Bill Stokes Bill Stokes Showcase
Bill Stokes
Old Wood Pot
Bill Stokes Showcase
For over 2 years now, I have worked with the wonderful people at Timeless Timber® in Ashland, Wisconsin, as well as Jimmy Cox and Curtis McPeake in an effort to create a pot assembly which would virtually duplicate the sound of the pre-wars with all their tonal depth and beauty. This could only be accomplished by first starting with hard rock maple from Timeless Timber® which was pristine in it's cellular structure and hundreds of years old. It was also necessary to combine the best hardware and parts available... including the pot metal single-piece flange which was common to the pre-wars. It has been a very time consuming project, but the result has produced a finished banjo that has exceeded all my expectations. The wood from Timeless Timber® is the key to the rich, clear tone that these pots produce when put into a finished banjo
Announcing the Showcase™ "Old Wood"
pot assembly made from centuries old wood
to recreate the pre-war sound.
ABOUT THE WOOD In the late 1800's, a vast number of logging operations sprang up on the shores of Lake Superior. During this logging "boom", hundreds of sawmills dotted the area and virgin trees, many of which were saplings when Columbus discovered America, were felled and floated onto the Lake for retrieval. Due to their weight, many of these became waterlogged and sank to the bottom of the Lake where they lay for up to 150 years in very icy and oxygen deprived water. This created the "anaerobic effect" in which bacteria feed on nutrients within the cells, leaving them in their pristine open shape... (unlike normal air dried and seasoned wood where cells tend to close and deform). This openness of the wood cells provides an amazing resonance... up to 30% more than standard old seasoned woods. The open cells also dramatically enhance the velocity of sound through the wood. In 1992, Superior Water-Logged Co., which produces the Timeless Timber®, began bringing up these logs from the bottom of Lake Superior. The Company has developed, at great expense, a proprietary drying process and they exactingly grade each piece. Showcase is the authorized licensee for the use of Timeless Timber® in banjos. THE TEAM In bringing this pot assembly to the market, I went to the "best in the business" to provide the highest quality parts available. JIMMY COX builds the 3ply rim and the resonator from the Timeless Timber® "old wood." He has been doing this for 40 years and knows how the pre-wars were built. He has his own secrets, which have been developed over the years, that produce consistently quality pieces. CURTIS McPEAKE is considered to be the foremost authority on pre-war banjos. He has the ear for pre-war tone and has probably owned and played more pre-war banjos than anyone in the business. A few years ago, Curtis developed his tone ring patterned after his 1937 RB75 ("Old Betsy") that reproduced the tone of the golden era of banjos. The SHOWCASE™ pot assembly uses Curtis's 20-hole flathead tone ring as well as his selected aged maple bridge to bring back the sound of the 30's. ROBIN SMITH is a premier craftsman and luthier who is currently crafting instruments for several well known makers including SCOTT VESTAL, who will be offering a new model STEALTH™ banjo featuring the SHOWCASE™ "old wood" pot assembly. Robin built my banjo (shown in picture) and I recommend him to build your finished banjo. You can contact him at 800-347-9420.

THE POT ASSEMBLY The SHOWCASE™ "old wood" pot assembly comes complete including a hardshell case and SHOWCASE™ strap. The rim and resonator (which is already routed for binding) come unfinished (no stain or lacquer) The complete assembly includes:
• 3-ply "old wood" rim made by Jimmy Cox
• "old wood" resonator (pre-war spec) made by Jimmy Cox
• Curtis McPeake 20-hole flathead tone ring
• Pot metal single-piece flange
• Curtis McPeake aged maple bridge
• Head, tension hoop, Presto™ tailpiece, armrest, all hardware including coordinator rods, screws, etc.
• Hardshell case
• Showcase™ strap
(which includes shipping in USA).
You may also reserve an assembly with a deposit of $1000 (call for details). We have a limited supply of the pot assemblies for 2001. Once they are gone for the year, we cannot guarantee next year's supply since it cannot be determined how much top-grade hard rock maple will be retrieved in the future. If you have any questions, please call or email me.

972/ 475-0633 • Fax 972/ 412-5862
Showcase • P.O. Box 1660 • Rowlett, TX 75030