Kit Guitar Page
2017
Ebay Kit
Double cutaway
Convert to 25.5"- 26" scale plectrum
Overall Length: 39"

Scale Length:  25.6"

Top: Burl Ash

Neck: Maple

Back & Side: Mahogany

Fingerboard & Bridge: Rosewood

Tuning Machines: Chrome Individual Covered

Body Binding: Single-Ply ABS

Rosette: Decal



I will see if this makes a decent plectrum, the body is nice and thin, well braced with x braced top.
I will not be using a fixed bridge, it will be floating, an a trapeze tailpiece .


Truss is not functional, my guess is that it is stuck, not broke, from glue, as many are with this style rod.
Interesting dowel pin retention, should work OK
Crude, but works fine when it can move.




Sliding in the neck, I reamed a little from the truss cavitiy and it went on down.


The 22 fret board will extend this far, you can see at 26", where bridge will land.




Heating the old board off


Truss was stuck tight, would not even rise with board off, the casing has to go and a better fit will be achieved


Works fine out of the neck


Now it works in the neck


Not exactly a straight one for sure.
 I have seen worse in modern fancy banjos that cost over 5000.00
Won't name names.



ZOOM!




I will use a wax paper wrap


Then a tape barrier for the glue


Some old laminates, green will do, for the cover.
It will be dyed black on the edge.




2 layers glued and clamped


"sure-Form" taking the sides down
Many years experience with these allows some aggressive fast cutting.
Ready for 22 fret 26" scale board


I always score the wood with a "crosshatch" pattern to aid glue adhesion.
Rosewood is inherently oily so a good anchor bond ensures long life.


Glued and clamped 12 hrs


More Sure-form work on the board


A little flare on the extension for the look I like


 Going with Ivoroid, straight grain for the overlay and fingerboard.
I have a good sized piece I need to start using up before it gets brittle on me
Glued on, ready to trim




New holes drilled for the 4 string conversion


Just enough room for the furnished tuners and bushings


Fingerboard cut, glued on, ready for slots


A quick look at its "look"


Slotting and fretting with 147 wire


3/32 side markers for good visibility


3/32 marker dot material for the fret markers


Extension is curved from tight frets, it will lay right once on the body.


Another look


I will seal the frets and edges, finish the neck profile , then get the mounting areas ready.
You can see I have already started, using #20 white CA
Need to get it all fitted before neck finish begins.

First Assembly
I will get everything fitted and  setup before I do a final finish
.
I will make sure it all fits together as it should.


4 dowels to pin the neck to the heel


Countersunk a hole, then pit a 3" woodscrew into the neck block for added retention.
No glue, it will be an easily removable neck for future work.


This is a white base coat that will be "yellowed" up a bit with some tinting when I get to a final finish
It will blend with the binding and a few clear coats will make it pop.


Tuners installed


Making a fancy nut with laminated bone/ebony




SETUP
1 full coat of clear on the body, I want as light a finish as possible for testing.
Not looking to kill the tone with 10 coats, that defeats the purpose of testing from nearly bare first.
I am not going with fixed bridge that came with the kit.
I wanted a floating bridge and used a down force tailpiece furnished by Barry Grant from an old Vegavox banjo, painted metallic silver.
Thanks BG!



This gives good force on the sound board.




Good string angle over the adjustable bridge, nice warm tone, a lot of sustain.













R.I.P. Rootbeer, always watching over your Dad.

2nd setup


I have it playing as I wish, and will just see how it acts a few days before I pull off the neck and slim it on down to Plectrum banjo neck width.
I have the spacing I want up top and now I will get closer spacing at the bottom.
I wanted to see how it played first, it's just a prototype and usually 10 times apart and together is "a few".
Downforce is excellent from the Vox tailpiece, no issue of running floating bridge, happy about that


Tinted the white to give it a sort of BD Montana look, will finish all that up after I shave the neck some more.




















2-25, final neck reduction


Taking it down to plectrum banjo width at the nut and narrowing the string spacings
The temp finish serves as a good indicator as to where I am.


All slimmed up, 








FINAL PICS
The new neck color is really close to the Ivoroid, I like it better.


I decided on a banjo style bridge, no insert, something I made up and I like the tone much better than the adjustable, this is light and airy, goes well with the body.



Stamped "Prototype" I do not want anyone thinking this was someone's best work :)













That's it (I think) for this proto, but you never know what I may dream up for it next.
Working out solutions on this one will make it easy if I want, or am asked to do more.
Thanks for watching,Vinnie