February banjos and guitars

February is a short month, and it was a busy one in the shop for me this year.  I worked on all 5 instruments concomitantly and put the finish on them all on the same day, while I had the wood stove going in the winter finishing room.

The first one I got set up was acoustic guitar #9, a walnut guitar with western red cedar soundboard and cherry binding.  The customer requested a few extra thing on this guitar, including a pre-made fancy rosette, snakewood bridge pins, and Waverly tuners with snakewood buttons.  This guitar is now on its way to England, and I hope the customer will like it once she receives it in a week or ten days.

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The next instrument to be completed was a wood topped banjo, with a back like a guitar wold have.  I am not sure of the proper name for this instrument.  The customer has an antique instrument of this type and wanted to try having a new one made.  He did the inlay work and designed the instrument, and I put it together.  The rim (or side assembly) is made from a piece of Keller drum shell with a thick cherry veneer on the outside, and guitar style kerfed linings.   The soundboard is western red cedar, the back and neck are also cherry, and the fretboard is Rocklite Ebano.  The customer kindly sent me a picture of the new instrument and the old one together.  I was pleasantly surprised by how loud and resonant this instrument was, and I made a short video of it.

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Banjo #139 was my other custom project for February, I left it till last because I knew it would take longest to set up.  A customer who has one of my much earlier banjos, from 2017, asked me if I could make a banjo with a removable resonator, and it took me a few hours to figure out how to make it work.  I had the general idea of attaching a bracket to the dowel stick, but I wanted to make it so that when the resonator and bracket are removed it looks just like a normal open back banjo.  This is what I ended up making, the bracket is made from Douglas fir so it won’t scratch the dowel stick when coming off and on.

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On Friday I set up banjo #140 and resonator guitar #5, which are shown on the Banjos and Guitars pages.  I am hoping to build a C scale banjo in March, and perhaps a Mastertone style bluegrass banjo if time permits along with the 2 custom banjos and a fiddle that are on the calendar.

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