will put up a website back in may and boom, boom, boom .. three piccolo banjo orders. he's working on all of them sort of at the same time and finishing up the first one, which has to be in california for a festival next week. i haven't been paying 100% attention and i only caught the highlights, but watching him figure out efficiencies to produce multiple editions of similar designs has been really interesting. click the photos to enlarge them ...
6/22/2014 .. for photos of 20 more banjos visit will's website at seedersinstruments.comfirst, he cut all the pot ring parts at the same time. it was quite a stack ...
then, based on some stuff he found on the internet, he designed and built a machine tool type setup for the wood lathe to rapidly and accurately turned the pots.
eventually, he'll have a steel plate made to more firmly hold the reversible tool post, but the wood plate worked surprisingly well.
three necks ... cut on his refined swing jig ...
he then added the inlaid and slotted fretboards
and refined the final shapes
he finished the wood parts with tru oil, a hard oil product made primarily for gunstocks, but it works great for banjos and other small things too.
a new challenge was installing the natural skin head, which the first client requested for a traditional sound. this one's goat skin which has an interesting, natural look.
you soak it in warm water, and then lay it over the rim and install the brass flesh hoop, which Will and Sam rolled from brass and brazed in the metal shop.
then you place the tension hoop over that
and pull the excess up through a little at a time.
last step is to install the tightening hardware, snug it up and trim the excess. after drying for 24 hours, the skin will shrink and tighten itself ... pretty slick ... i was fascinated watching the stretching process. i had my camera nearby and took the really short video here as will was finishing up ... about all you can see there is how quickly you need to work, but it's still a pretty cool process shot.
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