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Jan 23, 2020 - 8:08:32 AM
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285 posts since 9/25/2006

I just finished making two A-Scale Open Back banjos. These are for my 9 year-old and 7 year-old sons. The rims are walnut and cherry and one has a Cherry neck and the other a Maple neck. They chose the woods.

If you are interested, you can see more of the process on my instagram page.

 

https://www.instagram.com/redarrowryan/


This was the most appropriate song I could think of to demo them!

 


Jan 23, 2020 - 8:12:31 AM
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413 posts since 9/21/2018

Awesome! They look great.

Jan 23, 2020 - 8:29:24 AM
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3711 posts since 5/12/2010

Sound real good too!

I really enjoyed the video, playing dueling banjos with yourself, what a hoot!

One of these days I will learn that tune just so I can play it the next time someone asks, which is a frequent question from those who do not play banjo, and often a bit of a joke from those who do.

I build more "A" scale banjos than what might be called "Standard scale". What I mostly play nowadays.

Edited by - OldPappy on 01/23/2020 08:30:59

Jan 23, 2020 - 8:38:43 AM
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6 posts since 1/29/2014

I've been following this build on instagram! I'm doing Noel Folstad's course online but you inspired me to do a block rim (as you can see, I decided to attempt to spin this with a router and so far so good). Those are some gorgeous banjos and you are also an excellent player. I hope to do an A-scale next, so maybe I'll bother you for tips.




 

Jan 23, 2020 - 8:39:37 AM

285 posts since 9/25/2006

OldPappy I could totally get into making more A-scales. It's funny how just shortening it by a touch made the entire process just a bit easier. For instance, my bandsaw is too close to the wall to cut a standard length neck. I have to move it to to make those cuts. But on these, I could leave it right where it was!

Jan 23, 2020 - 8:44:48 AM
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285 posts since 9/25/2006

lancegreene

That's a terrific way to make the rim! Looks great!

I do mine on the lathe because I've been a woodturner for about 9 years. Only started making banjos last spring!

But I like what you've done there. I've been trying to think of ways to do something like that for the inside of the rim segments prior to final stacked glue up. If I could get them closer to final inside diameter before going to the lathe it would make things so much easier.

Thanks for sharing those pics. And hit me up anytime with questions. I'm not sure my ways are the easiest, but I'll do my best to explain any part of the process you want to know about.

Jan 23, 2020 - 8:46:11 AM
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1992 posts since 1/21/2003

Beautiful jobs and nice demonstration picking and video. They sound great.

Jan 23, 2020 - 8:50:34 AM
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6 posts since 1/29/2014

Thanks RedArrowRyan ! I will definitely reach out if I get stuck. For the inside portion, i'm trying to thinking of a jig to help this along. If I come up with anything worthwhile, I'll share (and I'll probably end up sharing the whole process on here since its been quite a journey).
Jan 23, 2020 - 9:20:58 AM

413 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by lancegreene
Thanks RedArrowRyan ! I will definitely reach out if I get stuck. For the inside portion, i'm trying to thinking of a jig to help this along. If I come up with anything worthwhile, I'll share (and I'll probably end up sharing the whole process on here since its been quite a journey).

 


I have some thoughts. If I have a moment to render something in solidworks I'll share. 

Jan 23, 2020 - 9:35:08 AM
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285 posts since 9/25/2006

Moose_Roberts

Yeah, I'd love to see your ideas on this.

I've been thinking of making an template out of MDF that has the correct inner diameter, then attaching my rim layers (not a complete rim, but just one complete layer) to it with double stick tape. Then I could just use a flush trim bit to follow the template.

Jan 23, 2020 - 9:58:23 AM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14940 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by RedArrowRyan

Moose_Roberts

Yeah, I'd love to see your ideas on this.

I've been thinking of making an template out of MDF that has the correct inner diameter, then attaching my rim layers (not a complete rim, but just one complete layer) to it with double stick tape. Then I could just use a flush trim bit to follow the template.


You can flush trim your first layer to a pattern, then glue and flush trim each successive layer.  No need to do the double stick tape for successive layers.  MDF is cheap enough that you can create a pattern and simply plane it off after your rim has the second layer added.

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:14:35 AM
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413 posts since 9/21/2018

A template would work, but where's the fun in simplicity?

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:33:15 AM
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2761 posts since 2/18/2009
Online Now

Very nice banjos, and a very nice video too. It must have taken a lot of technical wizardry to clone yourself like that, and much skill to play along with yourself.
Zach

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:43:08 AM
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285 posts since 9/25/2006

rudy Great points! I'm about to start a few rims. I'll keep that in mind as I go!

Moose_Roberts Agreed. I want to see your idea, it may be better and more fun!

Zachary Hoyt Well, woodworking and banjos are just a hobby. Video editing is my profession!

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:50:47 AM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14940 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by RedArrowRyan

rudy Great points! I'm about to start a few rims. I'll keep that in mind as I go!

Moose_Roberts Agreed. I want to see your idea, it may be better and more fun!

Zachary Hoyt Well, woodworking and banjos are just a hobby. Video editing is my profession!


I've always been an advocate of latheless rim construction methods.  There are a couple of additional ideas at my old website archive:

Latheless rim construction ideas

Jan 23, 2020 - 1:41:53 PM

12585 posts since 6/29/2005

Very nice!!

Similar to a 10 1/8" pot A-scale I made for my Grandson, which had a 23. 34" scale with 22 frets.  Just out of curiosity, what scale and pot size did you use?

Jan 23, 2020 - 1:48:44 PM

285 posts since 9/25/2006

Ken LeVan

It's a standard 11" pot size. And the scale length is 23.34". 20 Frets. I took a pre-slotted 22 fret fretboard and just cut off frets 1 and 2.

Jan 23, 2020 - 2:24:13 PM

12585 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by RedArrowRyan

Ken LeVan

It's a standard 11" pot size. And the scale length is 23.34". 20 Frets. I took a pre-slotted 22 fret fretboard and just cut off frets 1 and 2.


WOW! That's amazing—I came up with the 23.34" scale by figuring out where I wanted the bridge to be on a 10 1/8" pot, also figuring that small fingers would want smaller fret spacings, hence the 22 frets, and did it from there.  The fact that we both wound up with 23.34" with everything else being different is one of those crazy one in a million things.

Jan 23, 2020 - 4:08:50 PM
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285 posts since 9/25/2006

Ken LeVan That’s pretty amazing! Ha!!!


Here’s my boys and their new banjos!!!


Jan 23, 2020 - 4:16:38 PM
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268 posts since 2/26/2012

Fantastic job!!

Thanks for posting

Jan 24, 2020 - 1:51:09 AM
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4469 posts since 9/7/2009

The banjos are beautiful and the video is cool!

Jan 26, 2020 - 4:18:17 PM

6 posts since 1/29/2014

quote:
Hey RedArrowRyan, I just finished up the rim. Like some of the other folks said, I ended up using a flush trim router bit. It ended up being some fairly easy work and I still got my three most important fingers. Here are some photos of my precarious process. I'm doing Noel Folstad's course and decided to deviate from his rim design. Thanks again for the inspiration on the block rim, I'm pretty stoked!

 








Jan 27, 2020 - 6:26:50 AM
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285 posts since 9/25/2006

lancegreene

That turned out great! I've got a new rim in the works now. I'm going to try this router method for the inside, but since it's going to be for a one piece flange, I'll do the outside on the lathe.

Jan 30, 2020 - 8:13:14 AM

139 posts since 8/11/2015

This is all very interesting and the banjos look stunning!

Interesting that this thread has lead to some tips on routing a block rim! Useful territory for someone like me with no workshop. However I don’t get how you would do the inside of a rim with a flush trim bit? How would you go about lining up the template rings so that the routing would meet up in the middle?

I understand the outside after seeing Lance Greene‘s brilliant jig there with the two halves held in place with a bolt. But the inside... I suppose the template ring could have sides like a lid that would fit snugly to the finished outside. Still it sounds like a lot of material to take off with a router.

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