Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

You guys' banjos look great to me, and I want one like that. I really liked the look of that Boucher banjo on eBay and decided to ask a friend to make me one based on those pics, more or less, since it quickly soared well out of my bidding range. The question that has come up is how long the neck should be... That is, how long the peghead should be.... or how long the strings are.... ?

I'm not even sure what the question means, but it seems like math, and here it is verbatim: "If we can find a string length, that will be important in making the Neck the right size for the Fingerboard and the rest of the length will be for the Peg head!" Do any of you understand minstrel banjo construction enough to understand what this question is asking me and offer a suggestion?

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Steven,

You should go to Greg Adams' "Banjo Sightings Database" and sort thru the Boucher banjos in there. If you look at the information listed on each instrument, there are many, many measurements...a builder ought to get enough info there for a very nice reproduction.

For instance, here's one: http://www.banjodatabase.org/3DFullDetails.asp?ID=173&imgtype=u... Double Tension VIIII

All of Greg's dimensions are metric but we won't hold that against him. ;-)
Good lord! I checked that link, and--damn straight!--a maker should be able to get all the specifications she needs! (And some!)

I've browsed the quotations on that site, but I've never looked at the instrument section.

Thanks.

Trapdoor2 said:
Steven,

You should go to Greg Adams' "Banjo Sightings Database" and sort thru the Boucher banjos in there. If you look at the information listed on each instrument, there are many, many measurements...a builder ought to get enough info there for a very nice reproduction.

For instance, here's one: http://www.banjodatabase.org/3DFullDetails.asp?ID=173&imgtype=u... Double Tension VIIII

All of Greg's dimensions are metric but we won't hold that against him. ;-)
Steven,

I don't know what model of Boucher banjo you are going to ask your friend to make, but I highly recommend the fancier neck with the double ogee for one main reason. If done properly, that fancy ornamentation actually represents fret positions down the neck. That first "bump" is obviously the fifth position. The bottom of the "hollow" is the seventh position. The point is the eighth position. The next hollow is the ninth. The very end of the double ogee is the 12th position or octave--halfway between the nut and the bridge (which is placed at the center of the head for these calculations). When I play up the neck, I find these visual cues very useful.

I made extensive use of the measurements from the banjo database when I made my banjo and would have been lost without them.

Brian

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