Luke Mercier Flush fret #52
made in the style of early A.C. Fairbanks
(custom commissioned work ~2007)
This peg head seems to be one of my more popular renderings. It is based on the early A.C. Fairbanks banjo bearing the serial #CXXVI which may be viewed at Hank Schwartz's website. The neck and dowel stick are of one piece as on most of my banjos. It is carved from top grade Maple of medium curl. The flush frets are made from violin wood purfling.
The custom body, composed of three ply American Black Walnut (constructed on an outside mold) has a diameter of 11 1/2" across and the overall string scale is 25 1/2" long.
The 0.080" thick, notched tension band is brass with a double pinned overlap joint. My notching method is done from the inside of the band to allow the square faced hooks to lock tightly and away from the skin. The double-pointed wall brackets are reproductions of original Fairbanks pieces and the pyramid nuts are reproduced castings from originals ca. 1870. This instrument has a tremendous clarity and evenness of tone. Overall, a very well balanced and successful banjo.
© Luke Mercier photographs; LM 2007, all rights reserved
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