A July banjo and (finally) an August departure

July saw the completion (or to be exact it was August 6 by the time it got done) of my final stock banjo made in Orwell at St. Francis Farm. #260 is a cherry C scale that I got about half built sometime in the latter half of 2021, as far as I can recall. The parts were sitting on the bottom shelf of my work cart and I thought that rather than move it half built I should get it completed. A customer in Europe was looking for a C scale banjo this summer and was willing to wait a couple of months for this one to be ready.


On the 15th of August I moved the contents of the workshop up to the new (but not yet fully completed) building in Piercefield. It was a full busload and I had to open the vent hatch/emergency exit in the roof to allow the bigger bandsaw to ride standing up. Luckily there was no rain in the forecast that day.


After we move I need to put down foam panels and a second subfloor in the shop, insulate the walls and roof with mineral wool and install the lights and outlets, and then I’ll be able to organize the shop and start working again. In the meantime I’m working on the house so that we can formally move in in about another week. This week I was sanding and painting the walls and putting down the flooring, and early next week I’ll be hanging the doors, putting in a temporary banister and hooking up the wiring. The woodwork and cabinets will be done over the course of the fall as time permits. During July the spray foam insulation and septic system were installed by other folks. It’s nice to have someone else do some of the work, but on the other hand it means waiting for their schedules to clear, and things sometimes happen that set the timeline back.


I’m hoping to get back to building banjos sometime in the first week or so of September. There is a backlog of custom jobs on the waiting list, but nobody knows how many of those people may have lost interest by the time I get to their builds. I’m hoping later this fall to get back to scheduling builds on a monthly basis in the old way, once I get back to work and have some idea how far behind I am. I’ll also be making some stock instruments this fall, mainly banjos but also some fiddles and maybe guitars if time permits.

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