Tuesday, May 17, 2011

banjo #4 .. 10" pot, half fretless

well, you probably know what this is ... another banjo by will ... #4. curly maple, ebony, and brass this time ... half fretless. kind of a neat concept that allows the player to 'slide' notes on the upper part of the fretboard where the frets are further apart, but yet play accurately up high on the neck. click the photos to enlarge them ...  6/22/2014 .. see will's website for 20 more banjos at seedersinstruments. com
here's a link to a 40 second you tube concert here ... a short improv of 'mole in the ground' ...i'm told #4 ' has a nice sustain compared to the others'. ok ... i can hear that.
being the fourth banjo, it required new new techniques and new and more accurate jigs and processes like the ebony backstrap and the adjustable 3 degree compound angle drilling jig for the dowel stick hole that was based on this jig we made for drilling long turnings on the lathe .... slick
next time, he says he'll add a 'push block' to the back of the jig so he can drill the hole using the tail stock crank, but this time he just pushed it slowly against the bit.
will cut the stopped fretboard slots (a nice clean feeling edge, but without the fussy banding on banjo #2 )(scroll down) on the cnc using a mini mini .026 diameter router bit. for the decimally challenged out there, that is 2/3rds of a 32nd of an inch. a pretty small router bit ... get 'em from mcmaster carr or stew mac i think. ...
the fretboard binding on banjo 2 .. getting that fifth string tuner curve was a trial as i recall
and then, to secure the brass, he used a variation of a nifty trick we read about on a greene and greene details forum where the hall brothers applied ebony edge details with slotted brass screws and then filed off the slotted parts, leaving tapered smooth tipped pins ... i think he also used a little epoxy or something for insurance .. it's a very cool detail in person ..
the whole deal
close up of the fretless part with the stainless steel pins
pot shot ... ha ha
and the back view with the ebony details
nice curly cherry and nice detail on the hardware and dowel stick ... i particularly like the brass wire armrest ... the ebony split line is a cool detail ... and i think the finish is 6 or 7 coats of tru-oil, a gun stock finish ... seeders instruments, will's new website has recently received two orders for complete banjos and one for a reproduction neck for an existing older pot ... the boy is off and running ...

in case you missed them
banjo #1 is here
banjo #3 is here

1 comment:

Jason Herrick said...

I wanna be Will when I grow up. LOVE the filing off the screw head technique! THAT is brilliant. Thank you as always for sharing such great info. Cheers.