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Nov 29, 2022 - 5:00:41 PM
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452 posts since 4/13/2011

Playing around with decorating headstocks with a laser engraver. I enjoy doing traditional inlay, but wonder if this has a place in banjo building too? Interested in hearing thoughts and reactions.

Nov 29, 2022 - 5:14:06 PM

2444 posts since 2/7/2008

I LIKE it!

It opens a lot of options.

Edited by - Quickstep192 on 11/29/2022 17:14:33

Nov 29, 2022 - 5:46:18 PM

12477 posts since 10/27/2006

Deering has been doing it since the late '80s or early '90s. They are not alone.

Nov 29, 2022 - 5:52:17 PM

452 posts since 4/13/2011

mikehalloran good point. I had forgotten all about goodtime.

Nov 29, 2022 - 6:03:47 PM
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12477 posts since 10/27/2006

Originally posted by Stephen45710

mikehalloran good point. I had forgotten all about goodtime.

Not just the Goodtime. The Basic/Boston, Intermediate/Standard/Sierra/Deluxe have sported laser etched headstocks, often with a white filler if a dark overlay. They did this for years.

Nov 29, 2022 - 6:09:40 PM

452 posts since 4/13/2011

mikehalloran Good info indeed. Do you know if they mostly used it with their company logo? I’m curious if they or others have been more artistic or creative with the process.

Nov 29, 2022 - 6:15:45 PM

176 posts since 7/24/2021

I like it . What you are offering Stephen is a variety. Not just a builder/makers mark. Deering May have also etched different patterns? I’m not too familiar with deering . You’ll probably get some resistance from traditionalist that’ll say… Earl didn’t do it way.. and I’m purdy traditional. I like it for what it’s worth. Keep on keeping on !

Nov 29, 2022 - 6:35:07 PM

1680 posts since 4/13/2009

Chinese-made picolo banjo

Nov 29, 2022 - 11:03:12 PM

55 posts since 8/23/2022

Personally I prefer inlay to laser. I use my laser for cutting out headstock overlays and guitar tops. The laser is nice because it makes it easy to engrave intricate designs, but for me it does not look like it belongs on a high end instrument. On a mid-priced production instrument it is fine.

Nov 30, 2022 - 2:11:49 AM
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Players Union Member



16373 posts since 8/30/2006

What Deering did is production.

What you are doing is art. Steady as she goes.

Nov 30, 2022 - 2:20:06 PM

12477 posts since 10/27/2006

What are the rules? Plenty if emulating vintage gear.


Rules? We ain't got no rules. We don't need no rules. I don't have to show you any stinkin' rules!


I remember when portable machines were being sold at the 1997 NAMM show for this exact use and have a few disks cut by those. 

You can't really see it in this picture but this headstock logo from my mid- '60s Muse (ODE) is quite sharp. The stamp that cut it had to be extremely sharp to do so. Nowadays, a laser could knock that out in a second.


Edited by - mikehalloran on 11/30/2022 14:30:25

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