29 Aug 2014 Sharpening Lathe Bits

A brief description of how to sharpen lathe bits.

2 Jul 2014 A Scale Frailer

An A Scale Frailer built for and designed by Richard Lofgren

26 Feb 2013 Rabab Repair: Part 1

Part 1 of a rabab repair including resetting the neck, creating a new fingerboard and prepping for inlay.

14 Jul 2011 African Blackwood Tonering Paired with Rickard Whyte Laydie Bracket Band

I have long wished to test this cool combination and got the chance when a customer asked for it. In addition to the African Blackwood and Whyte Laydie bracket band, this banjo features a Pure Timbre one-piece rim.

14 Jul 2011 Whyte Laydie Rim with Partial Internal Resonator

Ron Grimsley of White Mountain Banjo has long been one of our best customers and uses Hickelr Banjo Rims almost exclusively, The recent completion of a White Mountain Banjo prototype put this concept to the test.

16 Nov 2010 Shape and Drill Heel Jig

A jig that shapes the heel contour and drills the heel with a constant angle.

7 Jul 2010 PureTimbreā„¢ One-Ply Rim Blanks

A comparison of two identical rims. One made with a three-ply blank from the Cooperman Company and the other made with a one-ply PureTimbre™ blank from the Fluted Beams company.

Sound Tests

25 Feb 2010 Tonering Wood: What is "Grenadilla"

There are several woods called, variously, granadillo, grenadilla and grenadillo. This article tries to sort out what acutal species can be called by these names.

1 Feb 2010 Bucket Lid Banjo

Designing a prototype "Bucket Lid Banjo" for use in the DC public school project.

17 Jan 2010 Turning a Solid-Wood Resonator

This article documents turning a solid wood resonator for guitar maker Stephen Cyr.

12 May 2009 Indexing Jig for Locating Bracket Shoe Holes

This jig finds the locations for bracket shoe holes using tension hoop notches.

3 Feb 2008 Banjo of My Youth

My quest to make a reproduction of my first "real" banjo, a Fairbanks Electric Special No. 1.

2 Feb 2008 Wood Density Chart

In the quest for understanding wooden tonerings and about what makes banjo tone I have compiled a listing of wood species and their densities.

26 Jan 2008 Tone Evaluation System

After testing rims for several months I began to be able to break down the aspects of performance that made some rims better than others. In order to evaluate the performance of wood species and to make recommendations for use and dimensioning, I have initiated this system.

4 Jul 2007 Prototype 3 Development and Plans

I have decided to organize articles about Prototype 3 development in a separate articles directory. Click here for a list of articles.

17 Jun 2007 Grenadilla: The Ultimate Tonering Wood?

What exactly is grenadilla and what are its properties?

12 Jun 2007 False Jaws: Key to Accurate Turning

False jaws are "tuned up" every time you use them, assuring excellent concentricity.

11 Jun 2007 Wood Species for Tonerings: What's Best?

I am often asked, "What are the different tonal characteristics of wood species for use in tonerings?"

10 Jun 2007 Repairing a Gibson 2-Piece Flange Rim

The wood that holds back the tube broke off. I inaly wood and shape it.

9 Jun 2007 Using a Boring Bar for the Inside of the Rim

Cutting the inside of a rim cleanly and efficiently is a major challenge. One excellent choice is the machinist's boring bar.

28 May 2007 Block vs. Laminated Rims

The bluegrass community tends to put too much emphasis on single factors in it's quest for perfect tone. The organic whole must be considered.

4 May 2007 A Customer Review of DVD Volume 1

Lew Stern, "Chief Surgeon" of the Little Bear Banjo Hospital in Arlington, VA reviews DVD Volume 1: Introducing the Rim Lathe.

12 Aug 2006 A Brief History of the Banjo

A banjo history I wrote for an online encyclopedia project.

25 Dec 2004 Walnut Rim with Decorative Splines and Purfling

Walnut block rim with tubaphone tonering plus heat bending an inlay strip.

23 Nov 2004 Maple Rim with Decorative Splines and Purfling

A rim project using wood inlay splines and a herringbone purfling.

24 Sep 2004 Whyte Laydie Heel Carving: Aesthetics

A discussion of Whyte Laydie heel carving in a historical context.

17 Dec 2003 Heel Shaping Jig Utilizing a Horizonally-Mounted Router

Shaping a heel to meet the rim using a router on a pivot.

16 Dec 2003 A Rim Shaping Jig Utilizing a Horizonally-Mounted Router

My first serious attempt at an accurate jig for rim making.

15 Jun 2002 Interview WIth Ed Britt

Ed Britt is a banjo collector and banjo historian. We spent some time shooting the breeze on some aspects of banjo history.