Custom Tenor Banjo #10 95

Completed August, 2011

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


This gold-plated tenor banjo goes to the owner of a multitude of Skipper instruments. This banjo features an arch-top tone ring, elaborate inlay that complements an earlier banjo for this same customer, and neck-heel carving.

Construction Photos


Construction commences with the gluing of the segmented rim with hot hide glue. The rim is then shaped on the spindle sander and router table. The resonator's rim is glued around a temporary core, and the solid maple back is turned on a wood lathe.


The rim is perfectly fitted to the hardware. The inlay is assembled piece-by-piece from mother of pearl and abalone, and then recessed into the peghead overlay and fretboard. Engraving is done on the inlay after it's recessed. The neck's "tongue" is assembled from ebony and contrasting veneers.


The neck is shaped and the heel is carved. The fretboard is inlaid, the frets are installed, and the fretboard is glued to the neck. After I'd turned the grooves for the resonator's purfling, we decided to change the size. I temporarily glued a new center to the back, and recut the grooves with a Dremel tool. The multi-ply binding is installed.


The instrument is stained, then finished with gloss nitrocellulose lacquer, then it's set up, ready to go.


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