Two clients approached me, asking for a pair of banjos that they could play together. They even provided a large block of walnut, which had been harvested from land that one of them owned. As a result, these two banjos were built as a matched set. Each has a walnut rim that is 3/8″ thick and 11″ in diameter. One peghead sports a vintage 25-cent coal scrip coin from the historic Wyatt Coal Company of Laing, West Virginia. The other is from the Southern Mining Company of Colmar, KY.

handmade walnut banjo peghead

Both banjos have necks shaped from the same stock of American black walnut with ebony fingerboards and pegheads. Each rim is fitted with a brass tone ring for clarity and volume.

handmade banjo tailpiece and peghead

Below is the original block of air-dried walnut stock. I was careful to select sections of the wood that were free of defects and that would match up well for the 2-ply, laminated necks.

walnut-stock

I built these banjos together (at the same time) to maintain consistency. This not only saved time, but ensured that they would be a true matched pair — down to the smallest detail.

The process images below are examples of content I share with each of my clients while their banjo is being built. Additional images and features list can be viewed on the work page for this project. And if you’d like to see more timely updates from my shop, feel free to follow my account on Instagram.

twin walnut banjos process photos