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BANJOLELE

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Project by knotscott posted 03-29-2016 11:47 PM 1300 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a banjo ukulele with a concert length neck made for my daughter’s 17th birthday. The neck is mahogany, fretboard is rosewood, banjo head is a 10” Suzuki hand drum. The decals are custom, and there’s some electroluminescent tape to light up the head….yep, it glows in the dark! All hardware and parts were purchased. My role was mostly assembly and finishing. Still a work in progress….needs some tweaking to get it to intonate better.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....





15 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9749 posts in 3714 days


#1 posted 03-30-2016 01:22 AM

Very nice!

I don’t think I’ve seen one of those instruments before… Did you make it?

Looks like your beautiful daughter really LIKES it!

COOL instrument!

Is she the “singer”? How did all of that recording, etc. work out?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7631 posts in 3037 days


#2 posted 03-30-2016 01:51 AM

Thanks Joe. Yeah, I sort of made it, but didn’t do much but decide what pieces to buy, then bolted things together.

She is indeed “the singer”! I borrowed a Zoom H2 for her musical last month, and it worked a lot better than my Olympus.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View HeartlandTX's profile

HeartlandTX

33 posts in 2816 days


#3 posted 03-30-2016 02:27 AM

I would love to have one to tune like my mandolin or fiddle so the fingering is the same. This may inspire me.

-- Enjoying life and making a difference.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19306 posts in 2336 days


#4 posted 03-30-2016 02:44 AM

Not only did you make a musical instrument….
and a happy daughter…
you also made a lifetime memory.
Well done, all around!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9749 posts in 3714 days


#5 posted 03-30-2016 04:21 AM

Scott...

Very good!

Initially, you just said “it was made” ... not saying that You made it… The reason for my question. :)

Have you published a YouTube of the Recording of her performance?
... would be nice to see how it turned out…

Thank you very much!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17945 posts in 3337 days


#6 posted 03-30-2016 07:05 AM

Lookin’ good, bet she is happy.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7631 posts in 3037 days


#7 posted 03-30-2016 11:34 AM

Thanks gang. She seemed to like it a lot. As mentioned, there are still some tweaks to get it to intonate better.

This was a far cry from fine woodworking, but fun and really pretty easy to do. It can be pretty cheap if you’re willing to order stuff on Ebay directly from China….2-3 weeks shipping. I bought the 10” hand drum (~ $20…a tambourine with the jingles removed would work too…8” or 12” workd too), the pre-made neck (~ $15…concert size….soprano or tenor would be ok too), finger board ($7), bridge, saddle, tuning pegs, tail piece, and strings…all on Ebay and other places. You can order similar quality for more money from US suppliers too. You can make the tail piece and/or the neck/fretboard too if you prefer. I would suggest individual tuning pegs…the first set I bought were “2+2” with two pegs per strip, but the spacing didn’t match the neck! Other than that, it was pretty straight forward. A great easy way to get acquainted with building string instruments for ~ $50. (lights and decals added to the cost, but are certainly optional)

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. You’ll also probably need a small cut out in the neck for the tensioning ring around the drum head….it’l make sense when you get to those steps. The most important part is getting the neck flush with the drum head so the fret board sits just above it. There are plenty of enthusiast forums that can guide all that technical stuff.

The pic below shows how the fretboard sits just above the drum head:

This pic shows the hangar bolt coming through the drum body (that’s the place to put the curve on the inside of the neck to match the curve of the drum body):

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7674 posts in 1668 days


#8 posted 03-30-2016 11:49 AM

“Banjolele” (pronounced banjo-LAY), or “Banjoette”??

Hmmmm, spellcheck doesn’t like the “ette” one… it corrected my spelling to “banjo-ette”.

No matter, your daughter obviously LOVES IT ! And that’s what counts !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Roger's profile

Roger

20754 posts in 2465 days


#9 posted 03-30-2016 12:24 PM

You made someone happy happy happy

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

752 posts in 3724 days


#10 posted 03-30-2016 12:51 PM

Great project and fine work! We need a photo of it glowing in the dark!

-- Dennis, WV

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7631 posts in 3037 days


#11 posted 03-30-2016 02:48 PM



Great project and fine work! We need a photo of it glowing in the dark!

- drbyte

That I can do…I took a pic during construction to test the lights. Lousy pic, but you get the idea.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

26329 posts in 2528 days


#12 posted 03-30-2016 03:11 PM

That is a nice looking instrument. Well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Eddie_T's profile

Eddie_T

199 posts in 1733 days


#13 posted 03-30-2016 06:07 PM

Nice! I have often thought that a tambourine could be used to make a banjo, but never acted on it. Thanks for sharing.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9564 posts in 2042 days


#14 posted 01-13-2017 06:44 PM

Doh, forum ate your pics. Glad you had others in the comments, looks good.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7631 posts in 3037 days


#15 posted 01-13-2017 08:34 PM



Doh, forum ate your pics. Glad you had others in the comments, looks good.

- Rick M

Thanks for the heads up Rick! I reposted some of them.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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