Meet the Builders
My instrument building is about working within the history and tradition of the banjo, and reimagining it whenever possible for a 21st century player. I work with local or recycled wood, striving to create banjos that come directly out of the region of the Midwest in which I live and work.View website
Bruce Berry Banjos
In 1989, at the age of 15, I began attempting to built my first banjo neck, in my Grandfather’s shop. With pine lumber and copper wire as the available materials, it was a banjo neck in appearance only. But it was good enough to catch my Grandfather’s eye and gain his support. He bought me my first piece of mahogany hard wood to experiment with, and gave me full reign of his shop. As life goes on and takes its turns, and needing a career path, my pursuit of instrument building took a back seat to the craftsmanship of construction trades. But 30 years later, in 2019, I refocused my efforts on handcrafted banjo building, and have dedicated my home shop in Mesa Arizona, to their creation. I’m proud to say that I’ve recently begun building my banjos using rims created by my friend and mentor, Mark Hickler. And I’m looking forward to sourcing the majority of my hardware from Balsam!View website
Zach Hoyt Banjos Etc.
Zach Hoyt has been building custom handmade stringed instruments since 2004. He is based in New York in Orwell, east of Lake Ontario and west of the Adirondacks.View website
Mulheron Craft – Lindsey Liden
Handmade Banjos, Fine WoodworkingView website
Snowbird Banjo Company LLC
Located in the Salem Plateau area of the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri, the small shop of Snowbird Banjo Company, LLC sets atop one of the highest points in the state. This idyllic setting provides fodder for inspiration in developing high quality banjos that look, feel, and sound as good as the view from a the top. It’s a quiet place where the sounds of nature are only broken by Jeremy and Brandy Myers’ three children playing.
Pursuing his dreams of working in music and woodworking, Jeremy Myers found a home with banjo building in the Ozarks. He build his first banjo in his living room in 2012 and called it the “Ozarks Songbird” (Jeremy’s wife Brandy is an Angel, we all know). However, after an abrupt change in 2014, where Jeremy and his family temporarily relocated to Alaska to try it out, no banjo’s where produced.
But Jeremy’s love of the Ozarks brought him back in late 2016 and beginning in 2017, work on banjos resumed and the banjo company was renamed and incorporated to avoid confusion with other banjo makers.
Originally developed from various banjo styles, Snowbird banjos are simple and elegant and can be made as ornate as desired with hand cut inlay. Featuring primarily an open back design, our Snowbird banjos are a traditional conscious instrument with a modern twist.View website
Demasson Musical Instruments
Nara Demasson is an instrument maker based in Brunswick, Melbourne, designing and building banjos, guitars tambourines and other musical objects.View website
Beartown Banjo is a builder of block rim, open back banjos crafted primarily with northeastern Maple, Cherry and Black Walnut. Tone rings are commonly brass rod, Dobson style, or integral wood tone ring of Black Locust.Each Beartown Banjo is the product of attention and respect to the wood, and to the music. You’ll find these instruments sleek and simple, with minimal inlay and ornamentation. This opens the window into seeing the beauty of the wood that holds the soul of the instrument. Remember… each banjo was once a living tree.View website
Commitment. Excellence. Attention to detail. George banjos are built by hand from the finest woods available: curly maple, mahogany, walnut, ebony, wenge and rosewood, to name just a few. We combine over fifty years of building experience with a love for the craft to create individual instruments that stand apart from the crowd of standard models currently produced by factories and small prodution shops today. Each George banjo is unique, hand crafted from beginning to end in Somerville, Tennessee. Whether your pleasure is an open-backed frailer fit for festival jams, a bluegrass resonator that rings true for country miles or an elegant banjo ukulele, George Banjos can custom build an instrument to meet your needs.View website
Chuck Lee Banjo Company
While still being a small “Mom and Pop” operation, the most intensive hours are invested by Chuck, who has a visionary perspective and willingness to study and labor into all hours of the night. He’s been blessed with a creative drive and unrelenting persistence. Wife Tammy makes it possible for him to be effective, giving a needed “foot on the ground” anchor. But her task is not limited to encourager and friend; she is quite involved in parts production and finishing, from beginning to end. People are surprised to learn that, most of the time, we like to work together!View website
Hickler Banjo LLC was established in 2007, but founder Mark Hickler began building musical instruments as a teenager. The rigors of raising a family took precedence over banjo making, but eventually he returned to his craft and maintains a shop in Mesa Arizona. He has published detailed research into the banjo rim construction. One of his banjos was purchased by the Musical Instrument museum in Phoenix Arizona.View website
Dogwood Banjo Co.
The Dogwood Banjo Co is a one man shop in Minneapolis MN building beautiful, handcrafted instruments that are made to play and sound phenomenal for years to come. Mike Chew is a musician and builder that takes tremendous pride in creating highly functional pieces of art. These are instruments built to inspire fellow musicians, help them give life to their art and spread joy to others.View website
Cedar Mtn. Banjos
Tim Gardner, a graduate of NC State’s School of Forestry, started with Cedar Mountain Banjos after working several years as a timber framer and house carpenter. Having built over 300 banjos since 2005, he continues to manage the company full-time, focus on new concepts, and maintain CMB as an industry leader for fine design, craftsmanship, and customer service. In September 2013, Tim took over ownership of CMB and moved the workshop to the new Mills River location just outside of Brevard.View website
Bart Reiter Banjos
Known for his artistry, and craftsmanship, Bart Reiter Open Back Banjos are made in his East Lansing, Michigan shop. His rim blanks are made in Vermont or Maine of local hard maple and he fashions his necks from rough planks of Michigan maple or African mahogany. He strives to use American made as much as possible, not only on his banjos, but in his every day life.View website
Kevin Enoch, founder of Enoch instruments, has been involved in playing as well as making banjos and other stringed instruments since 1984. Enoch Instruments was formally established in 1990. Kevin’s goal is to create an instrument designed for clawhammer playing, embracing the aesthetics of the great banjo makers of the early 20th century. Kevin’s love for the music, as well as his craft, is apparent in the degree of care and precision he puts into every detail of these musical masterpieces.View website
Our mission is to create affordable, professional quality, handcrafted banjos using 100% Native Appalachian Hardwoods. Located in Fairview NC, just outside of Asheville, Patrick Heavner has been building banjos for over 10 years. He started Pisgah Banjos in 2012 and continues his craft full time in his new state of the art banjo shop. Patrick is proud to use Balsam Hardware on his banjos exclusively and encourages other builders to continue the tradition of using American Made.View website