Working on a Banjo

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Project by dan mosheim posted 08-03-2009 01:15 AM 1712 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son Will and I are building a banjo. He’s an excellent player and knows what makes a good banjo. I, on the other hand, know how to make things quickly and tend to forge ahead to ‘get things done’ and it has fallen to Will to slow me down and educate me on the fine points of instrument making. It’s been a spare time project that happens mostly after work as our schedules allow. I’d say we’re about halfway through the first edition, thinking up jigs, trying stuff, and learning a lot as we go. We have gotten our parts and supplies as well as accurate fretboard layout measurements from Stewart MacDonald Guitar Supply. There is a lot of banjo building info online though the variety of styles and approaches to the problem are all different. I’m attempting to add to the online info by documenting our processes on two posts (so far) on our dorset custom furniture blog
More to come ….

-- dan,vermont,

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


12145 posts in 3807 days

#1 posted 08-03-2009 01:49 AM

I’d love to build one of these but can’t even play the one I have. Maybe someday….

The jigs look really interesting.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Hyperhutch's profile


63 posts in 3301 days

#2 posted 08-03-2009 02:10 AM

What a fun undertaking! And what great equipment with which to make it!

Here’s a link to the site of an acquaintance of mine. He is both a player and maker, and has done a lot with basic tools and equipment. He’s made quite a number of banjos to date, and I am guessing he would be more than willing to discuss certain aspects of the process if you would like.


-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

View dan mosheim's profile

dan mosheim

240 posts in 3740 days

#3 posted 08-03-2009 02:59 AM

thanks hutch … we’ve been to his site a bunch of times. he’s got a lot of info there that has surely been helpful … i am lucky to have some good equipment but I’ve also seen some pretty cool instruments made with the most basic of stuff. use what you’ve got …. dan

-- dan,vermont,

View Darrell Peart's profile

Darrell Peart

362 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 08-03-2009 03:07 AM

Hi Dan,
Looks like a very fun project to do with your son.
I know what you mean about slowing down. My son-in-law, Matt,recently spent some time working with me in the shop building a blanket chest. I have been in the “lets’ get things done mode” for nearly 40 years. It took a little effort on my part to slow down and enjoy the company as well as the process.
We just finished the blanket chest last weekend – my daughter (Julia) was very pleased with her new chest and has already started thinking of more projects for Matt and me.


-- Darrell Peart - Seattle - - author G&G Design Elements for the Workshop

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3629 days

#5 posted 08-03-2009 04:36 AM

sounds like great fun

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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