The first completed work this month was a couple of banjos. #267 was a custom banjo, made mostly in a familiar pattern but with a narrower nut width, and using bubinga and wenge for all the parts except an ebony fretboard. This was my first time using either of these woods. This banjo has a wood tone ring but weighs more like a banjo made from my usual woods with a Whyte Laydie tone ring.
Banjo #268 is a 12″ walnut banjo with a Whyte Laydie tone ring and is shown on the Banjos page.
The guitar is now completed, after a long wait for the inlay to be delivered. I will start a new policy for 2023 that I won’t start on a project until all the materials are in the workshop. Since I don’t cut inlays my customers who want inlay have to order it, and I have had repeated experiences with orders from one company where people often buy complicated inlays being delayed. This guitar is my first dreadnought and I will plan to build more at some point. The customer requested brass ammunition shells as fret markers. He sent the shells to me and I cut the bottoms off. I could have set the shells under epoxy but the customer preferred to have them flush, with the lettering uncovered. This leaves them feeling bumpy, but it’s not very noticeable when playing.
My last project for the month was a new neck for a used pot assembly that I was sent by a customer. I had made a neck for this pot before but the customer wanted a new neck with a tunneled 5th string to replace it. The neck is made from hard maple with a Blackwood Tek fretboard and overlay.
I’m planning to build a lot more instruments in 2023 than I did in 2022. This was my least productive year in a while, though that was mostly because of spending so much time repairing the house, building the workshop and moving. I’m still working on things here but the bulk of the jobs are done. This month I finally built a large cabinet in the kitchen, a folding counter above the chest freezer and some other shelves. There are still more cupboards and shelves to build, but we’re able to put more things away in an orderly way instead of in totes on the floor.