WGF Howson Instruments

Custom Banjos and Guitars

Handbuilt to your specifications.

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Open Back Banjos


£1350   A Scale 10" Rim

£1300  Tenor Banjo 19 or 17 frets

£1400   25.4  Scale 11" or 12" Rim


Standard Features


Cherry, Sapele or Maple

Right or Left Handed

Choice of Headstock Shapes

Small or Fat Dobson Heel, Curved Traditional Heel

Two Way Adjustable Truss Rod (Accessed at Heel end)

Flecked Ebony, Pao Ferro (Santos Rosewood) or Rosewood Fretboard

Medium or Vintage Style Thin Fretwire

Scoop - Oval, Enoch, Straight or Thumb String

Bone, Buffalo horn or Corian nut

Block Rim Construction

Flecked Ebony, Pao Ferro or Rosewood Rim Cap

Romero Inspired Dowel Rod Construction

Grooved Raw Brass Tension Hoop

Ball end or two foot raw brass Brackets (16 for 10" banjos, 18 for 11" banjos and 20 for 12" banjos)

Raw brass No Knot Tailpiece, Hooks and Nuts, (choice of nut style)

Quality Planetary Tuners

Compensated Cherry or Maple Bridge with Rosewood or Ebony cap

Renaissance Head or Fyberskyn Head

Hand Rubbed True Oil Finish


 All my banjos are intended to be one of a kind and tailor made to the individual customer, when taking a commission we can talk about neck profiles and thickness, nut widths, scale lengths, fretwire gauge etc, with the aim of making an instrument that is to your individual specs.

We can discuss this via email or if your able to its always nice, and I think often very helpful, for people to drop in to the workshop, play some banjos and have a chat about what they want from the instrument.

My standard scale length these days is 25.4" (645mm) with a nut width of 33mm or 34mm.

The string spacing at the bridge is 11.5mm which is a bit wider than a factory instrument and in my opinion makes for much easier playing, especially for clawhammer.



Other Options





Flame Maple Neck and Flame Maple Rim + £65

Flame Maple Neck and Hard Maple Rim + £40

Black Walnut + £60

Old Stock Honduras and Brazilian Mahogany + £90

AAA Grade Ebony Fretboard + £30

Exotic figured Pao Ferro Fretboard and Rim Cap + £25

Other Veneers/Trim POA



Tone Rings


Integral Rosewood Tone Ring + £50

Integral Ebony Tone Ring + £50

Howson Round Brass Tone Hoop + £50

(Handmade from 3/8 round brass rod these are 40% larger that the usual 1/4" commercially available hoops)

Bacon Tone Ring + £150

Dobson Tone Ring + £150

Dobson Tone Ring with 1/4" Brass Hoop + £165

Little Wonder Tone Ring + £136

Silver Bell Tone Ring + £150

Whyte Lady Tone Ring + £185

Tubaphone Tone Ring + £250





Fretless - £100

Inlayed Fret Markers + Same as Fretted

Brass Overlay to 5th or 7th Fret + £50

More Elaborate Scoop + £40

Bound Fretboard + £50

Headstock Back Veneer + £50

Double Ogee+ £50

Fretboard, Headstock and Heel double under veneers + £35

Fretboard front marker Dots £10




Gotoh Raw Brass tuners + £55

Handmade Raw Brass Tailpiece + £50

Rickard Raw Brass Deco Tailpiece + £105

Extra Brackets and Hooks + POA



Banjo Heads


Stained Goat Skin, also treated to Protect against Humidity + £50





£25 Per Hour





Superior Hardcases


Open back+ £120

Brown open back + £130

A scale + £130

11" 5 string Resonator + £130

Brown + £130

Open back Tenor +£130



All Instruments that are to be sent by Courier require a Hardcase.




Console steel guitars



Standard Model






23" Scale

One piece body

Seymour Duncan Antiquity Lap Steel Pickup or Mojo Pickups handmade Charlie Christian pickup

Cherry or Maple

Right or Left Handed

Flecked Ebony, Pao Ferro (Santos Rosewood) or Rosewood Fretboard, Headstock veneer and bridge/bridge plate

Bone, Buffalo horn or Corian nut

Through body string mount

Brass Bridge cap and string mount

Stew Mac golden age tuners

Flamed Maple, Black Walnut, Cherry or Rosewood binding

Round Abalone or Mother of Pearl fret markers

Newtone lapsteel strings

Hand Rubbed True Oil Finish


Other Options




Lollar Chicago Steel + £95

Mojo pickups aged "string through" lapsteel pickup +70

Lollar Horseshoe pickup + £485


Full details of these amazing handmade pickups can be found here







Black Walnut + £60

AAA Grade Ebony Fretboard + £30

Exotic figured Pao Ferro Fretboard and Bridge + £25

Other Veneers/Trim POA




£25 per Hour




Sunburst + £200





The Prices for imported American and Canadian parts are adjusted to cover postage, import fees and import taxes.


All woods are to the best of my ability sourced from responsible sources, most of the

Exotic hard woods such as rosewood and ebony that I use often come from Madinter whose company mission statement can be seen here http://corporate.madinter.com/about-us/

Occasionally I'm able to source woods such as burls direct from a tree surgeon friend.