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.