Some photos and videos of the 3 banjos finished last week. Video quality is crap as my camera is now refusing to stay in focus, but you get the idea!
Finished this one mid week, the old 'Temlett' pot was given to me earlier in the year and just needed a new skin. As the pot was on the small side I decided to fit a 23.5" scale neck to it, making it an ideal 'child' size banjo, in the hope one of my kids will learn! The super thin skin and small pot give this banjo a really sweet tone.
Ash's banjo was finished about 10 minutes ago, the goat skin still has some stretching to go but it is sounding fantastic. An 11" Walnut rim with Indian Rosewood and brass tonering and Ebony rim cap. The neck is Walnut with a 25.5" Ebony fingerboard and 'Dobson' style heel
Graham's banjo is 99% finished, still need to get the brass scoop plate cut and engraved and make a suitable bridge. Graham's inspiration for the design was William Blake's 'I want! I want!' etching, with the frets representing the ladder to the moon, the words will be engraved in the scoop.
It is looking fantastic, the combination of Cherry, Ebony, inlayed Gold pearl/Paua dots, Brass and slotted peghead all work a treat.
Just finished Gary's mountain banjo this afternoon, I had great fun putting this one together and trying out new ideas. Made pretty much entirely from Ash, except for the Rosewood fingerboard, peghead overlay and Cherry bridge. The 8" Renaissance head can be tuned using a flat screwdriver from the rear. This is the first fully fretted, steel strung mountain style I have made and it has turned out better than I'd hoped, this thing has a lovely tone and would kick the s**t out of a lot of open backs I've heard.
I've also just started oiling the other 3 banjos I'm working on, at least one of them should be finished by the end of next week.
A few pics of where I'm at with the current batch of commissions.
Applied a nice rich brown stain to Gary's mountain banjo and the first coat of oil, I'll get a tone ring made next week whilst waiting for the oil to dry then should be able to assemble the end of the week.
Inlaid the mixture of gold mother of pearl and New Zealand Paua into Graham's banjo neck, just need to carve the rear of the neck and cut the fancy brass scoop before sanding.
Ash's banjo is all ready for final sanding prior to oiling. The Rim was all finished but some modifications were made to the tone ring so it needs to be re-finished, the difference between the unfinished Walnut neck and the oiled rim can be seen in the photo.
I've also been trying to finish off the neck for the old 'Temlett' pot I was given by Tym earlier in the year. I stretched on a new super thin calf skin as the old skin was past its best, the pot only came with half a neck so I cut the dowel off and will inset the original makers stamp into the rear of the new dowel stick. I also tried a new heel shape on this one, copied from an old 'Matthews' neck I have.
Looks like next week will mostly be spent sanding, can't wait :(