One of 5 banjos that I completed for Luthier Dale Small when he was stricken with illness.
R.I.P. Pal.

I built this banjo from parts that were still plain and in raw brass, with only the neck shaped and plain inlay installed but not engraved.

Ron Raymer
 Ron did the engraving and carving, and detail paintwork of the theme.
 and I had it plated, then I built the instrument with lacquer finish over his work.
I sent it to Rob in that fashion and after awhile he wanted some upgrades.
I had another page on that entire build but I have since condensed the 2 phases
So here are some pics of it before and during upgrades
Ron has done many jobs for Dale as well as other Luthier's in the industry.

Testing the design

upgrades by Raymer




Then after gold plating
It was played in this fashion before the final upgrades



When this banjo was first conceived in Dale Small's mind  he and Ron had already worked out a couple themes which we used a part of on the neck.
   Ron just happened to have the old resonator drawings as Dale planned to do it.

I wanted to show them for Posterity

Rob had asked for a GRAND CANYON theme for it, and Ron was only to happy to oblige us and I asked him to create this scene out of his mind, not mine or Rob's.
Sometimes it's best to let the Artist have his on way, you will get a better result!

Our Original Rough Sketch

And I wanted a border  and some Ron came up with a real cool "Portal" effect for me.

Lightened up a bit and some life forms added... sweet
Now for some clear, and to get the rim up to the Master for some more details

I played around with the idea of inlaying in between the hooksets but it would'nt come out right in my head so I circumvented that and went with paintings by Ron, as I have done in the past on other custom work
I asked for an array of things AZ, since this has become a great theme to work with and he and I went in and found things we liked and here is the result
They will stand out nicely when the clear is applied.







Ron got the pieces back to me and as usual I LOVED the theme once I could look at it all together again
Im getting the sealer over his acrylics right away as we like to do.

As the clear builds, the depth will build with it...
That Jackass has to be Rob..............

...Because Raymer gave him a banjo to ward off Coyotes!
My wife Karen was the first to spot it, she had on glasses! LOL
Good one Ron!

Now it starts to show where its heading, and that is back to the Desert soon!

I can't wait to get a few more coats of clear on and get her back together
Thanks again Ron,  this one is going to be a Sandblaster !


Head back to tension, ready to string up

Nice tall Farquhar bridge and heavy gauges

I still have about 5 coats of clear to go on the back, but here is a mock up look


I will add coats on this until its where I need to be and then Ill get a few final shots


Resonator back remounted and ready to go


Ready to go back to Rob and make some Music!
I think its been a nice upgrade and the banjo is surely more beautiful thanks to Mr Ron Raymer
Without good people such as Ron, I would never have been able to accomplish these creations.

Thanks for watching

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