Rout some wood then add a cake tin

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Established Member
18 Oct 2016
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Blue mountains Australia
Latest project is a bit of an experiment so hope things work out.
Aiming at a Mountain / Appalachian banjo style instrument. Just 4 string and around 20'' scale length.
😒 i love cake.... i thought you were going to have pictures of a good lemon drizzle or walnut cake 🎂 🤣

For some good banjo tunes, there the dead south and mandolin orange ( now called watchhouse because some people thought the name was racist ) or theres the carolina chocolate drops ( who will soon have to rename probably )

Hope it sounds good when you've finished 👍
Bit more work on the banjo. Compared to something like a guitar a banjo has more variables to contend with. As the head stretches and I assume it will stretch some more I am in guesswork teritory. I have assembled the body but the skin looks to be about at tension without engaging the grub screw tensioners. I was expecting some messing about so it can sit tensioned while I make the neck. I will be happy with a playable instrument as a first try and am enjoying the learning curve.
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This is clever, turning an auction into a song

🤣 i couldnt work out what he was saying ( my hearing is pretty screwed ) i used to struggle at car auctions, occasionally getting a number i understood 😆 i once bought an old banger and didnt know what I'd won it for until i went to pay 🙃 luckily it was about 270 quid
John, does the skin come pre streched on a frame? And the neck simply attaches to the tenon sticking out?
The skin is a standard banjo head. Its on a metal rim. On modern banjos a tension rings sits on that and get pulled tight by hook tensioners on the outside of the pot. On this one the head gets pressed down over the cake tin/tone ring by the top bit of wood. Extra tension for final tuning will be from the grub screws that can push the tone ring up a little bit more if required. Traditional mountain banjos would have a natural skin. Usually goat but I have even heard of cat being used. Its tacked on wet and as it shrinks dry it tensions up. Anyhow I did not have a goat or a cat handy and the modern head is not at the mercy of humidity changes like a natural skin.
The neck does attach to the tenon so will screw on like a bolt on guitar neck does.
Bit more. Working on the neck and had a small glitch. Had a pretty bit of wood for the fretboard but a few days after I planed it up it started to cup so am now using a bit of Mountain ash as its fully quarter sawn and should be more stable. I had already cut the fret slots so just as well I had not attached the frets and wasted them. Lesson here is the prettiest looking bit of wood is not always the best. Neck itself is NewGinea rosewood with mountain ash and mahogany stripe.
Last pic is laying out rough position of bridge and where to cut off the heal end of the neck. There will be a small dry tenon on the end of the neck to prevent any sideways movement. Bolt on arrangement like an electric guitar. Giving the neck 2.5* of angle.
Well its as good as finished. Just need to make a new bridge as the one in the pic is not quite wide enough for the spread of the strings. Can still play a tune with it but it does not look right.
As its in the hillbilly style I kept it simple. Apart from the drum head, tuner pegs, cake tin ring and strings its wood offcuts and stuff I had in the shed. Finish is BLO then buffed with wax. Was a learning curve but sounds not bad. Still got to tweek the action a bit over the coming days but pretty happy with it. It will get an outing at a pub session next week.