Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'm very new to the site and have lurked a few weeks, mostly reading through forums, watching videos...it's impressive and humbling. I've been a fiddler for a number of years, but recently found myself accosted by the banjar. I'm a novice at playing, but I'm slowly getting the stroke style figured out. Meanwhile, I decided to build myself a banjo (which has led to three of them). I've posted a few pics of my first in my photo album, and would, honestly, like your comments/criticisms.

It's patterned after a Boucher, double-ogee model with a 12" maple w/walnut trim pot, paduak (not a wood Boucher would have probably used, but it was a gift from a friend) neck on a 26" scale, ebony fittings, and my try at a maple bridge. I found the shield shoes from a great contact in Ohio, and I formed the hooks and steel tensioning hoop. A set of Aquila strings give it a very nice sound.

As a woodworker, I appreciate the little details, but I haven't much opportunity to examine instruments in person and I'm very interested in what I need to do differently next time.

I sincerely appreciate your help in advance.

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