Monday, December 22, 2014

The Heart of Music City

The last couple of weeks have been very exciting here in the shop. My friends from Berea, Ky. April and Ziggy have been staying with me along with a very talented friend of theirs. If you recall last year April built a spinning wheel. More on that later. First I'd like you to meet Jacob. He built the banjo that he's playing below. This is not a kit but a high end banjo built from scratch. Not only that but he built two banjos.
 I quickly learned that Jacob is a rare and talented individual. These were his first banjos and watching them come together was a great treat. I learned a great deal about how intricate and perfect everything must be for a banjo to be born.
 He used some nice maple burl on the top. He sawed and dried it himself. Aircraft aluminum is imbedded into the neck for strength. Everything must be aligned perfectly.
 Not only a true luthier, Jacob is an accomplished violinist as well as a timber framer.
 He lapped the body to the neck using sandpaper wrapped on the body. Did I mention alignment is critical.
 After the frets are pressed in and filed, the bridges are contructed. Lots of custom shaping by hand.
 Towards the end of the week and the banjo is ready for strings. Oh how we have all waited for this moment.
 Here is Jacob playing his first banjo and it sounded really great. I was truly honored to host such an incredible feat. This was a first for us here at "Around the Shop"

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