banjo

made summer 2013

honey locust neck

osage orange fingerboard.  The wavy grain didn’t plane well, so I ended up sanding it smooth.

copper pipe hardware

bike brake cable to hold the tailpiece on

nine sided rim, cut from a piece of oak on a table saw.

raccoon hide top.  my first experience in processing a hide and skinning a raccoon. This was later replaced with polyethylene from some sort of cookie tray after the skin was broken, repaired, and rebroken.

fishing line strings.

now trying out steel.  kind of liked the fishing line better.

If it’s ever late at night and you need to make your banjo quieter to avoid annoying the neighbors beyond their threshold, shove some socks or underwear in the back of your banjo.  Wedge the soft stuff between the bar (or whatever spans the hoop) and the head.

Osage and locust are common weed trees in North America. They are also incredibly rot resistant. As a result, they are often used as fenceposts. I read in foxfire that a black locust post will last fifty years. When that time’s up, it can be inverted to last another 50. Osage orange also makes an excellent bow. It’s gnarly and takes persuasion but is beautiful, very tough, and worth the struggle.