I really enjoyed crafting this prototype for an all-Ebony tailpiece. Built for gut/nylon/Nylgut strings, its shape is derived from a number of vintage designs I’ve stumbled across – mostly from the pre-1900 era.

It consists of two pieces of Ebony that are joined with grain in opposing (perpendicular) directions. This guards against warping, splitting or shearing of the wood under tension from the strings. The polished Ebony feels great in your hand (I’ve been carrying this thing around all day). And the overall aesthetic combines both vintage and modern.

The recessed holes allow gut or synthetic strings with a knotted end to be pulled through and seat snugly along the top. I gave it a trial run on an old J.B. Schall banjo with Nylgut strings.

This tailpiece attaches easily to a banjo rim with any standard bracket hook. I added a small nickel-plated washer over the mounting hole to protect the Ebony and to add a bit of finish to the final product. On future versions, I’d like to integrate this washer within the body of the tailpiece – perhaps with some simple ornamentation.

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