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My First Mountain Banjers

Posted by cbcarlisle on Friday, June 22, 2012

After turning 71 a few weeks ago and reckoning I wouldn't be getting any younger, I decided to break down and make my first Watauga County mountain banjer. I had been having so much fun analyzing and restoring other people's banjers that ideas were tearing around in my head. Since I've always been a maverick I dove right in to make one out of highly figured wood first; only after I finished it did I decide to make one out of pine! (I had bought some exquisite quilted maple I thought I might use for a pot but eventually decided against it. I had some nice birdseye and flamed maple which seemed much more practical.) I used the flamed wood to make a four-piece top and the birdseye for a two-piece back and the neck, which resulted in a rather heavy instrument.

While I was in the mood, I figured I might as well make another: this one out of pine I had accumulated from the scratch and dent section of Ikea. I had liked some old mountain banjers I had seen from the Museum of Appalachia which were painted black so I incorporated that, along with some decoration on the pot and left a fancy knot in the wood, unpainted, on the peghead. The head on this one was recycled from a dark reddish-brown, almost black, urine-scented head off an old Cubley from Vermont. I scrubbed it but it remained "antiqued."  On both instruments, the bridge and nuts are of cedar. Details on both banjers vary considerably, based on the dimensions of the wood at hand and my whimsey.

Photos are in my "CCB Mt. Banjers" folder.

1 comment on “My First Mountain Banjers”

Strumelia Says:
Friday, June 22, 2012 @9:35:03 AM

Curt, those two mtn banjos you made are just wonderful. Both are beauties, but there's something about that black one that is so mysterious, like it has a very old soul inside it. You've created two simply amazing banjers.

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