October instruments

At the beginning of October I put the finishing touches on a couple of mandolins that I was building to have in stock.  They are now on the Mandolins page.

Banjo #124 is my first longneck banjo, and the first with a bracket band.  It also has a Whyte Laydie type tone ring so it is quite heavy by my standards, somewhat over 8 pounds.  It was a custom job for someone in Ireland.  Unfortunately the shipping was delayed for a few days due to an outage on the USPS site that affected international shipping labels, but the customer was very nice about it.  I made a short video demo of this banjo:


While I was building #124 I was also working on a mountain banjo-baritone uke hybrid with a minstrel style peghead.   This was my first real mountain banjo pot, and I put the first skin on too tight and had to try again, but that time it seemed to be about the right tension.  This instrument was shipped to the customer for finishing, it’s cherry but the color doesn’t show up a lot in the pictures.  I tried to do a coffee stain on the first (failed) head and a tea stain on the second, shown in the picture, but neither came out very dark.


My last project for October was to build a left handed parlor guitar.  This was my first curly maple guitar and the first to be ordered with no binding on the body.  I accidentally put the side dots in the wrong side of the neck but the customer pointed out the error and now it has dots in both sides, unfortunately.  The soundboard is torrefied spruce, and the rest of the wood is persimmon.


On the 30th I began work on another cherry chicken head fiddle, and I have plans to build a batch of four banjos early in November too.  I don’t have any custom jobs lined up for November.  This is the first time in a long while that I have caught up, as it were.  I don’t mind as I have a couple of months worth of work making stock instruments that I have been putting off, but I’ll be happy to do custom jobs too if any come along.

One of the banjos will be a curly maple C scale (according to my current plan, but it might change) which will be the prize in a free drawing on the home page of BanjoHangout starting in late November if all goes according to plan.



September instruments

I didn’t post an August update because I didn’t complete any instruments in August this year.  I started a guitar-bodied walnut octave mandolin and a cherry A5 type mandolin then, but I only had them about halfway built at the end of the month.  I just put the last coat of finish on both of them today, and at the time of this writing on October 6 I hope to have them set up and listed on the Mandolins page of this site by the end of this week.

In September my first project was to build three banjos.  #119 was a custom 12″ cherry left handed banjo with a slotted peghead.


Banjo #120 was a stock curly maple banjo, it is shown on the Banjos page.

#121 was a custom 10″ A scale banjo made from walnut and with a calfskin head.  This is only the second or third skin head I have stretched myself, and I  still need to work on making the cut edge look neat, but the head seemed to be working when I shipped the banjo out and I haven’t heard yet that it has had a problem.


#s 122 and 123 are shown on the Banjos page.  I made them together, along with a 5+1 neck from walnut with a curly maple stripe and binding that I made to fit an old pot that a customer sent.