This pattern can be made from thin material, like plexi-glass, thin plywood, or even cardboard. More durable materials will provide a longer useful life. This pattern is intended to be used with a traditional dowel stick design. Step By Step … Continue reading How to Make a Banjo Neck Pattern – Side Profile
This article is about a design for a tailpiece that works well for gourd banjos. This article also discusses the goals of a tailpiece in the gourd banjo setting. Problem: If the strings rest against the outside wall of the gourd, the tension of the strings may cause the gourd to become misshapen or could even cause it to cave in. Solution: Make a tailpiece that keeps the string tension off of the wall of the gourd. Using a long dowel stick that sticks out from the tail end of the gourd provides something for the tailpiece to attach too. This … Continue reading Gourd Banjo: Tailpiece
This article is about banjo design and focuses on the way that the neck of the banjo connects to the banjo rim. Most banjos that I’ve seen have a neck heel that fits to the shape of the outside of … Continue reading Banjo Design: Hoop on Stick Construction
Banjo friction pegs were used to tune the instrument in its earlier days. As steel strings became more popular and machining techniques improved, friction pegs gave way to machine tuners. Today we still see friction pegs used on violins and … Continue reading Banjo Friction Pegs – What are they and how do they work?
Here we have Old Man Kelly doing his rendition of the old-time classic, “Big Eyed Rabbit”, on the fretless gourd banjo. I think this is a good example of just what a gourd banjo can do. Old Man Kelly is … Continue reading Old Man Kelly: Big Eyed Rabbit
Gourd banjo heads are typically made from natural animal hides. Goat and calf hides are the most favored and easiest to come by. Mounting a natural hide head is fairly simple, but does require some time and hand strength. The … Continue reading Gourd Banjo: Mounting the Head
I got this new banjo bridge from Mac the other day. As you can see it looks a little different than the standard three footed banjo bridge. Made from one piece of dogwood, this bridge has four feet; a big … Continue reading Innovative Banjo Bridge from Mac Traynham
The Peghead of a gourd banjo gives the strings something to anchor to. It needs to be big enough and sturdy enough to accommodate the working of the tuning pegs. The Tuning Pegs I use with gourd banjos are friction … Continue reading Parts of the Gourd Banjo
The majority of the information found on this website is also available in paperback book format. The BanjoCraft book is a brief look at banjo making in the small shop. This book is intended to be accessible to banjo people … Continue reading Buy the Book!