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Nov. Dec. 2023 Production Updates

Here is the latest information on what is happening and where things are at with the production of the new 'Season 3' DUKE10 Banjo Ukulele and hard case.

- The drums are currently been cut out of cylinders of 5-ply birch, which you can see in this video from the drum manufacturer.

- Here are the finished cut drums ready for the next step of sanding and lacquering.

raw cut drums for the duke10 banjo ukulele
- The drum heads have been made and screen-printed with the DUKE10 crown logo, and have just arrived at our banjolele factory in Shaanxi, in the north of China.

duke10 banjolele drum head with screenprinted logo

- Here is a photo of the inside of the drum showing the strings tied-off, the back end of the input socket for the pickup, and the way everything fits together.

inside the duke10 drum showing strings tied off and input socket backend

- The input socket and wiring, as well as the new twin passive transducers have been completely re-worked and re-wired as shown here.

new pickup system and wiring

- The machine heads (tuners) are manufactured in Taiwan, and are almost ready to be shipped to our banjolele factory 

duke10 headstock showing tuners/machine heads

- The necks have been made (using a 5-axis CNC router) and are shown here with the headstocks being drilled and shaped.

- The triangle cut through the side of the drum for the wooden spine to slot through is currently being worked on to refine the fit precisely. The new version of the DUKE10 has a slightly deeper drum, so the cut has to be modified from the way it was done on the last version. This part of the process is expected to be completed in the next few days.

- The fingerboards have been made and are ready for attaching to the neck.

fingerboard of duke10 banjolele without fret wire

- The maple veneer for the headstock cap has been chosen and for 'Season 3' is increasing from a mere sliver to a decent 1mm in thickness to give it more substance.

maple veneer for headstock of duke10 banjolele

- Here is the maple headstock cap after being cut, and this image is showing a pyrolytic (laser cut) crown logo for testing purposes.

maple headstock cap showing pyrolytic crown logo test

- There has been a slight change to the machine heads (tuners) due to a change in knob shape by the manufacturers. This is a picture showing the old knob on the right and the new knob on the left, with a horizontal ridge running across it.

the old and new tuners / machine heads for the duke10 banjolele

- The awesome new hard cases are due to be completed at our specialist case factory by the end of November, which will include applying the B&W enamel nameplates with the Duke logo on them, and will then be shipped to our banjolele factory. Here are two images of the original samples.

vintage tweed hard case closed

vintage tweed hard case open

- Here is the glossy enamel logo badge ready to be attached to each case.

enamel logo badge for outside of new hard case

- Here is a short video showing the outline of the mold for the new hard case.

- Here is a shot showing the raw headstocks and neck being created.

image showing the raw headstocks and necks of the duke10 banjolele

- We have just approved the logo printing on the leather ends of the new black straps, so bulk manufacturing of the straps will start very shortly.

black leather strap end printed with Duke logo in white
- Awaiting sample of the small black strap ties/holders to wrap around the headstock and a tension rod of the DUKE10 in order to attach the main strap. Once samples are approved, these will be bulk made and shipped off, ready to pop into the cases.

small strap holder tie for headstock

Any questions, please contact us.

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