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Making a Tenor Banjo From Scratch Page 3
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Checking Neck fit to Rim. Used Drill Press with sanding drum to make radius in Heel of Neck.
Checking other side.
Checking front. Everything is good except the end of fret board needs a little more sanding to make it symmetrical. It's just cosmetic since the actual Heel is a square fit.
Neck fit and lag holes drilled and coordinator rods connected. Notice my tiny bone nut! Just haven't shaped and fit it yet. I used a hand drill, to drill the pilot holes for the lag screws.
Looks good so far! Still a little more fitting before I'm happy. Note! To see method I used to glue the fret board to the neck, click here.
Just need to cut off the bottom of the Heel and make and install a nice Heel cap.
Here I'm Gluing and Clamping the new Heel Cap. After this I also glued a Walnut Burl veneer to the top of the heel. To match the back of the Peg Head. Shown below the neck are the cut off pieces from the end of the Neck and the bottom of the Heel.
Here's the finished heel shape with the Lag screws installed.
This shows the neck Painted with white Tempera, and the new Inlays. All inlays were purchased from: Depaul Supply They have some beautiful pre cut inlays in many patterns. My Neck Inlays are "Siminoff "style white M.O.P. with Gold M.O.P. Center Hearts
This shows the method I used to rout the inlay cavities. This picture is just for show. I remove inlays as I fit them.
Again, showing inlay No. 1 and pattern for inlay No. 2. There are 9 inlays total. Positions: 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19.
This shows the Peg Head Inlay installed, but not surfaced. This is a copy of the "Gibson Florentine" Peg head inlay. All white M.O.P..
Neck inlays installed and neck dyed black. It seems that the "good old days" of buying very black Ebony might be over, at least off the shelf availability. This Ebony is what I call Striped Ebony, so it needs to be stained black.

Here's the neck sitting on the Rim. Just to take a step back and see how it's coming along.

Note! My Ability to install inlays leaves a lot to be desired! However, for my first banjo from scratch I'm very happy so far.

Just a little touch! I inlayed a Maple Burl Heart into the Walnut Burl Heel Cap.
Here's the neck stained with the Walnut Burl Peg Head Back overlay, and the Heart in lay as described above.
I decided to route a channel into the sides of the Fret Board to show a black line under the Binding. This shows gluing of the left side binding.
Here I've scraped the binding flush with the scraper shown.
Now I'm starting to install the Frets. I use the neat tool from www.stewmac.com shown (black pliers type tool) to clip the bottom part of the fret (the part that goes into the fret board) on each end, so that the fret over hangs the binding and makes a clean look.
Here all Frets are installed and clipped close to the Bindings.
Here all the ends of the Frets are beveled using another great time saving tool from www.stewmac.com, it's the white tool--it has a file set to the correct angle to file all Frets at the same time.
Preliminary Nut fit, with final string height set. Notice how the finger board flares out on either side to blend into the Nut.
I've used a 5/8" Bridge and a vintage Waverly four string Tail Piece. The plating is worn but sounds good.
Here's a picture of the Waverly with the cover up, showing the "patend applied for".
Here's a picture of the left side Heel Fit to Rim.
Picture of the right side Heel Fit to Rim.