A Banjo of all things

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Project by Texasgaloot posted 04-22-2008 05:13 AM 2325 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Those of you that are banjo aficionados (both of you!) may recognize that many of these components or raw materials came from Stew-Mac, arranged in such a manner as to make a rather unique old-timey sounding, bluegrass looking… banjo. I love bluegrass, and I already play guitar, mandolin, and bass, so I thought I might like to take up the banjo and sort of be my own bluegrass band. I forgot two things: 1. The banjo is nothing like the other instruments, and 2. You can’t play them all at once. Still a fun instrument to play once you get the basic rolls down, and given a room with any sort of resonance, you can go and watch a football game after playing for a little while, come back after the game, and the banjo music will still be ringing around in the room for your listening pleasure.
This one has some wild maple (I’m not sure if it’s the banjo that is that loud, or the flaming in the maple!) I’ve added a few unusual details such as the resonator binding and the walnut veneer on the heel. Still, very fun project to build, all with hand tools except for my electric drill. I would do it again!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

10 comments so far

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 4264 days

#1 posted 04-22-2008 05:21 AM

Very nice! I love the grain in the neck and resonator. Thanks for posting!

-- Martin, Kansas

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4529 days

#2 posted 04-22-2008 05:30 AM

Very nice looking! I’ll make one one of these days.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4362 days

#3 posted 04-22-2008 12:02 PM

That is a nice looking banjo. And a nice use of hand tools in the building process.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Eric Vossbrink's profile

Eric Vossbrink

70 posts in 4291 days

#4 posted 04-22-2008 03:39 PM

Mark Twain said it best…

When you want genuine music—music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth’s pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose,—when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!

- “Enthusiastic Eloquence,” San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle, 6/23/1865

I feel a long line of banjo jokes coming…


View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4421 days

#5 posted 04-22-2008 04:08 PM

wow ! very nice work on the banjo ! great looking maple also . now youll need a dobro to round out your band ! lol i think ill refrain from posting a banjo joke on this mans personal and permanant project page ! thats just my opinion

View Hersh's profile


106 posts in 4256 days

#6 posted 04-22-2008 05:13 PM

I just saw your guitar you are building and now look at this banjo. Beautifull choice of wood. Like you I love the BG. I play/jam with several BGers and just love it. Glad to have you on LJ. Thanks for the post.

-- Hersh from Port Angeles, WA - Gotta Complete That Project!

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 4241 days

#7 posted 04-22-2008 08:17 PM

Trim: You’re right, a dobro is on my “someday” list! While I was working on my masters a friend of mine and I began assembling banjo jokes. Their great, and readily portable: insert your favorite pick-on-this-instrument-now instrument here.

Eric: Excellent. Mark Twain said most things best, and nobody can truly take opposition and live to tell about it. As usual, he was right on target about the banjo—makes me think that he had a bluegrass gig on weekends…

Hersh: Those that pick bluegrass are, in my opinion, of a superior race. Well done!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Eric Vossbrink's profile

Eric Vossbrink

70 posts in 4291 days

#8 posted 04-22-2008 08:53 PM

Remember…if you cant laugh at yourself…you can’t laugh at anyone else or banjo players for that matter.

Actually the banjo is a favorite of mine I can play it just bad enough to be good at it.

Nice instrument BTW.


View stanley_clifton's profile


196 posts in 4244 days

#9 posted 04-22-2008 11:21 PM

I love banjo music. Yes, someone in England likes bluegrass.This is a splendid job.

Here’s a banjo/muso joke for you:

‘What’s the definition of perfect pitch?
Throwing a banjo into a skip without it touching the sides.’

Substitute instrument that you don’t really like.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4285 days

#10 posted 04-22-2008 11:44 PM

Very nice banjo. I used to play a little. Learn 3 chords and you can play about 500 blue grass songs. I got good enough to where they quit throwing beer bottles at me. Finally gave it to my brother in law and stuck to the guitar. This makes me think I might want to put one of these on my “to do” list. Thanks for the post.

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