Listen to the Rickard Dobson Kit banjo.

•02/11/2010 • 3 Comments

Listen to Boatman played by Scott Holmen with a Bill Rickard Dobson Kit banjo.
To play, click over the following title.

The boatman


The Rickard Dobson Kit banjo, second prototype pot and brackets.

•02/11/2010 • 1 Comment

Thin Rim Dobson Style Kit Banjo Played by Arnie Naiman

•01/06/2010 • 4 Comments

Neck Jig. Simple but effective.

•09/06/2009 • Leave a Comment

Vega on a neck assembly jig

Vega on a neck assembly jig

Here are some photos showing the new neck jig that I recently built. This simple looking jig is a real time saver as it guarantees that the square dowel stick hole and end bolt hole are accurately located in the rim.



Next it guarantees that the dowel stick hole is accurately drilled in the neck heel and that the dowel stick is accurately glued in the neck heel. It’s 100% accurate and takes all the guessing out of the alignment process. I don’t know how I survived for so long without this simple jig!

The banjo is an Original Vega I´m restoring for a customer in the US.

Jig, detail.

Jig, detail.

Vega restoration on the alignment jig

Vega restoration on the alignment jig

Coming along nicely.

•08/31/2009 • Leave a Comment
with the latest "tubby" at the workshop

At the workshop


This is one of the instruments I’m working on now of which I’ve been publishing here about its progress. Soon it’ll be finished and will make its journey to Europe. The website admin has promised me to photograph it properly in all its glory and detail to showcase here. Meanwhile here are a few snaps taken at the workshop.

The Tubby sounds terrific and I’ll see that you get a sound sample along with the photographs.


Tubaphone Rim

Rim detail

God is in the detail

•08/18/2009 • Leave a Comment
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.


•08/11/2009 • Leave a Comment

Four new Spunover banjos presented at the Clifftop festival this summer of 2009

Four new Spunover banjos presented at the Clifftop festival this summer.