About . ..

I’ve had a fascination with wood working from a very early age. Soapbox racers, ice boats, kayaks, furniture, house framing and canoes are all on the “been done” list. I am a licensed truck mechanic, recently retired from teaching that trade as a Technical Studies teacher in a young offenders full security facility.

My banjo building started 14 years ago when my wife brought home a beautiful Jake Nuefeld banjo that belonged to one of her band mates. The banjo was a perfect mix of mechanical systems and wood brought together in to make a wonderful sound. A kit banjo was quickly ordered and assembled on the kitchen table over Christmas break and it, surprisingly, sounded really good.  I was hooked!

Since then I have built many banjos, banjo-lutes, Appalachian dulcimers and banjoleles in all shapes and sizes. Every instrument is unique – I build each one based on the customer’s wants and needs, plus a little embellishment of my own when it suits the instrument. People often ask how long it takes to build a banjo but I am unable to give a true answer. Typically, it is about 8 to 12 weeks from the confirmation of an order until delivery of the instrument.

I use local and re-woods as much as possible and avoid the use of endangered exotics. Each piece of wood and metal is carefully chosen, and shaped by hand or with fixtures and jigs I have designed to fit the need.

In between full instrument builds, I’m busy in the shop repairing, refurbishing and setting up banjos, dulcimers and guitars that need some TLC.

MidnightSpecial workshop

I may be old school in many ways but am doing my best to post updates of projects on my Facebook page. So, click the Facebook logo below and follow the MidnightSpecial Instruments page there.