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
Ready for 22 fret 26" scale board
I always score the wood with a "crosshatch" pattern to aid glue
Rosewood is inherently oily so a good anchor bond ensures long
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
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
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
Making a fancy nut with laminated bone/ebony
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
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,
The new neck color is really close to the Ivoroid, I like it
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