Two new banjo builds

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
I’m in the process of building a couple of small banjos. One will be a banjo uke and one will be a mini 5-string banjo. The uke is for a friend and the 5-string will be a travel banjo for myself. I plan on posting the build process, which will be slow. I haven’t posted an ongoing project before, so this will be something new for me. The banjo uke will be a soprano which means a very short scale length (about 13 inches) the 5-string will be longer (I haven’t decided but somewhere between 17.5 and 20 inches).
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
I started with some wood I have had for several years that I bought at woodcraft. I think it is called Curupay, not a typical banjo wood but it is hard and dense and should fit the part. It will be the entire rim for the uke and the tone ring (the layer that the hide vibrates against) for the 5-string. I cut it into 1.25 strips.

09C6BDAB-9614-47CA-8C38-64FFB4E1BF1F.jpeg

84962631-E955-4367-BC5B-EB422008C1F6.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
I cut the wood at 22.5 degrees making 4 octagons of the curupay and 2 more octagons of cherry wood. The 5-string will be cherry with the curupay tone ring. I glue four pieces together and let them dry.
I started with some wood I have had for several years that I bought at woodcraft. I think it is called Curupay, not a typical banjo wood but it is hard and dense and should fit the part. It will be the entire rim for the uke and the tone ring (the layer that the hide vibrates against) for the 5-string. I cut it into 1.25 strips.

View attachment 164463

View attachment 164464
62519882-5684-41C3-8D3F-D28E1B103692.jpeg

4E4CC83D-DAF5-480D-BF82-F53B934BE71F.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I take the two halves and sand them on a flat board to ensure the two half’s mate perfectly. I forgot to take a picture of this, so the picture is from prior build. Then I trace my interior rim diameter and go to the bandsaw. Then, with the majority of the interior cut away I glue the half’s together.

1CD0B594-BE14-4A5B-8D5A-3446BE8C4646.jpeg

4E5FB12E-46DE-40C5-ADB5-6D21F1AE7E9F.jpeg

B9071D3B-BA7D-46B9-8E28-776B77CF926F.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
I screw one layer onto a template I made with a circle cutting jig to the desires inside diameter. And routed the inside diameter.

199B97F8-1083-4ADD-9CEC-A84C89F1947B.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Once the inside is finished I put it in another jig I built to shape the outside. I trace the outside line, remove it from the jig and go back to the bandsaw.

BFAB8B37-426E-4CB3-BC96-30CF001EFC82.jpeg

62CA85A3-B71A-4F11-AEBD-52E8CA7C9ECB.jpeg

1037BD3A-D400-4563-A442-1D7D2C270CA6.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
After trimming on the band saw it goes back on the jig and back to the router table to shape the outside diameter of the rim.

14B6E5F8-B0BF-4F1A-837A-37D6487BD98A.jpeg

5D573727-B7FC-4FB4-B22C-9B5032A2CF4B.jpeg

57FCAB32-5558-4503-87CC-F72A6634D605.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
I started with an octagon and now have a layer that i can use with a flush cut router bit to shape the additional layers.

4494C6B7-47B7-4422-9469-8035CB7F05D5.jpeg

FC000179-7DB3-4C58-856F-745B6BB35F6E.jpeg
 

stephen45710

Member
Full Member
Messages
124
Reaction score
263
Location
Albany, OH
First name
Stephen
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
I drill indexing holes to aid in assembly, trim the other layers on the band saw, and then use a pattern cutting bit to trim everything.
 

Arn213

craM de la craM # RipJack City!
Full Member
Messages
703
Reaction score
849
Location
Knickerbocker, NYC
First name
Arn
It is just amazing how builders have more than one way to get to their destination. There is no correct way or wrong way, it is how it makes the most logical, logistical sense to an individual building it, arriving at stages of how you feel comfortable going about your business!

Great post Stephen:ok: and keep us leaning forward in our seats- this is like being in a master class and looking at your method the old fashion way without the aid of a CNC.

@ripjack13 :thanx2:.............we really need a “rock fist/rock on/hand horn emoji ala “James’s Dio”!
 
Last edited:
Top