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A Look Into the Workshop

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= Resonator Banjo Serial #22 ===

This 6 string resonator banjo was commissioned by Steve R.


The options he chose are:

  • 6 string banjo with 21-3/8" scale
  • Monkeypod body with rosewood binding
  • Cutaway
  • Round ebony-lined soundhole
  • Gold Mother of Pearl inlays
  • Custom headstock shape
  • Gold Grover mini Roto-lock tuners
  • Cast James tailpiece


Standard features include:

  • Spherically arched back
  • Radiused fingerboard
  • Gold plated hardware
  • Spider bridge and resonator cone
  • Gloss nitrocellulose finish


Photo of the parts for resonator banjo 22

This shelf drawer is crowded with parts for the resonator banjo.

Photo of front halves of Banjonator 22 being joined.

In this photo, the two halves of the instrument's front are being joined.

Photo of joining the back halves for Banjonator 22

The two halves of the back are being joined. The back pieces are on a "dished" form and are weighted with sacks of gunshot. Yes, gunshot; a small sack is quite heavy and molds to different shapes. The result will be a spherically arched back.

Photo of the joined top and back of Banjonator 22

Here's the wood for the top (left) and back after their two halves have been joined.

Photo of braces being installed on the back of Banjonator 22

I install braces on the back of an instrument by using a go-bar deck, which clamps the braces to the back. The braces are arched to match the arch in the back and will help maintain the arch as well as strengthen the back.

Photo showing sides of Banjonator 22 being joined

The sides are joined using end blocks. The sides are held in a form and the end blocks are clamped in place at each end. Wax paper separates the outside of the instrument body and the form to prevent any glue seepage from joining them together.

The lining is being installed in Banjonator 22

With the sides still in the form to help maintain their shape, the lining is being glued to the edge of the sides. All those white rings (which I made from slices of PVC) are clamping them together while the glue sets. Some of the lining is visible through the rings, and on either side of the small green clamp.

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