November started with the completion of banjo #230, a 12″ mahogany 5+1 with a lot of inlay chosen by the customer. This banjo had been on hold since late September pending arrival of some of the inlays from overseas.
The next thing on the agenda was a scheitholt, a sort of ancestor of the mountain dulcimer as I understand it, but played with a bow. I had never heard of these before being asked to build one. The customer wanted a chicken head like I put on fiddles.
#231 was a fretless 12″ walnut banjo with a Boucher-esque neck and peghead with a beehive. The dot arrangement was invented by the customer to mark the locations where frets would have been if this wasn’t a fretless banjo.
#232 was a mahogany A scale banjo, pretty similar to a stock banjo except it was ordered with a scoop and side dots.
#233 was a walnut 12″ stock banjo, built to a customer’s request with a zebrawood fretboard. I began using zebrawood a year or so ago and I have come to like it a lot.
#234 was a 12″ walnut stock banjo with a WL-type tone ring and is shown on the Banjos page. My last project for November was a curly maple mountain dulcimer, shown on the Dulcimers page which is found on the Other Instruments page. Plans for December include two custom banjos and four stock banjos, and I hope to have time to make another archtop guitar and perhaps a chicken head fiddle toward the end of the month.
I finished removing what had to go from the new house by mid-November, and jacked up the second floor and added more joists. I had a mason who had given an estimate and agreed to do the foundation repair but he backed out at the last minute, so work up there has come to a stop for now. If I can’t find another mason by spring I will do the work myself once the risk of freezing is past. I have not had a lot of experience with stone work, but the walls are more than 2 feet thick holding up a 1 story 12×16 foot kitchen, so the stakes are pretty low. I had hoped to get the basement repaired this fall or winter so I could put a floor in the kitchen and move forward with plumbing, wiring etc, but all of that is on hold for now. In the meantime I will have more time in the shop this winter, which will be nice.