This custom banjo sports a timeless headstock in the spirit of vintage Lyon & Healy models. It is embedded with a vintage 25-cent coal scrip from the E.C. Minter Coal Company, which was founded in Rhodell, West Virginia in 1921. This particular peghead shape is one of two new shapes that I recently added to my menu for custom banjos. To see the entire menu along with other standard options, see my banjo specifications page. The peghead veneer, heel cap and fingerboard are all fashioned from Richlite, which replaces ebony in all of my newer banjos.

handmade cherry banjo

The 3-ply steam-bent rim contains a maple core, with cherry on both the outer and inner surfaces. It is capped with an integrated maple tone ring, which lends a subtle “old-time” quality to its sound. And the dowel stick is cut from excess neck material, providing continuous, perfectly matched grain pattern and coloration.

handmade cherry banjo peghead

As part of this custom build, a single railroad spike was installed at the seventh fret. This took a bit of finesse, knowing that my client planned to use both Nylgut and steel strings with the banjo over time. As a result, I gauged the spacing beneath the spike to accommodate both.

Custom banjo railroad spike

Below is a historical photo of E.C. Minter (pictured third from left) atop a natural stone formation at Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more context on coal mines and why I include coal scrip coins in my banjos, see my recent post regarding the truth about scrip

E.C. Minter and company

Here are a few process shots from my shop as I worked on this banjo project. These images are an example of content updates that I regularly share with clients as their custom banjo is being built. Please feel free to follow my account on Instagram for more process photos like these, along with the most recent updates from my shop. 

custom cherry banjo process photos