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Author Topic: Another Banjo  (Read 1694 times)
selectedgrub
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« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2017, 08:21:11 am »

Excellent.
Said while rubbing hands together.
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Banfili
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« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2017, 01:51:22 pm »

Doesn't really matter what it look like, it's what it sounds like that really matters!
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2017, 02:22:22 pm »

Doesn't really matter what it look like, it's what it sounds like that really matters!



Welll, yes, true. I hope I can make it at least somewhat presentable, however  Wink.

I'm thinking about using pieces of individual brass gears or whole intact large hour gears as surrounds and/or "design accompaniment" for abalone, shellcarving, or veneer inlay work. There's a historical precedent for large-ish brass inlays at the heel end of the fingerboard down next to the pot (rim); it was somewhat of a fad for transition banjos (meaning those produced at the point in history at which the shift from gourds to circular "grain measure" boxes for the rim or pot of the banjo (where the hide head is stretched on)) was taking place. The big, flashy fifth-position shell-carving inlays that are still so very popular on modern banjos also began to grow in popularity at that time.

No, I'm not talking about just gluing gears on or simply inlaying them all by their lonesome into the substrate on the fingerboard, but rather using them either whole as frames for shell carvings or veneer inlays, or broken into arcs to accompany same. It would be much the same as people used to do with shell and mother-of-pearl buttons, to make position-marking forms that refer to the "idiosyncratic" shapes formerly achieved with the button inlays.

I'll try to post up a drawing of what I'm talking about in a bit...
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 02:42:09 pm by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2017, 02:38:36 pm »

Here's a rough sketch of the kind of gear-based inlay I was talking about. As you can see, the central element would be of a four- or five-spoked toothed wheel (probably an hour wheel) with the spaces between the spokes filled with MOP or abalone forms, flanked by arc segments of smaller or larger wheels, cut and carved shell button pieces (al la the old "poor man's shell carving" tradition), or both:



I suppose I could also use that resin pen-blank stuff*, but I dunno...



__________________________
*similar to the celluloid material, also known both seriously and derisively as "Mother of Toilet Seat" (MOTS) Cheesy, used on many banjos in place of the actual shell or abalone.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 03:40:39 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Banfili
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2017, 12:42:52 am »

Looks nice, MW -  I'd go with the MOP, it lasts longer, and there is sometimes some nice colour variation.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2017, 08:29:02 pm »

How is the neck attached to the gourd? Do you have enough mechanical strength (not knowing the hardness/stability of the gourd itself)? Is is glued?
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2017, 01:40:55 am »

How is the neck attached to the gourd? Do you have enough mechanical strength (not knowing the hardness/stability of the gourd itself)? Is is glued?




It isn't, yet. When I do attach it, it'll most likely be with what is commonly called a "perchpole" stuck through and through the gourd and secured with large-ish wooden washer-like sabots, held in place under relative tension using tusk tenon pins {similar to cotter-pinning).
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Banfili
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2017, 01:54:00 am »

That's how I'd do it.

I have a project waiting for time and workshop cleanup progress (and warm weather for working outside!) - have a dead hand-drum I am going to modify into a strumstick type of deal (I'll get a neck from Matt at Musicmakers), where I have to modify the neck to go through a circular hole. It won't fit the hole as it is, and I don't want to enlarge the hole by much, so will probably have to modify the butt end of the neck, attach internal blocks and peg it on the inside. It's going to be an interesting project, and I will be covering the top and bottom of the soundbox with locally sourced 2 ply.
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2017, 04:04:21 pm »

Having trouble sourcing inexpensive MOP, might use snailshell (there's a relatively common species with an MOP-like shell). I might also just use the abalone I have already (found several green and pink (ashtray) shells several years ago in a couple of garage sales) The ashtray shells are still usable if you avoid the areas that are riddled with pinholes.
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2017, 04:12:11 pm »

Nacre, mother of pearl... search in the Bay Of E ??
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 04:14:05 pm by SeVeNeVeS » Logged

MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2017, 04:32:41 pm »

I generally avoid online shopping. I'm not a "Luddite," and not necessarily afraid of online buying, just not into it and thus am leery of it.

Besides, there's the joy of the hunt...

Shell carvings are more "period" than MOP anyway, so perhaps I'll go that route (besides which, it's still possible to find old shell-paved roads around here; there's a wealth of oyster shell just laying around).
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Banfili
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« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2017, 11:20:24 pm »

There are shell and MOP buttons around as well - some of them are quite large. Thrift/charity/op shops can be a good hunting ground for MOP and shell!
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2017, 01:39:15 am »

I generally avoid online shopping. I'm not a "Luddite," and not necessarily afraid of online buying, just not into it and thus am leery of it.

Besides, there's the joy of the hunt...

Shell carvings are more "period" than MOP anyway, so perhaps I'll go that route (besides which, it's still possible to find old shell-paved roads around here; there's a wealth of oyster shell just laying around).


Oh My Dear Bailey - but I AM a luddite!
I love to use my snaptop and  Adnoid Device to shop online for wooden shoes (sabots) fand cheap wrenches to throw into the machinery!
and to organize the primitives to engage in our Revolt of The Trees!

btw if you need abalone shells I can probably locate some for you around these parts as they are popular at the PowWows to hold smudge.

oh look, here's some:
https://www.amazon.com/Island-Girl-Products-Rainbow-Seashell/dp/B0017WU5MI

yhs
prof mumbles
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2017, 10:48:46 pm »

On a different note, I'm currently trying to find instructions for carving a somewhat nonstandard scroll for the peghead (The inspiration is a certain venetian subcontrabass viol I saw once a few years ago......
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2017, 05:16:00 am »

Bogged down in everyday yardwork, family stuff, etc. Have made a few sketches for various purposes, and had to make another therapeutic eyepatch (the old one just up and disappeared. They have to be extra large and made concave inside  - and lined, of course - and finding something like that anywhere is impossible at a price I can afford even with insurance, so I make my own).

So, i'll have more stuff up here in a bit, just not right away. Currently trying to figure out the headstock scroll and the neck dimensions with the period ogee cut (not as simple as it seems at first glance; it was a struggle the last time, too, LOL).
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 03:27:09 am by MWBailey » Logged
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2017, 03:30:18 am »

FINALLY found time to work on the neck (though in roughly 98 degree heat. Not a problem healthwise, I'm mostly acclimated - I was born in Texas, after all - but sweat stains don't look good on rock maple). Pics soon.
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Banfili
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« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2017, 01:43:47 pm »

MW, have a look at this: Its a Gourd Banjo!
DIY Gourd Banjo, at a site called Cigar Box Nation. Free plans.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 01:46:02 pm by Banfili » Logged
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2017, 10:01:48 am »

MW, have a look at this: Its a Gourd Banjo!
DIY Gourd Banjo, at a site called Cigar Box Nation. Free plans.





Ahhh, yes. Nice tackhead design.
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/how-to-build-a-gourd-banjo-free-plans

Thanks for the tip, and the bump to the thread!

Still working on my adjustable-tension though. Not bogged down for lack of plans or knowhow, but rather lack of working time in less than 100F heat (luck and  the wishes of housemates  have relegated my banjo building efforts to the garage, which is non-air-conditioned, beyond a creaky old box fan, and home repair and yardwork take up most of the cooler morning hours; Dad is getting less and less able to do such things safely, so they keep piling up on my to-do list). Maybe when things cool off in about a month, I can start back in earnest, though I have not been idle - just can't work long in the heat without sweating all over what I'm working on.

Aaaand, to be honest, I've also been making modifications to an old experimental camera obscura project to convert it to use as an eclipse viewer. (mainly just adding a pinhole card to place directly behind the lens). Houston is not in the range of totality, but we will have about 60 percent if I remember correctly...
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 10:09:23 am by MWBailey » Logged
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2017, 05:06:33 pm »

Howdy again from Houston! Kinda wet out (lol), not sure about high water (backyard's a freaking lake and the transformer - the electrical mains hookup, not my giant robot - is almost awash). I use hand tools mostly, so power's not an issue there - except for the lights, which do use electricity. Haven't worked by candlelight in years, but that's not a good idea since the garage (which is where I'd be working on the banjo) is our storage place for gasoline, solvents, things in spray cans, etc. I might try to work on prepping the inlays, though. Have to see...
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 05:14:53 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Banfili
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« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2017, 12:45:11 am »

Was wondering how our friends in Texas were getting on! Nice to know you are ok, MW Grin
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2017, 02:04:56 am »

Took the other bit of this post down because I want to focus on recovery, rebuilding, and building this &!@#$in' banjo! (LOL)
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 09:33:00 am by MWBailey » Logged
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