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Author Topic: Hey, I just built me an Irish banjo :-)  (Read 1401 times)

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Offline feodosia

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Hey, I just built me an Irish banjo :-)
« on: Apr 25, 2006, 05:47:11 PM »
Hi guys

  Years ago I played tenor banjo in a Philly Mummer's band ... for those outside of the region, that's sort of a saxophone band that uses banjos as eye-candy - LOL
So I quickly got away from them and started playing Irish tunes on my tenor banjo.  Later on I found out that instead of a standard 22-fret tenor I should be playing a short-neck tenor to play the rapid melody picking that Irish music demands.... so, well, try to find such a beast in the USA , especially back then , ha ... I think only Vega made one , they are rare and the prices are like...wow.

  So I took a length of ashwood and carved me own neck ... made a fingerboard, took a saw and cut me own frets, etc... then bought Stew-Mac parts to make the pot assembly...  well, my shorty banjo neck , it'll never warp, you could drive a truck over it think and it wouldn't bend...   the project almost worked but I think that some of my frets weren't exactly in the right place ,the banjo tended to have intonation problems... so that project got scrapped for many years..until now...

 I found a used Goldtone short-length Irish tenor banjo neck , bought it, re-worked theheel alittle and now , voila ! I have my old dream of a shorty-neck Irish banjo now.....  wow, this thing is going to make me have to practise banjo again.. it'll cut into my fiddle practise a bit I suppose... but banjo sounds great with Irish music.

  So took it to my friends house the other nite and played along with a few singing tunes....   Im about 10 years out of practise but here's what it sounded like.... man, this thing projects loudly... hhmm  guess I'll be putting that 5-string banjo away for awhile  :D

here, Im putting my mp3 player to work again


Offline Mark Cordova

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Re: Hey, I just built me an Irish banjo :-)
« Reply #1 on: Apr 25, 2006, 08:25:46 PM »
I think it will need further testing Jim.

Send it to my house and I'll test it for about 50 years. ;)

Offline feodosia

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Re: Hey, I just built me an Irish banjo :-)
« Reply #2 on: Apr 26, 2006, 01:26:47 PM »
Hey Mark

 How ya doin' buddy ?

I put alot of work into try to make my own banjo neck , only to have messed up on the fretwork ...   hhmm , I wonder if I could contact Goldtone and ask for a fingerboard price and slap it onto my homemade neck?

  I did alot of checking on modern banjos to see what's available for irish players in the USA ... well, it's not much ...5-strings are the big items here and what few 4-strings are made are mostly 22 fret standards..

 However, Goldtone has come through for us ... the Shortneck Irish tenor neck I got was off of this banjo - Goldtone Irish Tenor ,model IT-250


 It is a decent banjo ...  has the Whyte Layde style tone-ring ( a tenor's gotta have a metal tone-ring or sounds like rubbish ) . And I can say that the Goldtone banjo neck is well-made, real accurate and good intonation..much better then my homemade job was . If you shop on the internet they can be had for about  $600.
They're about the best deal out there at this time for us Irish banjo pickers  :-)

 Ha, now eventually Im going to have to take my banjo apart again because the neck and the pot assembly are two different colors and I need to stain the pot alot darker  :-)


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