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2014 The Year I start building Banjos

Posted by Old Time Doc John on Thursday, January 23, 2014

I have been playing banjo for years and now I do believe its time to start building some Banjos. I always wanted to build banjos that are afforable but also have great tone and playability that could make any musician happy. Would like to hear feed back from everyone on what type of banjo they perfer.

3 comments on “2014 The Year I start building Banjos”

rinemb Says:
Friday, January 24, 2014 @7:07:40 AM

Well, from your favorite performers, I assume you want to build open backs, for old time playing. Here is what I like: thin deepish 12" rims, wide neck, at least 1-1/4 to 1-5/16ths at the nut, ebony fingerboards, med fret wire, and mostly wood tone rings, nickel hardware, and tapered dowel stick. Star on head, star at fifth, some dots and side dots.
As to the "affordable" aspect. Hmmm, I would pay 800-1100 for a plain banjo from a known maker. (I may be a little out of date, though on street prices) From a new maker and I have to buy one without playing it, I may expect to pay less. If you get bogged down in what your labor is worth, It may scare you, eh.
That said, I say go for it. build a few, then see what you think. Good luck, Brad

Old Time Doc John Says:
Friday, January 24, 2014 @7:42:00 AM

I am planning on building a few banjos with White Laydie tone rings but also planning on building some tone pots and trying different wood tone rings. Looking to make my banjos about $850 to $1,200. When I get a few made I will be hitting the festival scene to let players try them out. Always been a business man and know if you build great banjos and treat customers right good things shall follow.

rinemb Says:
Friday, January 24, 2014 @8:50:44 AM

That sounds like a good plan. The WL tone ring is my 2nd fav by narrowist margins. My small or smallish builder banjos, include Reiter, Chuck Lee, and Prust-so far.... I love Rickard's hardware, too. I will enjoy watching your progress and keep us posted on your foray into building. Brad

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