About

My name is Zach Hoyt and I live in Orwell, NY, east of Lake Ontario and west of the Adirondacks.  I have been living and working at a nonprofit organization called St. Francis Farm since 2001.  I build instruments part-time, mainly in the evenings.  In 2017 I  was lucky enough to be interviewed by Craig Evans as part of his DVD set Old-Time Conversations Volume 6.  For more information about the series and to see a teaser video that tells a bit about life at the farm please follow the link below:

http://www.oldtimeconversations.com/old-time-conversations.html

I always enjoyed woodworking and had wanted to learn to build instruments since I was a kid.  I finally got started at age 18 in 2004 when I built my first mountain dulcimer out of birch ply, following a plan in a book.  From there I started building solid wood dulcimers and then branched out into hammered dulcimers and harps.  In 2005 I bought an old tenor banjo at a flea market and made a 5 string conversion neck for it.  In 2008 I began my first mandolin, then I started building banjos in 2009.  Fiddles came in 2011, followed by resonator guitars in 2013, acoustic guitars in 2014 and my first cello in 2015.

In 2007 the farm bought a sawmill and since then some of my instruments have been built with wood that came from trees cut here on the farm.  I’ve been selling instruments online on Craigslist since 2006 and  Banjo HangOut and Etsy since 2009.  In early 2016 I decided it was time to put together my own website so that all of my in-stock instruments and custom options could be seen in one place.  I am new to website design and maintenance so if you find broken links or other issues please let me know.

If you’re in the area and would like to visit and see the instruments in person you are welcome to do that.  I am usually available Monday-Saturday, days and evenings, by appointment.  Email is the best way to reach me since I don’t carry my phone most of the time, but I check my email regularly and do my best to reply promptly to messages.  Below is my email address for all inquiries:

zachary_hoyt@yahoo.com

and my mailing address is:

Zachary Hoyt
136 Wart Rd.
Lacona NY 13083

(we are located in Orwell but our mail is delivered by the post office in Lacona)

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Scott Green says:

    I am the proud owner of Zach’s 3rd banjo. It has surpassed my expectations in quality and sound over the years. On occasion I stop by the farm to visit with Zach and continue to marvel at his latest instruments and consistently find him to be one of the nicest, most humble individuals, always willing to share his knowledge and answer your questions. Some say that part of the maker resides in the soul of the instruments they create….well I’m blessed to have met the maker of mine and call him a friend.

    Scott Green

    Like

  2. Lorie Jo says:

    Zachary made a beautiful, tear drop dulcimer from cherry and I am beyond delighted and proud to have it, to treasure it. She has a beautiful and clear voice! Zachary comes highly recommended.

    Like

  3. john bange says:

    I have Zachary’s #99 maple banjo. The quality of construction is only surpassed by the clear and loud voice. I’m a nylon string player and the nylgut strings do nothing to quiet it down.
    I am very happy with my new banjo.

    Like

  4. hoytbanjos says:

    I’ll get it made today, it’ll take a couple of days to get the finish done and then it’ll be ready. If you email me your zip code I’ll look up the shipping cost and send a PayPal invoice with the correct shipping, and including the armrest, or if you’d rather do it another way that’s fine too, just let me know. Thank you very much.
    Zach

    Like

  5. Brian Osborne says:

    Received my cello banjo from Zach, what a different and enjoyable banjo this is! There are a few different definitions of “cello” so just to clarify, this one is tuned to open G and one octave lower. So you could call this an “octave banjo”, the same way the octave mandolin is an octave below the standard mandolin tuning.

    The bass from this is strong, surprisingly so. So is the sustain, which is no surprise given the weight of this thing. And it has good volume, which also surprised me, I’ve heard the Gold Tone cello banjo and I don’t think it’s as strong as this one. You can’t really tell from the pictures, but it’s _big_. The neck is a bit thicker, so takes a bit getting used to, as does the thickness of the strings. Not a bluegrass banjo!

    The banjo has a very nice look, with brass and gold contrasting with the dark brown walnut. It is not “fancy” but the brass dots, the “gold” parts, and the bronze strings all look very nice together.

    Really enjoying mine, and very glad I bought this!

    Like

  6. john bange says:

    I now have #107 to go along with my #99. It has the same quality and attention to detail as my 1st Hoyt banjo.
    #107 is a C scale, 10″ pot with a 19 3/4″ scale. To me, it is a banjo/ukulele and is tuned GDGBE. I wanted a hard case for my banjolele and I found that the Gold Tone Mini BG case fits perfectly.
    I remain totally thrilled with my Hoyt instruments and cannot recommend the too highly.

    Like

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