This custom cherry banjo features a number of specialized details. It includes an ogee-shaped frailing scoop, which is embedded with an historic Japanese coin from the medieval Edo period (1603-1867). This detail was included to reflect the fact that its owner lives in Japan.

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 simple silhouette of the “Americana” peghead adds to the timeless aesthetic of the banjo.

The dowel stick is cut from excess neck material, providing continuous, perfectly matched grain pattern and coloration. And the junction between the neck and the pot is secured by a custom-fitted “key” made from Richlite. This style of glueless joinery is borrowed from Japanese carpentry, and is featured on all current Bad River banjos.

Additional custom features include: Rickard “Cyclone” high-ratio tuners, Nylgut Red strings, a Richlite rim cap and railroad spikes installed on the 7th and 9th frets.

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.