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Oct 28, 2020 - 1:11:46 PM
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1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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No, my banjo doesn't have covid and neither do I. But I'm hunkered down at home with spouse and mother in law. And I'm bored. I'm tired of making bowls on my lathe and I can't give them away fast enough. Wife is a long arm quilter for cash and she's got a dozen customer pieced tops to turn into quilts. That's a lot of cash on the hoof. She's happy. Happy wife, happy life!
So, I think that a new banjo will encourage me to play again. So, here I go again.
I've got an Eastman Whyte Laydie neck coming from Bernunzio. Hardware coming from Goldtone, Stewmac, and Amazon. All I need is a rim. Here's the start of it. My block cutting sled. Still set for 16 blocks a layer for an 11inch rim.


 

Oct 28, 2020 - 1:31:31 PM

1796 posts since 2/12/2009

I have got an Eastman  WL neck on an old Vega pot, very fine neck I think.

Edited by - spoonfed on 10/28/2020 13:32:32

Oct 28, 2020 - 1:36:37 PM
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2217 posts since 9/25/2006

You make great rims Dan!

Oct 28, 2020 - 1:42:36 PM
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RioStat

USA

5307 posts since 10/12/2009

Good to see you back on the Hangout Dan !!

Oct 28, 2020 - 1:43:42 PM

18 posts since 5/23/2020

My mother is a quilter, taught classes the whole 9 yards, (no pun intended). She had a long arm and man that thing was like a license to print money once enough people know you have it and know how to use it.

Anyway, nice idea building a new banjo to stomp on the COVID shut-in blues. Hey, maybe there is a song in there. See I've been talking to myself and the dog so much my ability to stay focused is not what it used to be. Well, I'll be looking forward to seeing what you get built.

I'm a woodworker myself and was wondering how a pot gets turned with enough accuracy so a tone ring if equipped, fits, and all that. Turning is something I've not done in wood which is kind of strange I suppose as I went through toolmakers apprenticeship and turned quite a bit of metal and have a metal lathe.

Oct 28, 2020 - 2:01:42 PM
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Helix

USA

13065 posts since 8/30/2006

Hello Daniel great to see that face again. Nice looking rig

Oct 28, 2020 - 8:49:17 PM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

4748 posts since 1/5/2005

Nice to hear from you again Dan, we've missed you!

Oct 28, 2020 - 9:09:53 PM
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3400 posts since 5/29/2011

I'm glad to see you back, Dan. I always enjoyed your work.

Oct 29, 2020 - 3:13:26 AM

177 posts since 9/6/2019

Is that the Rigid table saw with the Herculift base? I have the same one in my shop.

Oct 29, 2020 - 9:05:47 AM

1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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Thanks for the greetings and good comments, you guys.

Takedeadaim The patron saint of block rim makers, Tony Pass, used metal working lathes to cut his rims. A lot of others do, too. I used a Sears wood lathe to start with metal cutting tools for my rims. Then I built my own wood lathe. And ground my own tool bits. You can get enough accuracy as you need with wood on a lathe. Maybe not in the thousandths like metal, but as wood expands and contracts with the weather, it doesn't matter. Now I have a Nova 1624 with a 16 inch throw for bowls, pens, lathe tool handles and now rims again.

Helix That block cutting rig evolved over the years. As yours probably did, too.

Banjonewguy My table saw is a Hitachi model that Bought about ten years ago.

Here's the first layer of blocks on my lathe. Another layer to come today and a top layer of purple heart for a bottom cap and the cutting will begin. Probably in a couple of days


 

Oct 29, 2020 - 10:28:33 AM

2209 posts since 2/7/2008

Is the maker of the neck the same Eastman that makes guitars?

Also, when you turn the rim, are you controlling the cutting tool by hand, or have you made a carriage and cross slide for your wood lathe?

Oct 29, 2020 - 11:37:58 AM
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100 posts since 3/16/2014

Dan! I never thought id get the chance to thank you for your posts/videos in the past. They were a great guide for getting me started. So a BIG THANKS to you! I now have more banjos than wall space to hang them..

Oct 29, 2020 - 1:06:57 PM

1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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Quickstep192 Yes, same Eastman that makes guitars. The ones I've seen were pretty good, too. I think Bernunzio contracted them to make banjos for him.
And I plan to use handheld lathe chisels to cut the rim with. I've made so many bowls with handheld tools now that I don't think I will have a problem.

Plunkyjunkie You're welcome and thank you for the comment.

Oct 29, 2020 - 7:46:58 PM

2960 posts since 2/18/2009
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It's great to see you back again, I learned a lot from your posts back in the day. I've turned a lot of rims by hand on a lathe but I've only made a few bowls(and not very good ones), and hope to learn to do that better one of these days. Good for you for being able to go back and forth and do both kinds of things.

Oct 30, 2020 - 2:27:49 PM
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1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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here's the three layers glued up and just about ready to turn.


 

Nov 1, 2020 - 4:31:43 AM

2209 posts since 2/7/2008

Dan, Please keep us posted on how it goes. I'll be interested to know what lathe tools you use to get to the final dimensions. I'm especially interested to see what tools and techniques you'll use on the inside.

Nov 1, 2020 - 10:04:16 AM

1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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Here's the rim after turning. Maple with purple heart bottom cap.  The bottom half is stepped down for a bracket shoe band.
And the tools used for most of the cutting. I used the roughing gouge for finish surface on the outside of the rim. The middle tool is my go to tool for fast removal of wood both inside and outside of a bowl. I don't remember who I bought it from. I saw a youtube video on it and got it online. The tool on the right I got from Harrison Specialties in Minnesota. Everybody is selling a version of this one. It uses replaceable carbide cutters. Rough cut with the corner and shear scrape with the straight edge for smooth. All bowl techniques.




Edited by - Dan Pennington on 11/01/2020 10:05:53

Nov 1, 2020 - 3:31:50 PM

2209 posts since 2/7/2008

Thanks for the info. It looks like it turned out very nicely. I have one of those carbide jobbies as well; the Easy Wood model. They just came out with a negative rake cutter that really works like a charm. I've never seen the one in the middle; is that a carbide cutter poking out? Are you going to turn a rabbet for a tone ring?

Nov 2, 2020 - 7:36:15 AM

1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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Quickstep I still can't remember where I got the tool in the middle. It uses 1/4 inch cobalt steel tool blanks borrowed right from the metal lathe people. Ground at 70 deg. and a rounded cutting edge. I also bought an eighth inch version for fine cutting and I made a giant version using hunk of pipe and a 1/2 inch cobalt cutter for roughing large gnarly hunks of wood.


 

Nov 2, 2020 - 11:14:56 AM
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1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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The next stage in the rim is the tone ring. I did this on a couple of banjos I built and liked the sound a lot. A ring of 1/4 inch rolled brass rod sitting on 16 screw heads. Not as bright and loud as a Tubaphone ring but, to my ears, the equal of white lady rings I've tried. I call it my poor man's white lady ring. I tried using ball bearings, but those were again in the butt to keep in place while Igot the ring and head in place.




Nov 3, 2020 - 10:50:27 AM
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1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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Surprising the number of things I've had to relearn or reinvent to get this banjo together. But here it is in the white. Just to see it it all fits together and looks like a banjo. Only half of the hooks installed, no finish on the rim and Rudy rod, no side dots on the neck. Or tuners installed. Coming along nicely.




Nov 5, 2020 - 2:04:35 PM

159 posts since 12/17/2003

Wow beautiful banjo!

Nov 5, 2020 - 5:34:06 PM

2209 posts since 2/7/2008

Really nice, Dan; really nice...

Nov 6, 2020 - 10:42:36 AM

1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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The neck is what makes a beautiful banjo. I'm waiting for a new bridge for it to come later today according to Amazon. Seems strange to buy banjo parts off Amazon, but that's what my world is like this year.
I'll post some photos after Iget the bridge.

Nov 7, 2020 - 10:06:58 AM

2209 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Pennington

The neck is what makes a beautiful banjo. I'm waiting for a new bridge for it to come later today according to Amazon. Seems strange to buy banjo parts off Amazon, but that's what my world is like this year.
I'll post some photos after Iget the bridge.


That purpleheart doesn't hurt the look! A bridge with a purpleheart top would look slick. 

Nov 7, 2020 - 10:09:59 AM
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1836 posts since 12/14/2004
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It's done as much as it will be for a while. It has some issues that I will deal with later this year when I get bored again. Probably after the snow locks me inside for a while.
I'll probably make a new rim because I cut the blocks a little too small to get a 3/4 In. thickness and I want to redo the Rudy rod wood part. And no purple heart bottom cap. I'll do some black binding on the inside of the rim. Later!

So here it is. The neck feels good. It sounds better than I thought it would. After I've played my hands into shape again, I'll do recording of the sound. The closeup of the head shows the rolled brass ring sitting on the screw head-on top of the rim. Poor man's white lady.






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