Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Visit to the Deering Banjo Factory

Deering Banjo of Spring Valley, California is the largest banjo maker in the United States. They've made over 80,000 banjoes, from the basic Goodtime model to the Black Diamond - with mahogany resonator and mother-of-pearl details. Here I am in the showroom, getting ready for a Factory Tour!

Gold engraved hardware. Sounds as good as it looks.

Platinum records on the walls, courtesy of Deering Banjo customers. This is a serious, high class instrument maker, well respected in the music industry and a world leader in fine woodworking craftsmanship. Some people think of hillbillies and backwoods hicks playing these beautiful pieces of art, the modern banjo. It's ridiculous, though. We need to stop demeaning these players and give them the enormous respect they have worked so hard for.

What's that? A banjo sweep broom? I LIKE that!

And that thing in the corner, is that a pretty little milk can - farm tractor seat to sit on while you're playing the banjo?

Look at the top of the seat - "DEERING!"

And what is them things in that basket over there? Are they real? They sure is! They is real life toads what somebody hollowed out, put zippers on and uses for a banjo pic case. They is toad what live in sugar cane patches.

See what I said? Them's CANE TOADS! They is a bit steep at 25 bucks, though.

An look at the funny pigs! The Deering folks have these little sculptures all over their showroom cause they so funny. That one in the mud he the BOSS HOG.

An dat dog, he jus a loafer.

Well it's time to see the factory, and here's the guy that makes 'em. He's sanding that neck perfectly, no loafin' going on here!

Sustainable hardwood from around the globe.

Then they steam the hardwood strips, and slowly press-feed them into the custom round forms you see in the front. Slow and careful!

Here's the main floor, each station does something different....

Those are banjo bodies being quality checked, they're smooth and perfect, and they feel great!

THANKS, Deering Banjo! 
We love your FACTORY TOUR!

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