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Oct 14, 2020 - 6:10:08 PM
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4547 posts since 9/7/2009

I have been building another mini banjo for almost a year. I just got the strings on it today. This mini was a "work in progress" from day one. The man who commissioned the build had some ideas as to what he wanted, and I tried to incorporate as many as he requested. We conversed by email many times throughout the year. He has been very patient! I have a mini case in progress and will post some final pictures with it is completed.


Oct 14, 2020 - 6:59:57 PM

2367 posts since 12/18/2004

Marvin,
That is truly some beautiful work!
You are a talented craftsman.
Don Bryant NC banjo luthier

Oct 14, 2020 - 8:00:11 PM
Players Union Member

bob gregory

Australia

279 posts since 12/17/2007

The Banjo looks beautiful
You should be very proud of yourself

Oct 14, 2020 - 8:05:24 PM

Foote

USA

406 posts since 3/25/2009
Online Now

I agree with the above, very beautiful work. Is that a C scale/Pony banjo? I have one by the late Dale Small which I love.

Oct 14, 2020 - 8:27:37 PM

4547 posts since 9/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Foote

I agree with the above, very beautiful work. Is that a C scale/Pony banjo? I have one by the late Dale Small which I love.


It has a one octave higher G tuning.

Oct 15, 2020 - 4:24:04 AM

RevD

USA

140 posts since 4/8/2019

Wow that's a stunner, always a pleasure to see your work!

Oct 15, 2020 - 5:56:36 AM

61 posts since 10/13/2010

Beautiful. I would love to hear/watch some sound/video samples.

Oct 15, 2020 - 6:07:14 AM

1533 posts since 1/13/2006

Beautiful design and craftsmanship Marvin.

Oct 15, 2020 - 6:11:04 AM

297 posts since 9/25/2006

Just beautiful work! Fantastic!

ryan

Oct 15, 2020 - 7:46:06 AM
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4547 posts since 9/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by rwsansom

Beautiful. I would love to hear/watch some sound/video samples.


I haven't made a video of this one yet, but I have some videos of previous ones on my YouTube channel. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/banjomakr/videos

Here are a few videos on Russ Carson's channel. He plays a whole lot better than I ever will!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJib28XaurI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKa2mfYsi9Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlbYlK36-lc

Oct 15, 2020 - 9:07:19 AM

1275 posts since 10/11/2012

Amazing! You truly are THE master of mini banjos...

Oct 15, 2020 - 9:26:02 AM

61 posts since 10/13/2010

BNJOMAKR - What price range do your mini banjos typically start around?

Oct 15, 2020 - 9:54:40 AM

7834 posts since 1/7/2005

Drop dead gorgeous Marvin. I love the flow of the inlays down the fretboard. Lisa Ann is a lucky girl.

DD

Oct 15, 2020 - 10:16:33 AM
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55964 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Drop dead gorgeous Marvin. I love the flow of the inlays down the fretboard. Lisa Ann is a lucky girl.

DD


@Don Drabek:

Thanks for being CAREFUL with the punctuation,

"Drop dead ,  gorgeous Marvin ! " would have looked like a nasty comment from a jealous competitor.

@ gorgeous Marvin:

I can't imagine there is ANY competitor anywhere CLOSE to your skill and dedication to detail on playable instruments THAT small.

Oct 15, 2020 - 10:18:14 AM

13254 posts since 6/29/2005

Wow Marvin,

That is really off the charts.  Every time I think you can't outdo the last one, you do it!

Everything about it is amazing, but the inlays on this one are particularly great, with the different colors.

Ken

Oct 15, 2020 - 11:12:23 AM

4547 posts since 9/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory
quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Drop dead gorgeous Marvin. I love the flow of the inlays down the fretboard. Lisa Ann is a lucky girl.

DD


@Don Drabek:

Thanks for being CAREFUL with the punctuation,

"Drop dead ,  gorgeous Marvin ! " would have looked like a nasty comment from a jealous competitor.

@ gorgeous Marvin:

I can't imagine there is ANY competitor anywhere CLOSE to your skill and dedication to detail on playable instruments THAT small.


Mike, I don't try to compete with anyone.  I just try to do my best. The only person who thinks I'm gorgeous is my wife... I hope! :) 

Oct 15, 2020 - 1:42:57 PM

7834 posts since 1/7/2005

Marvin,

I've always liked the way inlay looks when it crosses over the fret slot. Do you do anything to avoid cracking the pearl or abalone when tapping in the fret? Or do you cut the inlay to stop short of the fret slot?

DD

Oct 15, 2020 - 2:27:04 PM

267 posts since 2/22/2010

Absolutely amazing as always, Marvin, I admire your work, you are a true master.
Kevin

Oct 15, 2020 - 2:41:06 PM
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kww

USA

728 posts since 6/21/2008
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While my tastes run simpler than your client's, thought you might appreciate a shot of the one Zachary Hoyt just made for me. 10.25" scale with an 8" pot. Probably the only banjo around that would make yours look full-size.




Oct 15, 2020 - 2:54:51 PM

7834 posts since 1/7/2005

Banjo uke. A different animal.

DD

Oct 15, 2020 - 3:15:54 PM

kww

USA

728 posts since 6/21/2008
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Banjo uke. A different animal.

DD


It makes my banjo uke look big.

Oct 15, 2020 - 3:47:12 PM

7834 posts since 1/7/2005

A supranissimo uke has typical focal length of 11". But Marvin's isn't a banjo ukulele--which is a 4 string critter. His is a miniature, five string banjo. A uke player wouldn't know how to play it. And vice versa.
DD

Oct 15, 2020 - 3:53:31 PM

55964 posts since 12/14/2005

@ Dan Drabek:
Li'l Rev plays banjo AND uke, and so do I, and so does my brother, so, don't paint with TOO broad a brush.
I do believe there's a lot of us multi-string twangers running loose.

Oct 15, 2020 - 3:54:23 PM

kww

USA

728 posts since 6/21/2008
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

A supranissimo uke has typical focal length of 11". But Marvin's isn't a banjo ukulele--which is a 4 string critter. His is a miniature, five string banjo. A uke player wouldn't know how to play it. And vice versa.
DD


<sigh>

I'm sorry that I thought someone that delighted in the craftsmanship of making small five-strings would appreciate a peek at someone else's craftsmanship in making a small four-string.  I can certainly count strings. I know the difference between the two. I'm certain that BNJOMAKR can count strings as well, and understands the differences between the two.

Sorry to disrupt your enjoyment of the thread. I'll do my best to never participate in a thread that you are policing again.

Oct 15, 2020 - 4:52:52 PM

7834 posts since 1/7/2005

quote:
Originally posted by kww

While my tastes run simpler than your client's, thought you might appreciate a shot of the one Zachary Hoyt just made for me. 


I'm not a moderator, and I had no intention of stepping on toes. I did feel that your comment sounded rather patronizing. As if Marvin's work did not meet your personal standards of good taste. May well have been my imagination. High-end banjos by way of tradition have tended to be highly decorated. Granted this is not everyone's cup of tea. But the skill and technique necessary to work at that level can't be judged by the standards of minimalism. Just as bluegrass can't be judged by the standards of clawhammer. 

DD

Oct 15, 2020 - 5:01:48 PM

4547 posts since 9/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Marvin,

I've always liked the way inlay looks when it crosses over the fret slot. Do you do anything to avoid cracking the pearl or abalone when tapping in the fret? Or do you cut the inlay to stop short of the fret slot?

DD


On the Carly Jane mini banjo, I cut the vine inlays before gluing and cleaned out the glue from the slots afterwards. Where the vine crossed the slot, I ground away the barbs on the fret wire where the inlay crossed before I hammered the frets in. The first one that I did with large slot crossing inlays was the Mustang Pony mini that I built for Rik Palieri.  With it, I cut the inlays in two where they crossed the slots before gluing them. I used the glue blocking plastic stuff that Stew Mac sells. It worked ok, but some of the plastic was hard to remove, and I still had to clean out the slots. On the last two builds, I glued the inlays and used the glue sparingly near the fret slots. After drying, I cut across the slots with a Dremel cutting wheel, and cleaned out the excess glue with the hand made tool that I posted about earlier.  I de-burr some of the barbs on the fret wire with a file before hammering them in. 


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