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Project by Brett posted 05-10-2012 11:55 PM 1997 views 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is it, my new banjo!

Madrone neck, black walnut fingerboard, quartersawn sycamore overlaid on the peghead and the pot. Tuners and strings from the local music shop, fret wire, head, tension hoop, tail piece and tensioners purchased from Stewart-MacDonald.

This was a pretty intimidating project going into it because, 1. I have never built a banjo before and 2. I don’t know how to play a banjo to even know what I should or shouldn’t do! The build is not complicated but there were some very specific details about the construction that, if I didn’t find out about, could have made the banjo difficult to play or maybe not even playable. I found a website that was key in giving me the confidence to attempt to build one for myself here. A Google search for “how to build a banjo” or “building a banjo” found some others that were helpful too.

If you want to check out some really nicely built banjos, check out, I really like the style and quality look that these banjos have without the usual banjo “flash”.

I hope to put up a video “tour” of this banjo and show how it sounds. I can’t play so it shouldn’t be a very exciting video but interesting, I hope.

Thanks for checking this out!



Here is a video for the banjo.

<iframe src=”” frameborder=”0” height=”315” width=”560”></iframe>

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

12 comments so far

View Rev_John's profile


93 posts in 2979 days

#1 posted 05-11-2012 12:30 AM

Very nice!

-- John from Jackson, Michigan

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14413 posts in 2196 days

#2 posted 05-11-2012 02:05 AM

Beautiful banjo…............and you have a young musician enjoying it!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View robbiethewood's profile


124 posts in 1335 days

#3 posted 05-11-2012 09:22 AM

that is so cool the more i look at this project the more i want one man i have to get a new planer


View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2835 days

#4 posted 05-11-2012 12:10 PM

Nice job, Brett. That’s a different design for the 5th string. I haven’t seen the hoop made from solid wood before. That’s neat. If you can’t get anyone to play it, send it to me and I’ll play it for you. Thanks for the post.

View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 1396 days

#5 posted 05-11-2012 12:13 PM

That’s cool, great job.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View a1Jim's profile


113833 posts in 2667 days

#6 posted 05-11-2012 02:04 PM

Very nice work.

-- Custom furniture

View Brett's profile


924 posts in 1849 days

#7 posted 05-11-2012 03:27 PM

Thanks to everyone for your comments!

@ Robbie- just build it! I used the lathe to get the pot round and true and I used the lathe to turn the “stick” inside the pot that you can see in the picture of the back.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View DSnyder's profile


25 posts in 2759 days

#8 posted 05-11-2012 04:48 PM

That looks great! VID-E-O! VID-E-O! VID-E-O!

-- “I am a soul. I have a body.” Lloyd C. Douglas

View lew's profile (online now)


10698 posts in 2846 days

#9 posted 05-11-2012 06:16 PM

Love the banjo!
Been trying to learn to play Scruggs style for years with no success.

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

View Philip's profile


1213 posts in 1629 days

#10 posted 05-12-2012 04:19 AM

Great to see it finished! That is knee slappin’ fun.

-- I never finish anyth

View Brett's profile


924 posts in 1849 days

#11 posted 05-12-2012 04:26 AM

Thanks again for the comments! I can’t wait to do some knee slappin’ with it.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5874 posts in 1470 days

#12 posted 05-13-2012 08:33 AM

Excellent workmanship, very nice.


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