The banjo is done

So I didn’t end up using birch, I went for beech instead. One thing about me it that when I start something it takes up all my time. At least if I like it enough. This project was one of those, all I did was working on the banjo, or reading about banjo constructions. It took quite a lot of studying before I felt comfortable enough to start the actual construction. Angels that needed to be right, scale length and so on. Things I didn’t know a shit about before but now it has broaden my view and anatomy of the banjo.

Well here it is, everything went fine, not a single mistake unless you count the stringing. That was the hardest part. Im so damn proud of it. Made out of beech with some ebony fretboard. Some birch and apple tree inlay. Also some shells I found on New Zealand and some mother of pearl. Little wonder tone ring and.. well take a look. First instrument I ever built.

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First drawings

First drawings

Glueing the fretboard

Glueing the fretboard

Trying bent wood

Trying bent wood

Drilling jig

Drilling jig

Me and the parts

Me and the parts

Inlay

Inlay

Back and dowel

Back and dowel

Building a …. banjo

I truly love the banjo, everything about it, the simplicity of the design to the somewhat hollow sound it gives. Unfortunately it is quite an unusual instrument here in Sweden, there are some people around who play it but they are easily counted. I’m trying my best right now to give it a go, got a cheap banjo a couple of years ago. Started learning but never got it right. Now I’m on the second round, getting the basics right, from the beginning. What I also will be doing is constructing a new banjo, instead of buying one. I have never built an instrument before so this frightens me a bit, but what the hell, I guess I should just start. Instrument construction cant be that much harder than other wood works, just that some science needs to be present with very specific measurements and so on. And now I can also construct the custom banjo from the beginning. My hopes are that when I’m done with it I will be good enough to play it, just practising on my old shitty one.

I know birch is quite an unusual material for instruments. But we just took one down, so why not?

Birch, with the picturesque deer in the distance

Birch, with the picturesque deer in the distance