This one doesn't want to go back in the case. It's made like all the others, from similar materials and no "voodoo" or "magic" to it, but I am really having fun playing it. They all sound like a Beansprout, but this one has a sweet and vibrant tone I am really enjoying. The walnut is from the Carpenter Ant stash in Portland and the pistachio is from California Orchards.
The depth and richness of tone that you want from a baritone, but the zing that you need from a standard ukulele. Pistachio from California orchards, fir salvaged from old floorboards and Port Orford Cedar from the Oregon Coast.
Myrtle is our "Oregon Koa" and tenor seems to be the standard size nowadays. So, consider this our flagship model. The rope binding sets it apart from the crowd and the salvaged Douglas fir neck and pistachio fretboard from California orchards shows your concern for sustainability. Is this the Prius of the ukulele world?
This is my first alto ukulele, with a concert scale fretboard and a body between a soprano and a concert. I think it is versatile enough to cover all the "small ukulele" jobs. Walnut recycled from wall panels, a fir neck from old floor boards, port orford cedar from the Oregon coast and pistachio from California orchards.
I love the look of this lightly curly Oregon walnut in the five piece neck and in the block rim. Figured wood like this is pretty hard to find at a good price, this walnut came from a retired furniture maker in The Dalles, OR. It already looked pretty fancy, so I paired it with some straight grain pistachio for the fretboard. The raw brass hardware is from Brooks Masten in Portland, OR.
I have really enjoyed exploring these full size five string banjos this spring, its been very rewarding to design from the ground up. Even though my design is not revolutionary, I am pleased with the simple design and beautiful sound. The key is the all wood block rim with no metal tone ring. It is quite a bit louder than I expected but keeps a woody depth. This customer, Jeremy, helped me with some computer design work for machining the rim to match the existing hardware and I am thankful for his help. This walnut came from a retired furniture maker in The Dalles, OR and the pistachio is from California Orchards. The hardware and goat skin head is from Brooks Masten from Portland, OR.
Here is some more of the creamy, figured Oregon walnut that I am always chasing. This came from an estate sale in The Dalles, OR. The customer requested a highly figured fretboard and I found a truly unique one from my supplier who harvests California Orchards, woodfromthewest.com.
A special instrument for musician/teacher Kevin Carroll from Austin, TX. The figured maple is from Crosscut in Portland, OR and the pistachio is from California Orchards. I added a light vintage amber stain to the maple, instead of leaving it natural, which I used to do frequently. I am really pleased with it and am glad I didn't go for a darker color. Also, Nicole drew his family crest on the head, which was a first for us. Overall it really came together as a classy and special instrument!
This banjo was a great excuse to use some walnut from the Carpenter Ant stash (Portland, OR) that has some beautiful light colored sap wood. When I laid it out with as a five piece neck it made for a very unique instrument. The reddish, striped pistachio is from California orchards. From the west coast all the way to England, its always hard to send these off, but I can't keep them all!
Made from some beautiful creamy walnut I salvaged from a furniture maker in The Dalles and pistachio from California Orchards. Another great example of this curious little instrument. Is it a banjo? is it a uke? is it for clawhammer? For finger picking? You can decide, but Iike it all around. This one has a flat fretboard instead of radiused. I like them either way.
This is the first instrument made with walnut from a friend's father's wood stash. Since 1965 he has collected a beautiful stash of American hardwoods, which I will be using on future instrument builds. I call it the Carpenter Ant stash and I will not tell you where to find it. ;) The pistachio is from California Orchards. I really think the concert neck is the most symmetrically pleasing and is a comfortable scale for my hands. The walnut is a nice "mellowing agent" for a little banjo like this, offering a balance between bright and mellow.
Part of a set with #275. The walnut is some beautiful subtle curly stuff milled as urban salvage from Goby Walnut in Portland. The pistachio is from California Orchards. This pistachio fretboard is a real stunner, with every color of the rainbow and some unique grain to it. I'm always shocked that a crazy piece like this can still be so stiff, but this pistachio continues to surprise me.
This is a matched set with #276 for the same customer. The walnut is some beautiful subtle curly stuff milled as urban salvage from Goby Walnut in Portland. The pistachio is from California Orchards. I really like that the pistachio fretboard has an even color but with dark grain lines running through it. The concert is my favorite scale, and this one doesn't disappoint. Easy to play and a rich, clear sound.
The customer who ordered this banjo uke asked for some straight grain wood for the neck that didn't have any curl or stripes. It turns out that the best candidate for the job was from a small stash of walnut pulled out of my Grandfather's barn in Carroll County, IL. It was milled from a walnut tree that came down in the yard. The pistachio is from California Orchards. The longer tenor scale, a goat skin head and the darker sound of the walnut make for a vibrant sound that feels mellow and punchy at the same town. It's difficult to explain how a natural skin head sounds different than the synthetic head because it can be pretty subtle. But this one sounds more "organic" to me, which I admit makes no sense. Anyway, it's a good one.
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.
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.
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.