Archive for January, 2015

Can I get a hand? Another hand?

January 31, 2015

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I think I talked about this fiddle in an earlier post. I have really taken to playing the fiddle lately. I don’t know what I was thinking, but when I built this thing sometime last year I gave it a crazy long neck and scale length. I don’t know why. It made it, well, no fun to play. It was really awkward to hold and sounded weird so I just hung it on the wall and forgot about it. Until yesterday. I picked it up and thought, “hey I bet I can chop 3 or 4 inches out of that neck and that thing might be playable for once.” I carefully separated the neck from the fingerboard with my scroll saw and then I hacked the neck down to a normal 4/4 scale length. Glued it all back together, reshaped and sanded it a bit and bam it plays like a dream.  I can’t think of a reason I would have made the scale so long to start with, but after about an hour of cutting and reshaping I got the strings back on. I like this fiddle a lot more now than I ever have. It sounds a lot better too. Am I rambling? I think I’m rambling.

Oh yeah, that piece of twine goes around your neck. Wear the fiddle like a necklace. It holds it in place as you play, you almost forget that it is an awkward gourd with no chin-rest.

You can own this if you want. I sell pretty much everything I build. I’d like $400 for it. Email me if you’re interested!

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The Incredible Dancing Jig Doll!

January 31, 2015

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Who couldn’t love those faces? I’ve got 11 of these little guys made- all with different faces. They come with a dancing board and a stick.

How do they work you ask? Well, it is very simple- they practically dance on their own.

1. Sit down.

2. Slide the dancing board just under your butt.

3. Hold the jig doll on the stick just slightly above the board with one hand.

4. tap the board to the beat with the other hand.

Jig doll will dance in step to the music!

Bonus! Twist the stick from side to side to get those little arms a flappin’.

$25 shipped in US. Email me at carverbanjos@gmail.com

The All Seeing Hand

January 31, 2015

photo-1 photo-2 photo-5 photo-4 photo-3                    Banjo #100! And 10 years of building.

I made a hand banjo about two years ago and really enjoyed the challenge of the build. I kind of wanted to revisit the idea…so I did. Illuminati is a huge buzz word these days. I like the creepiness of the image. It’s nothing new though, the image has been around for a very long time.

I carved an eye into the palm of the hand and inlayed cedar for the iris and a very dark bit of walnut for the pupil. The rest of the neck is walnut, but quite a bit lighter than the pupil bit. There isn’t a whole lot of  an angle on the peghead and the shape didn’t lend itself too well to get those strings down from the nut so I drilled holes under the bottom eyelid. The strings enter there and come out on the back side of the hand to attach to the pegs at the fingertips. I wanted the strings to look like they were pouring out of the eyes, kind of like tear drops I suppose.

I took extra care sanding this one. I mean I sanded for days. It really shows in the finish. I rubbed on a few coats of tung oil and it shines like its wet. I’m happy with it.

This banjo is, of course, for sale. I am asking for $600 plus shipping. Email me.

Updated Minimalist Banjo

January 31, 2015

photo 3photo 4photo 1 photo 2       Been a long time, but I’m still building.  I got pretty excited about the minimalist banjo about a year ago. I have redesigned it many times to make something simple, easy to build, good looking, playable and durable. Here it is. I made 12 of these. This is the first one. They are available in three different colors/stains. Oh and the pot is removable- held in place by the tension of the strings; so loosen the strings and slide the pot out and throw it all in your backpack or suitcase. I am selling them for $100 a piece plus shipping. Email me at carverbanjos@gmail.com for yours.