#413- Maple and Pistachio Tenor Banjo Ukulele

Lately I’ve been thinking about consistency in the shop. Not just making a nice thing, but making a nice thing everyday, with repeatability and increased efficiency. I’ve noticed over the last few years that when I gain some time due to efficiency or greater skill, I just end up re-investing the time back into the instrument. I pretty much make a banjo uke in the same amount of time as I did 8 years ago, but the complexity and quality is much greater now. The tricky part is knowing when to start over or give up on a piece of wood. In this case, I admit that I threw away the first neck I made for this banjo and I don’t regret it. As we used to say when I worked as a stage hand: “admit it, fix it and move on.” The maple for this neck comes from Henry’s dance floor stash, the rim is made from the neck cutoffs saved from several other banjos, segmented together in a random mosaic of maple and pistachio. The pistachio fretboard, headplate and trim are from California orchards.

My beansprout banjo ukulele arrived safely yesterday! It is absolutely stunning. Pictures don’t quite capture the beauty of this instrument. It is such a joy to just hold and look at. I really love the maple and pistachio mosaic drum and the spalted pistachio heel cap. Amazing craftsmanship.

I have logged several hours of playing time since the banjo ukulele arrived yesterday and I really like how comfortable the neck is and how easy the instrument is to play. I was torn between the choice of walnut vs maple but I love the bright punchy sound of the maple. The pistachio rim really balances the sound out nicely.

Thanks again Aaron. Your clawhammer book and youtube videos are what initially inspired me to learn the ukulele several years ago, and I’m just thrilled to have one of your ukuleles now to jam my favorite songs on. Looking forward to many more years of fun and learning with this amazing banjo ukulele.