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I’ve been working on a new concept for building banjo rims with only one ply. Shown is a piece of 3″ wide x 7/8″ thick hard maple being rooled into a single ply rim with a 10″ inside diameter. This was done without any pre-steaming of the stock. It was rolled cold with no fracturing of the rim an the outside edge. Up until now this would be considered as impossible to do!
Here’s some photos of a fully spunover rim that I manufactured and sent to Kevin Enoch. From there Kevin did the beautiful neck work and final set up of the banjo to produce what you see here. Plans are to build up some more of these special Dobson banjos as a joint venture. We’ll be introducing a fully spunover 12″ rim Dobson in the very near future. We’ll keep you all posted
This rim was spun from a single disc of brass and then polished and nickel plated. There are no welded joints in this rim what so ever! Note Kevin’s details to the neck heel.
Notice the ebonized interior ply and the nickel plated Dobson tone ring
Here’s a photo of the overall banjo to show its simple and tasteful lines.
Here are a few pictures of the latest Banjo in the workshop. Please click over any image to enlarge.
It’s a fully spunover rim with a Dobson ring tone fitted over. Both spun from a single ring of brass and have no joints at all. After extruding, both were nickelplated as it is all the hardware, all made at Rickard Banjos.
The internal wood ply is a single layer of curly maple approximatedly 1/4″ thick and was inserted and glued into the spun over rim after the nickel plating process.
The maple insert is yet not finish It requires several coats of a clear catalized varnish. The neck is a “5 ply construction”, a central laminate of maple was glued up with with two contrasting plys of dyed black pear wood between the main neck pieces of curly maple. There is no truss rod but it has two strips of carbon fiber for additional strength.
In this rim construction the tone ring sits on top of the spun over rim assembly, like it did on the original Dobson’s rims. The tone ring has a slightly flatter profile, compared to an original Dobson tone ring, to accomodate the fiberskyn head.
Here’s the 11″ thin rim Rickard Dobson replica banjo in walnut played by Arnie Naimam who, at the time is touring old great britain with his band the Albermarle Ramblers, presenting their new album The Gentleman From Virginia.
The maiden, on their first public appearance, are two assembled Dobson Kit Banjo replicas by Bill Rickard, presented and played to introduce their specs and beautiful tones and compare the difference between the two prototypes.
The tune, played by Arnie Naiman, is The Gentleman From Virginia, from the album of the same name just released by Arnie and friends of the Albemarle Ramblers trio, Dick Harrington, Pete Vigour and Arnie himself. If you want to check out, maybe purchase this great Old Time new release, please click on the on the following link:
The fisrt of the Rickard Dobson presented sports a 12″ 2 ply solid walnut pot with a Dobson replica tonering, 2 piece walnut neck shaped with Bill’s signature heel.
The second, also played and introduced by Arnie, it’s also a 12″ but with a thin rim and a traditional Dobson heel shaped neck.
These are the last of Bill’s and team efforts to produce an afordable kit banjo with top of the range banjo parts and “expensive-banjo” quality and sound and will be, hopefully soon, available to order at Bill’s workshop and asociated retailers.