Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Banjo 5th string tunnel (dual)

In creating a banjo for a lefty, I decided to tunnel the 5th string. I realize that this would prohibit the instrument from ever being set up right-handed, save carving a new neck. Anticipating that this banjo will be around long enough to potentially be in the hands of a righty, I decided to add dual 5th string tunnels.

The unused channel does not get in the way, negatively affect tone, etc; it only increases the instruments versatility. I also left the fingerboard a constant width to the nut in order to facilitate.

Here is a view of the brass tubes used for tunneling:

The termination of the rods at the nut end looks like this:
A hole is drilled in the nut to allow the string to escape; if the instrument is ever retrofitted for a R.H. player, a new nut would simply be made with the hole drilled on the other side.

Here is a view of the brass tubing exiting the fingerboard just before the 5th fret:
As you can see, I have inserted .020 wound strings in to the hole. These prevent the tubes from crushing during bending, and as you pull them out, clear out any debris or adhesive that may have got in. This fingerboard is ebony, bound in cherry and ebony.