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Dorset banjo maker carves out niche - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dorset banjo maker carves out niche

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DORSET, Vt. -

The sounds of woodworking are like a song at Dorset Custom Furniture.

The family business hums along, making custom pieces worth passing on.  But recently a new sound has emerged in the workshop.

"I just fell in love with the sound, how fun it is to play and how unique it is," said William Seeders Mosheim.

Mosheim was raised around wood.  Two years ago he decided to branch out, going from functional to fun -- creating custom banjos in his spare time.

The sounds of old time music often fills the shop and Mosheim says it inspired him to combine his passion for wood and music, starting Seeders Instruments.

"For me growing up, the banjo was the joke instrument. Everyone made fun of the banjo, but its definitely gaining some ground and come back," he said.

Each banjo takes about 40 hours to make. Mosheim uses custom wood inlays and pearl engraving to make each instrument unique. He makes five string open-back banjos,  the kind used in old-time and fiddle music.  Four string banjos are played in Irish and jazz tunes.

"The banjo -- it comes from the drum head so a lot of the sound is being produced by this," he said.

Music is creative and loose, but making a banjo takes precision.  Each base has to have even thickness to make the perfect sound, and the size determines the sound.  The smaller the base, the higher the twang.

These custom banjos are making noise all around the world, with customers buying them on the Internet.  They range in price from $1,200 to $4,000.

"it's a very happy sound -- uplifting. For some people, it gets under their skin but I really enjoy it," Mosheim said.

Enjoying the process and the plunky sounds of his Made in Vermont banjos.

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