#274 Prototype Maple and Pistachio Full Size Five String Banjo

I am so excited to get back to building five string banjos!  This one features:

-11 Inch, all wood block rim with pistachio tone ring.

-25.5" scale length pistachio fret board with 17 frets and frailing scoop.

-USA made brass hardware from Balsam banjo works and Brooks Masten

-All domestic wood.  Maple or walnut with pistachio trim.  

This robust block rim with pistachio makes for a unique voice, loud and vibrant yet rich and detailed.  Great for solo work or with a string band.  Stay tuned on our order page for when these will be available and for pricing.  

#273 Maple and Pistachio concert banjo ukulele

This little banjo really highlights the beautiful curly maple from Zena Forest Products in Salem, OR. Visually striking, sustainable harvested and perfect for musical instruments.  A bright and snappy instrument that can compete for acoustic volume in any situation.  

#272 Walnut and Pistachio Mini Five String Banjo

This one really shows off the diversity in color that California pistachio can exhibit.  From cream to pink to green to brown, this one has it all.  Paired with some Oregon walnut I got from a retired furniture maker and it produces a unique look.  

#270- Walnut and Pistachio Tenor Banjo Uke

This instrument was ordered by a friend of my old business partner Heidi Litke.  She asked for a highly figured California pistachio fretboard and headplate and I am pleased with what I laid out.  The tenor scale and the Oregon walnut make for a mellow tone with good sustain that will still cut through the jam session.  

#271- Maple and Pistachio Concert Banjo Ukulele

Check out this beautiful maple from Zena Forest Products in Salem, OR.  Multi-colored and curly, it's amazing stuff and sustainably harvested.  The pistachio is from California orchards, included my first ever headstock back strap.  Pretty happy with how it turned out.  This one has a punchy, poppy sound, can't wait to get it out in the world so it can make some music!  

#267- Walnut and Pistachio Mini Five String Banjo

I have been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of these mini five string banjos.  I didn't really expect to get so many orders for them.  I think most have gone to banjo players, but I know a few have gone to uke players as well.  I look forward to seeing what people are inspired to do with these little guys.  I like the sustain and mix of warmth and punch on this little guy, walnut from Goby in Portland and pistachio from California orchards.  


#269- Walnut and Pistachio Tenor Banjo Uke

When I bought this walnut from a retiring furniture maker in The Dalles 5 years ago, it seemed like I would never be able to use it all.  Now, after making banjo ukes, headplates and regular ukes for Mya-Moe and several great Beansprout instruments, it is almost gone!  A nice mix of colors and subtle curl, this Oregon walnut has been a pleasure to work with.  The longer scale of the tenor often gives a richer tone and this one is no exception.  

#268- Maple and Pistachio Concert Banjo Uke

Nice curly maple from Henry's dance floor stash and some uniquely grained pistachio from California orchards make for a bright and snappy banjo uke.  The K&K pickup and an easy playing setup make for a stage worthy instrument.  When I first started, I used maple for the first 100 banjo ukes or so and most of those were concert scale like this one.  Still a tried and true combination, in my opinion.  

#266- Oak and Pistachio Concert Banjo Uke

At the turn of the 20th century, oak was used by some banjo, guitar and piano makers, but it is rarely used today.  This was the first time I ever used oak for an instrument and I was pleasantly surprised.  It may not be a sexy tropical hardwood, but it looks great and sounds great too.  Plus, you will never have to worry about showing import and source documentation, unlike all those Rosewood guitars out there!  I think the sound is as loud as maple, but is a lightly drier and dustier in quality.  The oak came from the same estate sale in The Dalles, OR that Henry's dance floor maple came from and the pistachio is from California orchards.  

From new owner, Jon: 

the banjo arrived safe and sound

playability is the best

of any banjo uke I've ever owned and to describe it as beautiful

would be an understatement.

I recorded something with it yesterday -

like the way you described the sound as dry and dusty - yes.

and I love it.

thanks mate.  (video below)

#265- Maple and Pistachio Mini Five String Banjo

This beauty is for an old friend and talented musician, Kailin Yong.  We played in a band together for many years and I am happy to support him by building him a few instruments recently.  The bird's eye and quilted maple came from Crosscut in Portland and the pistachio is from California orchards.  Kailin has a unique ability to make a string instrument sing and I hope he finds this one up to the task.  I think the tone is especially vibrant due to the hard maple and I can't wait to hear what he does with it!  

#264- Walnut and Pistachio Tenor Banjo Uke

Beautiful straight grain walnut from an estate sale in The Dalles, OR and pistachio from California orchards.  This one has lots of depth and sustain and a nice ringing sparkle to the tone.  6 coats of oil finish on the neck and lots of time sanding make for a smooth and fast playing neck.  The guy I bought the walnut from also sold me my first old wood working machine, a Craftsman 100 drill press, made by King Seeley in the 1950's.  

#261- Walnut and Pistachio Mini Five String Banjo

Three mini five string banjos in a row have been a great way to dial in a few things about the design.  I can't wait to keep the process going.  This walnut and pistachio banjo is a little sweeter than the previous maple one and maybe a tiny bit softer in volume, in a good way.  The walnut is urban salvage from Goby in Portland and the Pistachio is from California orchards.  Notice how the fretboard/headplate change color from green to red over its length.  

#262- Maple and Pistachio Mini Five String Banjo

It can be challenging to nail down the right voice for a little banjo like this.  It should be bright and loud, but still sweet and with good sustain.  This hard maple, from Henry's dance floor stash, seems to do the trick.  With Pistachio from California orchards to trim it out, this one looks great too.  

#263- Walnut and Pistachio Mini five String

Figured Oregon walnut and California pistachio make for a sweet sounding little five string banjo.  This one is going back to Alaska with Ellie for a true West Coast experience!  

#260- Maple and Pistachio Tenor Banjo Uke

Maple and pistachio tenor banjo uke.  The maple is from Camp Westwind, a special place on the Oregon coast that we are happy to support with the sale of this instrument.  The pistachio is from California orchards and is a sustainable alternative to ebony and rosewood.  

#259- Spalted Alder and Japanese Oak Concert Banjo Uke

This is a special instrument, made from wood from Camp Westwind and will be raffled off at Tunes in the Dunes this year to benefit the camp.  This is a truly special place and we are happy to support the efforts to keep it wild and wonderful.  The spalted alder is from Westwind's forest and the oak washed up on shore amongst the debris from the Japanese tsunami a few years ago. Notice the ocean worm holes on the headstock, sawed and book matched to create a unique look.  

#258- Walnut Tenor Banjo Ukulele

Walnut and pistachio tenor banjo uke with K&K pickup and low G tuning.  The three piece neck and block rim feature curly walnut from Goby in Portland, OR and pistachio from California orchards.  The darker sound of the walnut and the low G make for a rich tone and sustain.  

#256- Maple Tenor Banjo Ukulele

A beautiful tenor scale banjo ukulele with a five piece maple and pistachio neck and a curly maple block rim.  The maple is salvaged from a woodworkers estate sale, pre-cut into pieces that our son Henry likes to lay out on the shop floor as his "dance floor."  From here on out known as "Henry's dance floor maple." The pistachio is sustainably harvested from California orchards.  

#249- Walnut Concert Banjo Ukulele

#249- Walnut Concert Banjo Ukulele for Scott.  The curly walnut neck and rim is urban salvage from Goby in Portland, OR.  The Pistachio fingerboard and trim is from California orchards. The head is calf skin.