January banjos and necks, and a surprise bus

I’m a little out of sync with the calendar again, but I’m hoping to catch up next month. January started out with a batch of 3 stock banjos, #241-243. They are of course shown on the Banjos page. Then came banjo #244, a mahogany slot head with ebony trim throughout and a veneered rim. I didn’t get this banjo completed till more than a week into February due to getting sick and missing a week or so of work in the shop toward the end of January.


Also in January I made two necks. The first one is a cherry A scale fitted to a vintage 12″ pot.


The other neck is maple with a slim profile and zebrawood fretboard, fitted to a newer pot. This one was delayed for 8 days because I failed to check the hanger bolt size that was needed, so when I went to install the completed neck I had to wait for them to come in the mail. I had two sizes in stock already and thought I was all set, but now I have three sizes. Live and learn, I guess.


Just before writing this I completed 3 more stock banjos that were begun in January. They are #245-247 and are also on the Banjos page.

I haven’t been up to work on the house I bought since November, but preparations for work and the move are proceeding. I have been buying materials that I’ll need when I can get them cheaply on Craigslist and stockpiling them here till the days get longer and warmer and the roads are clear. I also recently bought a retired school bus that the district had been using for a maintenance vehicle for a while. All the passenger seats were removed, so I will be able to carry 16 foot lumber inside it when I am building the new workshop, and I’ll also use it when it’s time to move. I figured that by driving this bus for a few months I can do my part to uphold the image of banjo builders as eccentric and goofy persons.


I will hope to be more timely in posting my next Shop News report. My plans for the rest of February are to build 3 banjos or so, and 2 necks, and anything else that time will permit.

One thought on “January banjos and necks, and a surprise bus

  1. Darrell Jones says:

    Hi Zach
    I am a 2nd or 3rd cousin of yours. My mother is Helen Jones (Carlton Crockett’s sister). She told me about you and I looked you up on line. Your work interests me a lot. You make beautiful instruments.
    I made a cigar box guitar with one of my 3 daughters a few years ago, for her (now ex-) boyfriend. It was a fun experience.
    We travel to Maine from Maryland in the Fall usually. Perhaps we could stop by and visit sometime when we are on our way. Mom says you’ll be relocating…
    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Darrell Jones


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