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Thread: QUICKIE BANJOLELE PROJECT

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Rochester
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    QUICKIE BANJOLELE PROJECT

    I made this "banjolele" for my youngest daughter's 17th birthday. It's not exactly fine woodworking, but she likes it, and it was fun to do.

    For those interested, it's really pretty easy too. It's mostly a matter of sourcing some parts, and assembling them. You can make the whole thing from scratch if you want, but I just bought components from Ebay....concert size mahogany ukulele neck and rosewood fretboard, a 10" Suzuki hand drum (8" or 12" would work too, and/or you could use a tambourine with the jingles removed), then appropriate hardware like tuning pegs, bridge/saddle, tail piece, etc. The decals and electro-luminescent tape were optional! (the banjo head lights up on this one)

    The main assembly includes just bolting the neck to the hand drum body. I sanded a slight curve on the inside of the neck where it mates to the body, and drilled some holes for two hangar bolts. I also made a small cut out in the neck for the tensioning ring around the drum head. You can also buy a hand drum that's doesn't have the tension hooks. The most important part is getting the neck flush with the drum head so the fret board sits just above it. Some paint and stain, and voila...a banjolele! A great easy way to get acquainted with building string instruments for ~ $50.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by scott spencer; 03-30-2016 at 01:29 PM.
    Got Wood?

  2. #2
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    Feb 2012
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    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    Looks pretty fine to me.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    That is a cool little project, the recipient looks happy with it too.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    Scott, Scott, Scott.

    My wife is going to have to have a talk with you about not tempting me to take on new projects!!!

    I love this! That is so cool, and great pictures as well!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Scott, Scott, Scott.

    My wife is going to have to have a talk with you about not tempting me to take on new projects!!!

    I love this! That is so cool, and great pictures as well!
    In case you need a push....Did I mention that it glows?!

    Got Wood?

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    Reno NV
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    Love it!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott spencer View Post
    In case you need a push....Did I mention that it glows?!
    Cruel! Just Cruel!
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    2,668
    Very Cool!

    In my book, this is fine woodworking. It looks good, it was made with love and the recipient loved it.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Scott, Scott, Scott.

    My wife is going to have to have a talk with you about not tempting me to take on new projects!!!

    I love this! That is so cool, and great pictures as well!
    This so much this

    Nice job Scott!

    I'm assuming with the lightweight strings you're using you can skip the dowel rod/perch pole through the center of the drum?

    I've spent a fair bit of time reading http://www.bluestemstrings.com/pageBanjoDesign.html which explained a lot of how these things go together for me (but haven't quite gotten up enough gumption to do it yet). The assembly of parts like this looks like a really fantastic way to dip my toes in the water so thanks again for the great idea!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    ...I'm assuming with the lightweight strings you're using you can skip the dowel rod/perch pole through the center of the drum?
    I hope so! It all seemed pretty sturdy as is, but I may add a brace if necessary.



    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Cruel! Just Cruel!
    Got Wood?

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