This banjo has been on and off the bench for a few years. The highly figured walnut neck blank had a void on the back of the neck. Too nice for firewood, I filled the void with a special epoxy mixed with walnut dust from the neck, then put an ebony backstrap over it. My guess is backstraps came about because of flaws in the neck. My first banjos usually had red and green veneers, so I used leftovers from that era that were laying around. The rim is curly maple, clad in nickel silver and topped with a Dobson tone ring. This banjo went to Cape Elizabeth, Maine.