June banjos and a neck

I meant to write a June report a couple of weeks ago, but July has been busier than I expected out of the shop and I lost track of it. My first completed instrument in June was banjo #220, a curly maple 12″ tenor with a Whyte Laydie tone ring. The customer gave me a lot of very nice walnut wood that he had been storing for many years, and I used a little of it for the trim work on this banjo. He also supplied the hickory fretboard blank. I haven’t made many tenor banjos, but it’s always fun when I get the chance.

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Banjo #221 was a new kind of project for me. The customer has a 19th century dining table with a lot of leaves, and decided that he would like to have a table made from this wood. He shipped me two leaves, though as it turned out I only needed one. He asked me to incorporate some of the alignment dowels and holes in the banjo, and we agreed that in the rim would be the best place for them, structurally speaking. He also asked me to make an armrest which included the original edge of the table leaf. I am not sure how it will hold up to humidity changes since the grain of the top runs perpendicular to what I normally make, so the armrest is somewhat experimental.

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My last custom project in June was a new neck for an old pot. The customer ordered a ziricote fretboard blank that he liked and had it sent to me, and sent a mine token for the inlay, and all of the neck hardware.

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Banjo #222 is shown on the Banjos page. It is my first 11″ banjo with one of my shop made Whyte Laydie type tone rings. I am currently working on another cherry octave mandolin which has been requested, though it’s not a custom build. I will have that done before the end of July, but I think that will be my only large project for the month. I’ve had much less shop time than usual this month, and have used some of it to make a few rims, tension hoops, armrests and such. I’ll hope to get back up to speed in August, or, failing that, in the not too distant future. Things will likely be a bit busy for about the next year, as I am getting ready to move and working on winding things here up. Once I have moved I hope to have more time to spend in the shop than ever before, as I will no longer have as much outdoor work to keep up with.

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