Late last year, I was commissioned to build a mini banjo with a white rose theme. I have been working on it as time permitted since I had a full time job. As of April 1st, I have been retired, and have gotten some extra time now. It is a "design in progress" build, and to add to my slow building process, 30 minutes after retiring, I mashed the fingers of my left hand, breaking the tip of my middle finger!
I have been posting construction pictures on Facebook, but I know a lot of BHO friends don't have Facebook, so here are some random photos of the building of it. The metal parts are being shipped back this week from Nashville Plating Service. I am in the process of inlaying a rose made from holly, cherry, and walnut into the back of the resonator at this time.
Edited by - BNJOMAKR on 06/20/2021 04:08:02
Nice job !!! If I ever get rich, I will get you to build it.
That's pretty dang spectacular work!
That inlay......man o man! I can really appreciate the time input and patience!
Incredible workmanship, all I need to be is 3 feet tall and it would be my perfect banjo!
Another marvelous mini-masterpiece from Marvin. Always a pleasure to see your work. The level of craftsmanship is always impeccable, and the design tasteful. And that fretboard is spectacular. I can hardly wait to see your finished resonator. The curly maple will make for a beautiful canvas for your perfect inlay work.
that is going to be absolutely gorgeous when finished its beautiful now with those rose inlays
You are amazing, Marvin—a force of nature. I think the white roses are a tour de force of pearl inlay, taking advantage of the directional flash of the pieces and turning that to advantage in the design.
Thanks for posting those photos Marvin. I have been waiting patiently for your next build thread and once again, fantastic work.
Thanks for all the nice comments. I have uploaded a video of the fret board inlay taken before I did the peghead inlay. You can see how the light is dispersed by the pearl. The banjo playing at the end of the video is my banjo clock "striking" on the hour.
Edited by - BNJOMAKR on 05/12/2021 07:19:18
Marvin, you amaze me with every build...
Each of your mini banjos is a spectacular work of art. They are stunning in every way.
You must have brilliant eyesight, very steady hands and bucket loads of patience and dedication.
I'm just blown away as will be the new owner of that beauty...
I decided last week that the mini needed an inlay on the back of the resonator. I drew up a pattern, resized it to fit the resonator back, and started sawing it out Monday of this week. The roses are holly, the leaves are cherry, and the stems are walnut. I started the inlay process on Tuesday, and I have it installed as of this afternoon. I taped the rose petals together with clear tape and traced around the center rose with a pencil. I then routed out space on the reonator back with a Dremel router, checking for fit, and trim routing the space until it fit snug. I then traced around the perimeter rose buds one at time and repeated the process. Once everything fit, the pieces were removed and glued in place. Once dry, I leveled the inlay pieces, placed the resonator on my lathe, and made a circular groove for a piece of 1/16" mahogany and glued it into the groove. I trimed the mahogany with a knife and then mounted it back on the lathe and sanded it leveled.
Absolutely beautiful work Marvin. How do you cut the fret slots through the shell on the fingerboard?
You must have nerves of steel! I'd be one nervous luthier doing that. I'll have to mock one up and see what it feels like to actually extend a slot through shell that way. The more work I have in a piece the more I worry about getting close to it with fast moving objects. And I know you have a ton of work invested in that rose vine fingerboard. May the force be with you Marvin!
Thanks again for sharing your processes.
Edited by - RBuddy on 05/15/2021 07:49:09
You make me SOOO glad that I'm not as motivated as you are.
I can't imagine being THAT focused on detailed craftsmanship.
But, I do enjoy looking at pictures, and hearing videos of your work.
Just showed your page to the 15 year old grandbaby.
She is VERY impressed, from the standpoint of a violinist who appreciates a nice instrument, and also appreciates well-made JEWELRY.
The rose keeps blooming
I decided that the rose needed some added detail. I know about sand shading of marquetry inlay pieces, and actually watched some videos on it. But marquetery is a different process with all the pieces the same thickness, and on a flat service. The resonator is curved and the pieces are inlaid higher than the original surface and then sanded level.
I've never tried this before, but I used my soldering iron as a wood burner and shaded the wood inlay. I was very nervous to try it, and tried it first on some scrap pieces of wood before going at it. It came out OK for a first try!
Edited by - BNJOMAKR on 05/17/2021 08:31:50
To protect the wood inlay from stain that I will apply soon, I painted clear lacquer over the inlay with an artist brush.
Gilding the lily. Why not? Looks like you're having fun Marvin. That's the important thing.
So cool. I love your builds. Thanks for posting.
And congrats on the retirement.
'Mole in The Ground' 3 hrs
'Thumb' 4 hrs
'SS Stewart' 7 hrs
'Who was that ??' 7 hrs