About 15-20 years ago...
I was playing around with an old no-name 4 string tenor banjo. I decided that I wanted to try to play
a 5 string banjo so I made my first 5 string neck. It was then that I discovered that I didn’t know any old time tunes that were typically played on the 5 string banjo. I then backtracked and built a second neck (this time a 4 string plectrum neck) for this no-name banjo. This is when I discovered that I enjoyed making banjos even more than I enjoyed playing them (maybe it has something to do with the fact that I found out that I was more successful making them than I was learning how to play them).

I ventured into building 4 string and 5 string reproduction necks for some Vega, Bacon & Day, Bacon and Orpheum vintage pots that I began picking up from music stores and on Ebay. I was hooked! Then I realized that I had way too many banjos and that I needed to sell some of these banjos to support my ever growing obsession of building more banjo necks. While there is a market for the vintage banjos with reproduction 5 string necks, I soon realized that there was a much bigger market for a good playing, sounding open back banjo in the lower price ranges.

 
 

Eventually it led to my building an open back banjo
of my own design (only to find out later that somebody by the name of Ashborn had invented this design over a hundred years ago). My reason for pursuing this design was simple, I was a woodworker and not a metalworker. I could build the wood parts but not the metal parts. The metal parts were getting more expensive to purchase and I was trying to keep the costs of my open back as low as possible.

Woodworking and fly fishing have been my hobbies of choice for many years. After I retired, banjo building started to consume more and more of my spare time. In addition to building my own style of open back and other vintage reproduction necks, a few years ago, I started building necks for Tom Nechville’s line of banjos (www.nechville.com).

Some 800 plus necks and banjos later, I'm still having fun building them.