Custom Open-back Banjo #4 48


(click any of the thumbnails for a higher-resolution photo)

Of all my inlay jobs, I may take the most pride in this "Dancing Fools" banjo. It's elaborate, yet rather subtle -- the abalone purfling lines that surround the perimeter are only .020" wide. You guessed it: another superb Gerry Snelson design. To hear a Skipper banjo, visit our Audio Video page.

Construction Photos

This inlay began with a sketch from Gerry. I broke it down into a paint-by-number-type scheme, then reversed it and fitted it to the headstock. Since this was my first banjo "tongue," I first designed the ebony insert and purfling lines on paper. Another minute detail was the engraved neck-heel inlay, much smaller than a dime and probably unnoticed by many.

A jury-rigged apparatus allows me to drill the neck stick at the proper angle, and it's tapered and fitted to both neck and rim.

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