Well I have finished up the conversion of the 20's era Little Wonder into a 5 string for my friend. I didn't take as many pictures as I should have but I will try to describe the process the best I can.
In the Part 1 post I showed pictures of the original Little wonder and the new Gold Tone neck he wanted attached.
The next step was to measure the existing dowel stick and create a new one. It measured 13/16" sq at the thick side and 7/16" sq at the thin side and approx 10 1/2" long. The rounded portion was 3/4" diameter and approx 1" long. I started by cutting a piece of hard maple to 13/16" sq by 12" long. I then put it on my lathe and turned down an end portion to the 3/4" diameter. Once that was complete I ran it through the table saw with a jig I set up to cut the proper taper. The fun part was drilling the 3/4" diameter hole in the neck to receive the new dowel, I built a little jig here as well to insure that my angles where correct. Once I had done a dry test fit, I then glued the dowel into place.
The rest was easy, just a bit of sanding and finishing on the new dowel. Then re-attaching all the existing hardware. A new set of 5 star tuners and stings and a little adjusting for the proper action and she is ready to play.
The owner didn't want any stain on this to match the pot, which is fine as the pot and neck are different colors anyway. So the dowel is just plain hard maple with a 3 coat hard oil finish and topped off with a bit of all natural bees wax.
This project required me to build several jigs, some of which I will certainly use again, others maybe not. One thing I have learned over the years is that it is always a good idea to set up jigs that help to keep accuracy in your work, even if its for a one time thing.
This banjo plays really nicely it has a nice subtle tone due mostly to the skin head. The new neck is finished with a thick "plastic" finish which I don't particularly care for but the end results are nice and should provide my friend with a great clawhammer banjo for years and years.
Wednesday, February 18. 2009
Wednesday, February 11. 2009
Show tagged entries
Original content in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons License