Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I asked Noel Booth to use square nuts on the fretless he built for me, to give it that mid-19th century look. But then I needed a proper bracket wrench. Wanting the wrench to go with the overall appearance of the banjo, I made one from a large, old brass key I had. I cut the bit off and brazed on the square drive end. I then lathe turned a flute to dress up the area of the weldment. The end was made from a piece of brass rod by drilling a hole and then finishing with a file to create the square drive. After brazing I used vinegar, heat, and ammonia to bring back and even out the patina so the whole thing looked like it was made that way 150 years ago.

Not only does it look great, but it has a beautiful feel and a certain solid 'heft' to it.

I'm thinking of making these for sale, using assorted old keys and each being a unique creation.

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Well done!

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