Project Description

11″ Dobson claw hammer banjo

The rim is constructed from stacked octagons of Bolivian Rosewood turned on a machine lathe and fitted with a spun brass Dobson tone ring. The rim is trimmed with ebony.

I usually use 14 to 18 hooks and nuts with ball shoes that are made here in Canada. I could use 24 hooks or more if necessary for ultimate head tensioning.  Since I do make my own tension rings the hook number is open to discussion.

My neck construction is two piece book-matched Bolivian Rosewood and glued with Gorilla waterproof glue.  I epoxy 1/4″ 20 stainless threaded rod into drilled and tapped holes in the neck heel and bolt the rim to the neck. The tension ring recess is minimal. The neck heel seats perfectly thanks to a jig I built for sanding it true and with exactly 3 degrees of back tilt. This Rosewood is certified sustainable and tree farm grown in Bolivia. As you can see from the photos it has a rich brown color with lighter and darker tones. I finish it to 1200 grit and seal it with tung oil sealer.  It is smooth as glass.  I do not use glossy finishes and find that the hand rubbed tung oil seals the wood but lets your hand feel it as though it was bare wood.  On old well used banjos the shiny finish is inevitably worn off and they feel wonderful. My banjos start there but are sealed.

I drill and tap a polished 1/2″ diameter solid  brass rod as a single co-ordinator rod from the lower rim bolt to the tail bolt which is also 1/4″ threaded stainless. Tailpiece is an integral set screw  design drilled and tapped into the tension ring.

I use Nigerian black ebony for the fret board, peg head and heel as well as the rim heel.  My current fret board inlays use Australian white MOP and are traditional patterns on a 26 3/16″ scale length.

I use gold Gotoh double band tuners with black buttons.

PRICE $2100