This past month has been unusual. We have not yet been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but it is changing how we do a lot of things. I work alone when building instruments, and the workshop is here at the farm where I live, so my ability to work has not been affected by the closure of non-essential businesses. I have enough hardware and wood to keep building instruments for several months, and as long as the mail continues to run I will be happy to send out instruments. I normally am happy to have visitors come to try out instruments in person, but I will not be able to do this until the social distancing orders are lifted. I know this is a very difficult time for a lot of people, and I hope that we will come out of it soon.
The first project I completed in March was a fiddle made from salvaged wood from a gym floor. The customer likes to apply the finishes himself, so I sent him the fiddle “in the white”. It has an Adirondack spruce soundboard and jatoba fingerboard, chinrest and tailpiece.
I completed a batch of four banjos at the end of the month. #141 was a walnut 12″ with aged brass hardware, Rocklite Ebano trim and a John Balch head. The customer ordered a charming pendant depicting a frog playing a banjo from an Etsy seller, and I inlaid it into the peghead.
#142 was an 11″ walnut left handed banjo, with aged brass hardware and a rosewood fretboard.
#143 was a 12″ cherry banjo. It was originally going to be a stock banjo, but when I was partway through the build a customer wrote who wanted a banjo like #136, which this one was built to replace, only with a brass tone hoop and two extra fretboard dots. Both of those were changes I could still make to this banjo, so it became a semi-custom build.
Banjo #144 is a walnut C scale and is shown on the Banjos page. In April I have two stock banjos, a custom banjo and a custom guitar to build.