J P Banjos - Custom made open back Tenor banjos

Welcome to J P Banjos           1 Hatfield Close   
Maker of open back tenor banjos              West Derby
                                                                 Liverpool L12 0PD
                                                                       Phone Jim:-  07837673096
                                                                       email:-  [email protected]                 

I am Jim Patton.

I am a retired marine engineer who started to learn the traditional irish tenor banjo some twenty years ago.
I began with a basic instrument and eventually progressed to a hand made top quality instrument. While the new top quality instruments give great tones
and volume I found them to be very heavy, and of course very expensive.

( My research showed 99% of banjo players said they would prefer a lighter instrument if the tone and volume was not compromised )

Most top quality banjos are fitted with bell bronze tone rings. This type of tone ring will produce volume but makes the banjo very heavy and the cost of the tone rings are expensive.

I have studied many of the sought after vintage banjos and have concluded that the Weymann megaphonic rim and the Vega tubaphone tone ring both produce an excellent tone and high volume.

It is been a combination of both the Weymann and Vega banjos that the JP banjos with the Decaphonic rims and  tone rings have been designed.                                                          

Therefore producing a lighter but more importantly a less expensive banjo without compromising on tone volume.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             [email protected]

I have recently included a 100% bell metal arch top tone ring to provide the customer with a choice of two models.

JP Banjo bell metal tone rings are cast at the famous Whitechapel  Bell foundry. This foundry was established in 1570. They made both Big Ben and the Liberty bells and are arguably the most famous bell makers in history. They only use bell metal. Pure bell metal has a higher quantity of tin than the usual bell bronze, therefore producing a great deal of sustain. It has no perceived loss to both bass and treble notes and a single note can still be heard when playing the following note.

JP banjos are the only tenor banjos fitted with Whitechapel arch top tone rings and are machined by Jim to obtain a perfect fit on the rim. 


Intricate MOP inlays 
    as standard.



Banjo shown is fitted with the
      Whitechapel tone ring.

                       Three piece necks with a three veneer centre stripe along the length. 


 Hook holes are fitted with
 bushes for added strength.


Three styles of rim are available. 

Standard parallel block, three ply and decaphonic. 

( Decaphonic rims are only available in block design ). 

All rim styles are finished with Tulipwood banding.

                                      Decaphonic rim
Rim shown is Honduras rosewood with a JP tailpiece and armrest finished with gold hardware

Details of rim

Rims have duel Tulipwood banding.
Banjos are supplied with matching wood armrest.
11 inch / 279.4mm diameter at top of rim. 
12 1/2inch / 317.5mm diameter at base of rim.
2 1/2 inch / 62.5mm deep.
The base of the rim is 11/16inch / 17mm thick and tapers up to meet the inside diameter of the tone ring. There are 20 holes drilled into the base of the rim which have stainless steel bushes fitted for extra strength. The hooks pass through the holes and the nuts are secured inside the bushes.
This eliminates any brackets or hooks becoming snagged on clothing. 

Details of the neck

Standard scale length:- 22 inch, 19 Fret
Short scale length:- 21 inch, 17 Fret
Neck:- Width at nut 30mm  (1-1/8″ )
           Width at 17th / 19th fret 40mm ( 1-9/16″ )
           Depth of fretboard at nut 21mm ( 13/32″ )
           Depth of fretboard at 12th Fret 25mm ( 1″ )
           Bonded, solid brass rectangular truss rod
           Ebony fingerboard complete with fancy MOP designs as standard.
           Ebony head plate with MOP logo as standard.        

Tone rings:- 100% Bell metal arch top. Cast at the Whitechapel bell foundry.
                    Half hard brass, tubaphone style. 
Tension hoop:- Grooved.
Tuners:- Schaller 4:1 ratio.
Tailpiece:- Kershner 
Head:- Low crown, choice of finish
Bridge:- 5/8 inch.
Weight:- Whitechapel model 4kg. Tubaphone style 3Kg.
Dual coordinator rods.

All woods are prime quality, fully seasoned, kiln and / or air dried.
American black walnut, Maple, Mahogany.
All hardware is heavy nickel plated.
Whitechapel models are fitted with a100% bell metal arch top tone ring.
Woodwork is sealed with linseed oil to produce a smooth natural finish.

Please contact me to discuss your preferences.

Decaphonic style Honduras Rosewood with    custom ordered inlays and banding.
Made for Stevie Dunne of Belfast.


Repairs & Servicing

Set ups on all types of banjos, Head changes, Railroad spikes fitted


Your own MOP inlay designs can be supplied if required, ( Additional cost.)
Hard case can be supplied at additional cost.
Please contact me for prices at [email protected]


JP banjos are excellent quality at affordable prices.
Please ensure all instruments are kept in temperatures not exceeding 30c and out of direct sunlight.
Decaphonic rim and tone ring. Patent pending.

                    Contact Jim at [email protected]

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