Friday, March 28, 2008

Left-handed custom Chuck Lee banjo

This delightful lady arrived at our doorstep a few months ago, desiring a left-handed banjo. Sharon Mullins is a Texan who frequents Old-time and music festivals, and she wanted a new banjo.

They're a little tricky to build when you're working "backwards". As a luthier, you have to resist your instincts and overcome habit to accurately build in reverse. But no mistakes here, everything went smoothly, and we were pleased with the result.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Chuck Lee 19 fret Tenor up close

Here is my Tenor, the prototype, up close and personal. It has the Chautauqua peghead shape and Vintage inlay, but not our Vintage tuners (peghed brand), instead it has Waverly planetary tuners, with ivoroid buttons. The fret wire is the smaller vintage banjo/mandolin style wire. Neck and pot are walnut, but the rim has a double rim cap of ebony then walnut---really sharp looking! This is a 19 fret Tenor. I can't wait to try the next Tenor in process, a 17 fret. Chuck thinks I may like it even better than this one.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cottonwood Vintage Banjo with Dobson Tone Ring

Lee Thomas, shown above with Chuck, came over last week to help us out for a magazine photo shoot. While he was here, he tried out the prototype of our new Cottonwood Model! This one is a Vintage, and like all future Cottonwoods, has a Dobson tone ring.

For this neck Chuck chose select curly walnut, and a walnut rim. What does the Cottonwood sound like? It sounds great! It looks pretty cool, too! This very Cottonwood is scheduled to be in the hands of Zepp Country Music today.

Lee is a wonderful banjo player, and he, his wife and son, are all part of the talented and friendly Old-time band, Salt Rock Rounders,of Fort Worth.

Lee is also our consulting attorney and doesn't even mind lawyer jokes! If he looks familiar, you may have seen him featured in the Chuck Lee Banjo episode of Texas Country Reporter. Lee is pretty handy himself with Banjo assembly and setup, and owns 3 Chuck Lee banjos. (He tells me his favorite is his Custom A-scale with wood tone ring).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Four String, 19 Fret Tenor Banjo by Chuck Lee

Well, if we're not blogging, at least we've been building! This week we finished several orders, including a left-handed custom, the new Cottonwood, and my new Tenor! Watch for blogs of all of these during the next week.

Here is my new Tenor, which I have been pestering Chuck to work on for two years. I figured since I can play a few mandolin tunes, I can do them on the tenor as well. I just love it! The sound is incredible. It is the prototype, it turned out nicely.

We'll have more close-ups and technical detail in a blog to follow. Meanwhile, I'll be getting in touch with my Irish side.