[ Shop Tour: 1 2 3 4 5 ]
With the fingerboard and peghead overlay glued on, the neck is milled to the desired profile and curvature. The fingerboard is slotted to receive the frets and the fingerboard and peghead overlay are inlayed with abalone and mother-of-pearl shell.
Upper line models often have the inlays hand-engraved, and are usually bound with grained ivoroid imported from Italy. After inlaying, the necks are fretted with specially hardened nickel-silver material to give lasting resistance to wear. All OME necks are finished by hand, using a variety of shaping cutters, files, and sanders.
OME rims and resonators are precision molded in pneumatic and mechanical molds. Select maple is cut to size, bent, glued, and formed into their final shapes. After curing, the molded rims are machined and hand-fitted to the appropriate tone ring and resonator flange. The molded resonator sides and backs are milled and glued together before their final dimensioning. Both the rim and resonator are bound with grained ivoroid or simulated tortoise to match the fingerboard of the instrument.
Before going to the finish area, the rim, and resonator of each banjo are matched with the appropriate metal parts which are then set aside for the final assembly. The finely sanded maple is masked and then stained with light-fast, grain-enhancing colors to bring out the full beauty of the wood. After the desired shading and coloring is achieved, the OME finish is applied.