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For Sale: K. VanMeter Walnut Dobson Slothead Banjo











This banjo, Serial Number 13 is a faithful reproduction of the HC Dobson 1881 Silver Bell Patent banjo design with a slotted headstock and 5th string pegbox. These reproductions have resulted from some slightly obsessive personal research into the materials and processes used to manufacture the original Dobson banjos.

The rim, cladding, and tone ring are fabricated using traditional hand cranked tin smithing machines and metal spinning forms to mirror the historic 1880’s New York job shop banjo manufacturing process. The tone ring is hand spun with a thin 24 gauge brass material, heat treated, and work hardened during spinning to mirror the resonant properties and weight of the original tone rings. The rim is 2.5” deep plus the tone ring arch height. A 5/32” diameter brass hoop on the top/bottom edges are encased by a 24 gauge nickel silver sheet metal which wraps a thin maple core rim. The maple core is hand brushed with black paint.

The neck profile and shape are modeled after a blend of my two favorite HC Dobson slotted headstock banjos I have had the chance to study. The length from the nut to the rim is 18” with a comfortable 1 5/16” width at the nut.

The unique 5th string tuning machine is located at the 7th fret to position to match the majority of Henry Dobson’s original slotted headstock banjo design. This affords a considerable amount of additional maneuvering room and comfort when playing below the 5th position. The pegbox is built out from the neck to allow unimpeded access when playing up the neck past the 7th position. The tuning machines are Rubner Vintage series with a 15:1 gear reduction. This significant gear reduction allows strings to be tuned with considerable accuracy compared to the 4:1 ratio on Goto or Peghed brand tuning machines.

The general banjo specifications are as follows:

11? Nickel Silver Spunover Ό” Rim
Hand Brushed Black Paint on Maple Core Rim
Hand Spun 24 gauge Brass Tone Ring
Walnut Neck
Slotted Headstock
1-5/16? Black Oxe Nut
25 1/2? Scale Length
Narrow/Low Fretwire
Richlite Polished Fingerboard
Richlite Peghead Overlay
5th string tuner at 7th fret position
Nickel Silver Fingerboard Extension
Mother of Pearl Inlay Dots
Menzies Light Spotted Goat Skin Head
Dark Golden Antiqued Brass Hardware
Rubner Classic Series 15:1 Tuning Machines
Nickel Silver HC Dobson Reproduction Tailpiece for Synthetic Strings
Nylgut 2B Banjo Strings with Wound 4th
22 Ball End Bracket Shoes
1/8” Grooved Tension Hoop
Vintage Hand Rubbed Semigloss Lacquer Finish

Video sound samples below:

Also feel free to check out my website for more information:

Interested in buying this banjo?
to arrange purchase

Price: $2,495.00 USD

Shipping: Shipping approx. $75 USPS

Posted By: kylevanmeter

United States, Liberty Twp, OH, 45011

Condition of Banjo:

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Type: 5-String Openback

Brand: K. VanMeter

Ad Status: Active, #102041

Item viewed 667 times

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