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This lightweight and economical travel banjo is fashioned with a walnut neck and pot assembly. It’s built to travel easy, with a shorter A-scale neck and a narrow 4-inch width. This travel banjo is fitted with old-style Champion friction tuners and a patented internal maple tone ring frame. It comes with a custom case that is designed in the tradition of an old…

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This 5-string cherry banjo is built with an 11-inch rim that is 3/8″ thick. The peghead sports a vintage 50-cent coal scrip coin from the historic Weyanoke Coal and Coke Company of Hiawatha, West Virginia. The cherry rim is built with an integral matched cherry tone ring for a more rounded “woody” tone. Ebony is featured on the rim cap, heel cap, fingerboard…

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This 5-string walnut banjo is custom-built with a 12-inch rim for a deeper bass sound and greater volume. The peghead sports a vintage large 50-cent coal scrip coin from the historic Laurel Creek Coal Company from West Virginia. The walnut rim is built with an integral ebony tone ring and a matching ebony rim cap. An ogee-shaped scoop in the fingerboard allows for…

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This 4-string longneck mahogany banjo is custom-built for plectrum-style playing. With three extra frets on the end of the neck, it allows the player to perform in a variety of circumstances and tunings. And the 12-inch rim provides a richer, deeper bass sound with added volume. A large one-dollar coal scrip coin adorns the peghead, hailing from the old Winifrede Coal Company of…

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Recently, the fine folks at The Banjo Reserve reached out to talk to me about my banjos, and about life in general as a part-time banjo maker. The interview gave me a chance to think a little more deeply about the work I do – which is an exercise I highly recommend to anyone. Special thanks to Jim Van Zile from The Banjo…

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This fretless mahogany banjo captures a true vintage look with simple, well-placed ornamentation. A large one-dollar coal scrip coin adorns the peghead, and a matched one-cent piece sits in the ebony heel cap. Both are from the Avis Eagle Coal Company, which hailed from Logan County, West Virginia. The rich mahogany tone wood provides a warm, rounded sound. And the hand-rubbed oil finish…

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This lightweight and economical lefty travel banjo is fashioned with a cherry neck and pot assembly. It’s built to travel easy, with a shorter A-scale neck and a narrow 4-inch width. This travel banjo is fitted with 4:1 geared Peghed tuners and a patented internal maple tone ring frame. The Canadian Lefty features numerous improvements over the original prototype design – including a…

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Designed to be lightweight, economical and portable, this little number is fit to play just about anywhere. It’s an informal travel instrument with the heart and soul of a high quality banjo. A custom built ebony tailpiece is embedded with a vintage Kansas City transit token. The handmade ebony-tipped maple bridge is shaped in the spirit of old minstrel banjos. This handmade travel…

ebony tailpiece

This is a newly fashioned all-ebony tailpiece, built specifically for a smaller diameter banjo rim (around 9 inches or so). The silhouette mimics the shape of some very old ebony tailpieces. But the smooth profile and sloped bevels give it a uniquely modern aesthetic. Shown here with a penny for scale, this little tailpiece is structurally sound and built to last. As with…

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The Bad River name comes from a region of northern Wisconsin that played a significant role in my family history. If you look for it today, you will likely find it associated with a Native American settlement and reservation. The Ojibwe indians, also known as the Lake Superior Chippewa or Bad River Band, migrated to the area during the seventeenth century. They were…