan which was designed and made available online by Randy Cordle, who goes by Rudy on Banjo Hangout.  This was my first mountain banjo of any kind.  Both instruments were shipped unfinished but set up.


My next job was to make a new neck for a banjo I built a year ago.  The customer decided he wanted a slightly longer scale length, two more frets and a more central bridge location.  He sent the pot back to me to be fitted with the new neck.


Next came banjo #109, an ash banjo with hickory trim and persimmon fretboard.  This was another half-fretless.  It’s the first banjo I’ve made in a while to have nickel and aluminum hardware rather than brass.  I have a piece of very curly ash that I cut from for the peghead overlay, and the neck is mildly curly which I didn’t find out till I ran the wood through the planer to clean it up ready for use.



My last job in March was banjo #110, which is similar to #101 except that it is fretless and has a John Balch goat skin head and a paddle peghead with a coin inlaid.


February instruments

My first job in February was making a partially fretless neck to fit a client’s pot.  This was my first time making and setting up a partially fretless neck.  I roughed out a neck and fretboard similar to this a few years ago, but the customer did the final work on that project so I didn’t get to see how it worked out in person.


My next project was to make a neck and rim and send them to a customer partially completed.  He wanted to do the rest of the work himself.


Then came my first octave mandolin.  The customer wanted one with a guitar shaped body and sent a plan for the shape.  This was a fun project and I was surprised by how nice it sounded, though I don’t know how to play anything in the mandolin family properly.


I also made banjos #105, 106 and 107 during February, they are all shown on the Banjos page.