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.

handmade cherry banjo

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 and peghead. With a thinner rim, wooden tone ring and fewer bracket hooks (12 total), this banjo is purposely built to be lighter than most standard banjos. This lighter weight – especially around the rim – provides less sustain without effecting tone or relative volume. When played, this equates to faster note decay and more definition between individual notes.

handmade cherry banjo

Instead of a scooped neck, the last six frets are set flush with inlaid maple. This allows clearance for playing up the neck and the added ability to fret strings accurately at the highest points.

handmade flush fret cherry banjo

This banjo includes a handmade ebony tailpiece. These days, I make these out of Richlite, a sustainable substitute that is also excellent for fingerboards.

handmade banjo tailpiece and peghead

These are some images from my workshop that show the process of this banjo being built. I enjoy taking these and sharing them with each client — along with detailed descriptions — as their banjo is made. Feel free to follow my account on Instagram to see more process photos like these.

cherry banjo process images