Both banjo's are hickory. I had the hickory and thought it would make pretty banjo's. Also, then I could theme the banjo's. Hammer and axe handles are hickory the axes and hammers would make neat inlays and such.
The Hammer was first. It is a Pete Segar style long neck. why? Why not I was making it and I could always play it with a capo.
The Axe was the second. It is a standard length bluegrass-ish style banjo.
I sparred both necks so I didn't have to have an adjustable truss rod. The spar would keep the necks from bowing under string tension.
I removed the 5th string tuner peg from the neck. I didn't like playing around it. For the Hammer banjo I submarined the 5th string under the neck. For the Axe banjo I used Steinberger tuners in the tail piece.
Both banjo's have the head tension reachable from the outside of the banjo. I did this by purchasing 10 1/8" heads from Elderly music and making 12" OD tension rings that accommodated socket head cap screws, stainless of course.The Hammer has 16 bolts the Axe has 24 bolts just so they would be different from one another.
Both are non traditional resonator banjo's. The Hammer has a hand formed aluminum bell resonator rubber mounted at three points. The Axe has a modified commercial splash cymbal mounted through the center as the bell resonator.
I incorporated a custom push-pull arrangement to adjust the neck angle. this places the adjustment nut on the outside of the tub so that I didn't have to remove the resonators to adjust the action.
I also widened the string pitch and necks because I have fat fingers and that makes them easier for me to play faster.
I thought that I was being innovative when designing all of this into my banjo's only to find out that most of this has been accomplished over the years by different manufacturers. O-well this is my interpretations and design. I think they are interesting and they have been a blast to make.
what do I hope to accomplish with my blog???? It is strictly for my entertainment, hopefully yours too. I am constantly searching for guest bloggers in the business to give us some encouragement. (again thanks Roger Siminoff - our first guest)