Selecting the wood for each banjo is the first step in construction. We use a variety of hardwoods chosen for their tone, beauty and functionality for each part of the banjo. Only the finest kiln-dried woods are used.
Neck and Rim wood
This wood makes up the majority of the instrument, and is chosen for tone and appearance. Tonewoods we commonly use include American cherry, black walnut, curly maple and mahogany.
These woods tend to be denser and harder than the main body woods, and are chosen for various reasons.
Traditionally, fingerboards are chosen for their density and durability as a playing surface. Darker woods like ebony create contrast with inlayed surfaces, while figured and lighter woods are an excellent feature or accent.
Peghead, Heel and Rim Overlays
Overlays function as an accent to the main wood of the banjo, while giving strength to its overall construction. We commonly use woods like ebony and other figured/curly woods for these features.
Binding wood is chosen as an accent and a finishing touch. For more binding options, see the binding page.
Our standard finish is a water-based urethane acrylic, hand-rubbed out to a satin finish. Very hard and durable, it offers excellent protection and enhances the beauty of the wood.
A simple oil finish is also available. This finish penetrates and seals the wood, but doesn't offer a topcoat or "skin" like the water-based finish. The result is an extremely smooth and natural look. While less protective against dings and scratches, the wood is completely protected from the elements. Not recommended for all woods; please contact us if you are interested in this finish.
A partial list of the woods we have available:
American Cherry - North America
Bolivian Rosewood - Central America
Bubinga - Central Africa
Chechen - Central America
Cocobolo - Central America
East Indian Rosewood - India
Ebony - Africa
Maple - Figured/Birdseye, Eastern Rock, Big Leaf - North America
Jatoba - South America
Mahogany - Central America
Walnut - Black and Claro - North America
If you have another wood in mind, please contact us for availablity.