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A recent build- 12” walnut open back

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Aug 3, 2020 - 9:45:39 AM
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ackeim

USA

180 posts since 8/22/2005

Hey Folks- It’s been a long time since I posted, but I thought I would share a recent build.


This instrument is a close copy of an instrument I built for Steve Varney (Kid Reverie, Gregory Alan Isakov) about 18 months ago. It has a few special features that met Steve’s needs and building a second one reminded me of its usefulness as a design.

-12” walnut block rim with brass tone ring

-Walnut and Pistachio neck

-24 hooks and nuts, Brooks Masten tension hoop, Hawktail tailpiece

-Fiberskyn head

-Magnetic Pickup and steel strings

-Frailing scoop and two fifth string hooks

It sounds loud but sweet, sits solid in my lap and is super easy to play. The walnut is from The Carpenter Ant Stash and the pistachio is from California Orchards. It’s off to the UK!

Here is a video including sound sample. Completed Work Demo #501- Walnut and Pistachio Five String Banjo youtu.be/9wEqGyMregQ
Aaron
Www.thebeansprout.com








Aug 3, 2020 - 10:12:28 AM
like this

ackeim

USA

180 posts since 8/22/2005

Aug 3, 2020 - 11:24:26 AM

277 posts since 6/19/2011

Very nice work.

Aug 3, 2020 - 2:21:29 PM

13140 posts since 6/29/2005

Very nice, and especially nice that you went the full nine yards to use 24 brackets—good for you—it's a banjo for the ages.

Aug 3, 2020 - 2:34:19 PM

7775 posts since 1/7/2005

I appreciate the thought you gave to the sweep of the grain in the wood. It gracefully leads the eye from one end to the other.

DD

Aug 3, 2020 - 4:25:01 PM

5 posts since 9/26/2019

Beautiful banjo with beautiful tone. Curious as to the brand of tuners you used as I noticed what appeared to be a generous length of the tuner posts on the video. I recently acquired a custom made banjo with what I presume to have the latest edition of Gotah tuners. The available length on the tuner post with which to wind my Nylgut strings is little more than a 1/4 of an inch. The thickness of the peghead is about 5/8 of an inch.

Aug 3, 2020 - 4:47:53 PM

RV6

USA

1350 posts since 2/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by bigfoot fingers

Beautiful banjo with beautiful tone. Curious as to the brand of tuners you used as I noticed what appeared to be a generous length of the tuner posts on the video. I recently acquired a custom made banjo with what I presume to have the latest edition of Gotah tuners. The available length on the tuner post with which to wind my Nylgut strings is little more than a 1/4 of an inch. The thickness of the peghead is about 5/8 of an inch.


Sure look like Gotoh's and they don't give much room for winding Nylguts (except the fourth) when mounted on a 5/8" headstock.

I have Nylgut 5B's strung on my Reiter A flat and have a stringing solution (that's not for the faint of heart) that works.   I first smooth the string holes on the posts so there are no burrs.   For strings 1, 2, 3 and 5, I put the string holes parallel to the neck, thread the tag end through and then clamp a straight forceps to the end.   I then stretch the string as much as I dare, bend it around the post, under the standing part of the string, bring it up at a 90 degree angle and then wind to lock the string in place.   Strings 1 and 5 stretch the most, then 2 and then 3.    It helps quite a bit to have someone hold the banjo while doing this.

I'm sure if you tried this method with some of the old formula's of Nylguts that you would have had a massive breakage problem.  I've strung a couple of banjos with this method on the new 5G's and not had any breakage problems.

Aug 3, 2020 - 5:21:59 PM

ackeim

USA

180 posts since 8/22/2005

These are the standard Gotohs, but I admit it is a thinner headstock than most would use. And thinner than normal for me this time. It was due to trying to machine out a flaw in the walnut. I had to grind down the top barrels of the tuners to fit, but it turned out great.

Yes, Nylguts stretch a crazy amount. Since I am primarily an ukulele builder, I should know. Also, I got to see the factory in Italy one time, which is a whole thread unto itself. A cool experience.

I don’t use them for anything anymore unless a customer insists. I use fluorocarbon strings and wound strings from D’Addario. On ukes and on non steel strung banjos.

Aug 3, 2020 - 5:26:51 PM

40 posts since 2/11/2019
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Looks and sounds great. Very nice!

Aug 4, 2020 - 3:33:47 AM

55376 posts since 12/14/2005

Looks good, sounds good.
Can't argue with success!

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