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Build A Banjo

Here is a brief overview of the process, or click here for detailed step-by-step instructions.

making the banjo neck

Select pieces of maple and walnut are laminated to create the neck block.





making the banjo neck





A template is used to lay out the pattern of the neck.






making the banjo neck

The first cut on this block was made on the band saw. Now I use a jig and cut it on the table saw.




making the banjo neck

A metal truss rod adds strength.


making the banjo neck



The peghead is sanded smooth and then covered with rosewood veneer.








making the banjo neck

The peghead is cut on the band saw and sanded smooth.





making the banjo neck

A side view shows that neck is still very much a block.




making the banjo neck

The peghead is freed from the block.





making the banjo neck

The rest of the neck is cut to rough shape with the band saw.




making the banjo neck

Hereís a front view of the neck at the same point as the last pic.





making the banjo neckThe neck begins to take shape, thanks to some work with a drawknife and some rasps. A little more work with the rasp and some sanding will finish the job.

making the banjo body


Back when this picture was taken I used a hand miter saw to cut the parts for the body block.






making the banjo body




The angled stop block makes it easy to cut all the pieces to the correct length.







making the banjo body





This fixture holds the wood in place during the gluing process.











making the banjo body



Three hexagons are clamped and glued together.









making the banjo body





After it is dry, the block is removed from the clamps.











making the banjo body






The body is trimmed to rough shape on the band saw and mounted to a face plate.













making the banjo body



Fresh from the lathe, the body is round and has grooves for the tone ring.







making the banjo body




I used to cut out the center of the body with a router bit mounted in my ShopSmith, but I later decided it was too unsafe.







making the banjo body







Now itís starting to look like something.













making the banjo body



The ShopSmith is the perfect tool for drilling holes for the bracket shoes.







making the banjo body



The banjo body, with head and hardware installed.









A nearly complete banjo

Here are the almost-completed components, ready for final fitting and application of the finish.


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This page last updated 05/25/03
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