Purple heart and Walnut Rim Tackhead with Internal Tensioning

The person who commissioned this banjo wanted a few things from me that I'd, frankly, never done before. Firstly, he wanted a crescent moon inlay at the fifth fret. I had been wanting to try my hand at inlay, so I said yes. He also wanted steel strings put on this banjo, which I would never have done because it is a tackhead banjo. However, it turned out sounding very nice. I had to route a slot down the center of the neck and include a steel rod, because of the steel strings. This is actually a heavy banjo, considering that there is no hardware on the outside of the rim.

To add to the "firsts," this banjo includes the first rim that I created with a lathe, as well. It was quite an experience and I can't wait to make my next rim with the lathe.

Anyway, here's a video of the banjo explained and demonstrated followed by more photos of the banjo and some photos of the creating process.

Walnut peghead, ebony nut and bloodwood fretboard.

Walnut neck.

Calf skin head tacked on.

Rim before it hit the lathe.

And after...

Getting ready for my first inlay


Glue and bloodwood dust mixed should help hide any slight imperfections.

Clamped overnight.

Steel rod installed because owner wanted steel strings on this banjo.