God is in the detail

Tubaphone Cherry pot with Vega style shoering plate

Tubaphone rim assembly

Or so says the old proverb.

This is one of the banjo’s I’m working on now. A Tu-Ba-Phone style tone ring with Vega style shoe-ring plate on a cherry wood rim assembly for an all Canadian cherry banjo that will travel to Europe once finished.

It was photographed just before it goes on my new assembly jig. Setting up the dowel stick, set back angle and offset is always a time consuming part of building a good banjo, but this jig has turned the process into a real breeze. If I manage a reasonable photo I will post it here for those curious about it.

After the dowel stick is fixed in place the looks will improve a 100% once it’s gone through the spray booth. The finish will really highlight the rim’s different woods and grain patterns bringing out all their beauty.

Matching the neck and rims cherry shades was problematic because the neck’s grain colouring turned out considerably lighter than the rim. To solve the problem I applied a diluted cherry stain to the neck. It’s a long story on how I mixed the stain but to my amazement it came out better than expected. I prefer to not use stains in the finishing process but in this case it did the job perfectly.

In my opinion the rim looks real nice compared to a standard maple rim. I installed some walnut and maple banding at the base of the rim in both the inside and outside perimeter and then added a walnut capping at the base of the rim to match up with the banding material colours. I think the contrasting walnut and maple banding and the walnut capping works perfectly with the cherry rim. God, the detail… I hope you agree with me.

I will take some more photos of the whole banjo with the neck installed over the next couple of days, as time permits, and I’ll post them here.


~ by rickardbanjo on 08/18/2009.

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