This fretless handmade 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 mahogany tone wood provides a warm, rounded sound. And the hand-rubbed oil finish allows the character of the grain to show through. A custom-dyed natural skin head completes the vintage aesthetic with a golden hue that complements both the mahogany wood and the raw brass hardware.
Mahogany neck / 3-ply Mahogony rim (12″) with Maple core
Fretless Ebony fingerboard / Ebony peghead veneer & nut
Raw brass hardware / Old-style round bracket shoes
Rolled brass tone ring / Raw brass 5th string pip / Brass side position markers
Custom Ebony tailpiece / Goat skin head / Nylgut strings
Handmade Maple bridge / Gotoh planetary tuners
Ebony heel cap / Matched coal scrip coins / Bad River shop rag
This banjo was made before I committed to using only domestically harvested North American hardwoods (walnut, cherry and maple) along with sustainable fingerboard materials. I’ve replaced ebony with Richlite (a superior renewable alternative) in all of my newer banjos.