Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

440
Banjo Lovers Online


The Buckdancer. An Onomatological Banjo. Part Two.

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Aug 10, 2020 - 4:10:38 PM
like this
7780 posts since 1/7/2005

This one should make you wince. 

What do you get when you combine a peace symbol and a whale's tail?

Well, of course, you get a Tail Peace.  Haw haw. cough cough. 

This is my basic tailpiece design. The decorative shape changes to suit the occasion, but the function stays the same. The tailpiece is made from two laminated layers of 1/16" sheet nickel silver. Very strong, no moving parts. Takes ball end or loop end strings. Non-adjustable, but I make them to suit my preferences for distance from the head. ( about 1/8" to 3/8". One of the big benefits is that the tailpiece doesn't move when I change strings. It attaches to a pair of tension hooks. Looks nice too. 

Here's another shot. That's

 not a resonator it's sitting on. It's just a round, mosaic  table. Hmmm...a mosaic banjo....

 

So here's that weird thing I left with you on the previous post. The heel is carved into the shape of a shoe heel. I'd like to say a "clogging shoe". But I don't know that much about hillbilly footwear. 

It's much easier to see the shoe when you're holding it in your hands and can rotate it to get other views. Unfortunately this isn't a video. But here's another shot of it:

I even made a nickel silver tap for it. 

On this shot if you look at the neck where it joins the carved heel, you can get some of the effect of combining gloss finish with semi-gloss finish. I like the look a lot. 

Here's that inlay on the bottom of the fretboard. It's sheet brass, with a pair of pearl inlays, and inlaid flush into the fretboard. It gives just a tiny bit of extra room for the thumb, withou going to a scoop. And it lets me get to those high notes on the first and second strings, that I use once or twice per decade. 

Finally, we get to the elephant in the room. The rim cap. I've done several of these and they always call for a large investment in time to make one. It's borrowed from classical guitar rosettes, but It is much larger. About a day and a half of dull labor. But it does add some interest to the rim cap, and is somewhat inspired by the caps used by Fairbanks/Vega in the golden era. 

Those tiny little squares are cut from .9mm dyed veneer and are about 1/32" square. And yes, there is a trick to it. Lots of videos online if you ever go crazy and want to give it a try. 

Well, that's it for this one. Hope you enjoyed the show and tell. 

Here's n audio file to give you an idea of how it sounds. I have yet to do a proper setup, but I think it should give you a feel for how it plays in frailing style. Bye Bye and be safe. 


Aug 10, 2020 - 5:08:18 PM
like this

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

Forgot to post this shot

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:11:45 PM

156 posts since 4/3/2009

WOW

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:14:43 PM

2126 posts since 2/7/2008

I think that heel may be the coolest thing I've ever seen.

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:55:24 PM

DRH

USA

535 posts since 5/29/2018

That banjo has more whimsy than a John Prine song. Thanks for sharing.

Aug 10, 2020 - 9:02:47 PM

896 posts since 2/21/2011

Luv everything about it, especially the "heel."

Edited by - 1xsculler on 08/10/2020 21:03:12

Aug 10, 2020 - 9:20:49 PM

RevD

USA

121 posts since 4/8/2019

Love the Tail Peace and yeah that's a righteous Heel there! Very cool beautiful work.

Aug 10, 2020 - 9:38:45 PM
likes this

1663 posts since 2/21/2011

That tailpiece has got to be a fluke!  And that heel, well, if the shoe fits...

Aug 11, 2020 - 3:04:19 AM

4523 posts since 9/7/2009

Magnifico! 

Aug 11, 2020 - 4:34:50 AM

Emiel

Austria

9564 posts since 1/22/2003

Wow… Do you also have a picture of the peghead?

Aug 11, 2020 - 4:46:53 AM

5420 posts since 12/20/2005

At a loss for words. Every square inch is something to behold.
Would you mind posting some more pictures ?

Aug 11, 2020 - 4:56:23 AM

13153 posts since 6/29/2005

When I was in elementary school we used to call those shoes with the cleats "clodhoppers" or "Abners", after the comic strip "Lil Abner", and you would get them at work clothing stores—I had forgotten about those.  In the earlier pictures, I thought it was a tap dancing shoe.

The tailpiece is very cool, and the idea of attaching it with a back plate like you would attach an armrest is a great idea.  I really like the finish on the nickel silver—is that the lighting, or have you given that a super satin finish?

I was looking forward to seeing a close-up of the scoop, which is quite something and very Deco.

Actually, seeing the Whyte Laydie tone ring peeking out in the bottom view, makes ne think than another name for this banjo might be the "Eclectic" —another play on words, borrowing from Fairbanks/Vega.

What is the mosaic surface the banjo is sitting on? For a minute, I thought you were making a resonator flange from mosaic tile.

I notice a washer plate behind the dowel and a screw below the tailpiece attachment—is that a hollow dowel "rudy rod" type attachment with a compression rod?.  BTW, I really like the shape of the dowel itself.

Ken

Aug 11, 2020 - 5:35:21 AM
like this

1062 posts since 5/19/2018

That is, without question, a true work of art.

That heel, I absolutely love it. Pin point Oxford no less. I don’t know what goes on in your mind when you execute your designs, but it is pretty obvious it’s a creative and joyous place.

Beautiful instrument.

Aug 11, 2020 - 5:46:30 AM
likes this

7619 posts since 8/28/2013

That "Eclectic" name certainly fits, as there is a wide sampling of styles and features here. Only a person with artistic abilities could make the mix of styles and the visual puns actually work together and look good, and only a craftsman could fit those eclectic bits together so seamlessly.

In my family lore, a "clodhopper" was generally the shoe of choice for a "sh**kicker," or in plainer language, someone who might work in a stable or cow pasture, and go to rowdy barn dances on a Saturday night.

Aug 11, 2020 - 6:44:46 AM

13153 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

That "Eclectic" name certainly fits, as there is a wide sampling of styles and features here. Only a person with artistic abilities could make the mix of styles and the visual puns actually work together and look good, and only a craftsman could fit those eclectic bits together so seamlessly.

In my family lore, a "clodhopper" was generally the shoe of choice for a "sh**kicker," or in plainer language, someone who might work in a stable or cow pasture, and go to rowdy barn dances on a Saturday night.


Not to drift Dan's thread, but the shoes we liked in elementary school and we called "clodhoppers" were these, and they had metal cleats on the heel and toe that would clack on the sidewalks (I was a city boy), which was the charm of them (I think). The cleats would greatly extend the life of the heel, which was one reason my Mom tolerated them.

I think Dan's design captures the essence of them perfectly.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 08/11/2020 06:46:25

Aug 11, 2020 - 7:00:44 AM

1579 posts since 10/12/2011

When I saw that feature I also thought of a civil war boot/shoe. The soldiers would have a small metal horse shoe just the size of their heel nailed into the heel. This would greatly extend the life of the shoe, which is paramount when marching great distances and limited supplies.

Aug 11, 2020 - 10:11:19 AM

7619 posts since 8/28/2013

Those metal cleats, or "taps" were never allowed in my family because they'd scratch the hardwood floors. That was a bit odd, considering that we always lived in houses with floors that were already the worse for wear. I think in reality, my mother just hated the noise the metal made.

So much for shoes. As far as their heels are concerned, I hope we don't get further astray from banjos with synonyms for that word, like "cad," "scoundrel," or "bounder," although I could envision a neck heel carved as the face of Snidely Whiplash or Popeye's nemesis, Bluto.

Aug 11, 2020 - 11:45:57 AM
like this

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Emiel

Wow… Do you also have a picture of the peghead?


Hi Emiel,

I assembled a number of additional shots in another thread with the same title that has a selection of photos including the peghead. Here's another shot of the peghead that shows how the finish has been flattened. The olive wood overlay will darken considerably over time and exposure to light. The grain of the wood reminds me of figured Circassian walnut. 

Aug 11, 2020 - 11:48:29 AM

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Leslie R

At a loss for words. Every square inch is something to behold.
Would you mind posting some more pictures ?


Hi Leslie,

Did you see the other thread? lots more pictures there. If there is anything else you would like to see, I'd be happy to upload it.

Aug 11, 2020 - 12:02:47 PM

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

I really like the finish on the nickel silver—is that the lighting, or have you given that a super satin finish? 

Hi Ken, I do the dulling finish on metals with superfine 3M scotchbrite pads. ( the grey ones) When using them, I make sure not to scrub back and fourth, but wipe the pads on the metal all going in one direction. Looks much better that way. Only takes a few minutes to dull nickel silver, bronze or brass. 

I was looking forward to seeing a close-up of the scoop, which is quite something and very Deco.

I think you'll find the shot of the scoop area on the bottom photo on this thread.

Actually, seeing the Whyte Laydie tone ring peeking out in the bottom view, makes ne think than another name for this banjo might be the "Eclectic" —another play on words, borrowing from Fairbanks/Vega.

I like that name, but I might spell it "Eclectric"

What is the mosaic surface the banjo is sitting on? For a minute, I thought you were making a resonator flange from mosaic tile.

It's a super fancy antique clock face ( apparently was used on the side of a building. I found it at our flea market and made a base to set it on and use it as a patio table. 

I notice a washer plate behind the dowel and a screw below the tailpiece attachment—is that a hollow dowel "rudy rod" type attachment with a compression rod?.  BTW, I really like the shape of the dowel itself.

Yes, it's a Rudy rod-type setup. I don't care for fat dowel sticks so I make mine in a traditional shape and enlarge the ends.  I insert the"washer" to help spread the pressure of the dowel stick over a larger area of the rim. it also helps keep the stick from rotating if I scuff up the washer. 

Dan

 


Edited by - Dan Drabek on 08/11/2020 12:07:57

Aug 11, 2020 - 2:29:06 PM

13153 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

This one should make you wince. 

What do you get when you combine a peace symbol and a whale's tail?

Well, of course, you get a Tail Peace.  Haw haw. cough cough. 

This is my basic tailpiece design. The decorative shape changes to suit the occasion, but the function stays the same. The tailpiece is made from two laminated layers of 1/16" sheet nickel silver. Very strong, no moving parts. Takes ball end or loop end strings. Non-adjustable, but I make them to suit my preferences for distance from the head. ( about 1/8" to 3/8". One of the big benefits is that the tailpiece doesn't move when I change strings. It attaches to a pair of tension hooks. Looks nice too. 

Here's another shot. That's

 not a resonator it's sitting on. It's just a round, mosaic  table. Hmmm...a mosaic banjo....

 

So here's that weird thing I left with you on the previous post. The heel is carved into the shape of a shoe heel. I'd like to say a "clogging shoe". But I don't know that much about hillbilly footwear. 

It's much easier to see the shoe when you're holding it in your hands and can rotate it to get other views. Unfortunately this isn't a video. But here's another shot of it:

I even made a nickel silver tap for it. 

On this shot if you look at the neck where it joins the carved heel, you can get some of the effect of combining gloss finish with semi-gloss finish. I like the look a lot. 

Here's that inlay on the bottom of the fretboard. It's sheet brass, with a pair of pearl inlays, and inlaid flush into the fretboard. It gives just a tiny bit of extra room for the thumb, withou going to a scoop. And it lets me get to those high notes on the first and second strings, that I use once or twice per decade. 

Finally, we get to the elephant in the room. The rim cap. I've done several of these and they always call for a large investment in time to make one. It's borrowed from classical guitar rosettes, but It is much larger. About a day and a half of dull labor. But it does add some interest to the rim cap, and is somewhat inspired by the caps used by Fairbanks/Vega in the golden era. 

Those tiny little squares are cut from .9mm dyed veneer and are about 1/32" square. And yes, there is a trick to it. Lots of videos online if you ever go crazy and want to give it a try. 

Well, that's it for this one. Hope you enjoyed the show and tell. 

Here's n audio file to give you an idea of how it sounds. I have yet to do a proper setup, but I think it should give you a feel for how it plays in frailing style. Bye Bye and be safe. 

 


Great tune and playing—I always think of the Whyte Laydie sound as being "sweet", and your banjo really sounds sweet!

Bravo!

One thing I would add, is the whale fluke makes me think of the tune "Blow Ye Winds"—"and lower down your boats me boys, and after him you'll travel, and if you get too near his flukes, he'll kick you to the davil".  You've made a banjo that brings back many images and memories

Ken

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 08/11/2020 14:34:24

Aug 11, 2020 - 2:47:01 PM
likes this

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

Thanks Ken. Your encouraging comments are always appreciated. I've seen a few whale flukes when out kayaking on Monterey bay. It's a theme I never tire of. The tailpiece idea was a no-brainer.

DD

Aug 12, 2020 - 12:10:36 PM

1043 posts since 6/20/2014

For a guy that I thought had indicated he had made his last banjo, you really came back out swinging for the fence.

You sir, are a true artist and one of several that post here.

I love that instrument!!

Charlie Noyes

Aug 12, 2020 - 12:25:09 PM

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

Thanks Charlie. My bad. Never say never. And Never trust a banjo picker. :->

Dan

Aug 12, 2020 - 1:39:57 PM

13153 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by CEParagon124

For a guy that I thought had indicated he had made his last banjo, you really came back out swinging for the fence.

You sir, are a true artist and one of several that post here.

I love that instrument!!

Charlie Noyes


Let's all hope that Dan never makes his last banjo—I know I do.

Aug 12, 2020 - 4:29:52 PM

7780 posts since 1/7/2005

Thanks Al. That's one of the nicest things anyone has told me on this forum 
quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

That is, without question, a true work of art.

That heel, I absolutely love it. Pin point Oxford no less. I don’t know what goes on in your mind when you execute your designs, but it is pretty obvious it’s a creative and joyous place.

Beautiful instrument.


Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.3125