The mahogany in this banjo has a somewhat unusual story. I bought my first African mahogany at a retirement/yard sale that a woodworker had in 2016 near where I used to live north of Syracuse. He told me he had been employed at Marsellus Casket in Syracuse and had bought a bunch of wood when they went out of business. I don’t have any of that lot left that is long enough to make a standard size banjo neck, but there are several pieces long enough to make C scale banjos. My first C scale, #31, was made with this too.
This banjo has an African mahogany rim, neck and Romero-style armrest, with a rosewood peghead overlay and fretboard. I will sell the banjo without the armrest for $35 less if it isn’t wanted. This banjo has a Renaissance head on a 10″ block rim with a wood tone ring profile. The scale length is 19-3/4″ and the nut is 1-3/8″ wide. The weight is about 4 pounds 2 ounces. The neck has a two way truss rod accessed from the heel, brass dots, EVO fret wire, Gotoh tuners and Corian nuts. I made the Van Eps style tension hoop and the dowel stick yoke, the tuners and head came from Smakula Fretted Instruments and the rest of the hardware came from Balsam Banjo Works. The finish is Tru Oil. There is a brass plate on the dowel stick with the banjo number and such on it. The banjo is currently set up with a tall 5th string nut to raise the 5th to the level of the other strings, but I can shorten the nut so the string rests on the 5th fret if desired. I can also add 5th string spikes for $5 each.
The banjo is tuned to open C in the video, but these banjos will also tune comfortably down to open A with the stock medium strings, or to open G or A with nylgut minstrel strings. I don’t have cases for this size banjo, but previous customers have recommended a hard case and a gig bag that will fit these banjos. To see a video of this banjo please follow the link below: