April 21, 2011 by Tim
Some people know that I am a DIY kind of guy (Hey, that rhymes!) and because of that passion I frequent a site call Instructables.com. Today I was looking at it to find some ideas on how to build a jig to cut large pieces of plywood for a new fireplace mantel, and low and behold on the front page was an article on how to make a banjo ukulele, it was a sign that I had to post about it. I know there are people out there that could make one from rim to neck without having to buy anything. This is for those with out a full woodworking shop.
Here is the original article;
But there are issues with it, one is that the person is french, I have no issues with the french, but it can be a little confusing and they call things like a hand drum a tambourine. So I have added some links below for the parts that I have found. good luck and make sure to check in and tell everyone about yours. If you like, send me a few pics and info on it and I will add it to this post. Believe me, I will be doing this soon.
– This one looks like the one in the article – tunable
– One just like the one on the Firefly – Not tunable
– Cookie Tin or metal lunch box – Who says you have to use a rim and head type thing to make one of these? Be creative!
– One referenced in the article – Funny thing is that on Amazon it has the kit under “Other items people have purchased” when you look at the hand drum.
– Mainland has the parts – Currently not on the website, but I called and they have necks, fretboard, and most other parts needed to make a banjo uke. Call or stop by the shop.
– Make your own – Not super hard, I made mine by shaping one out of maple with LOTS of sandpaper and a really flat piece of MDF to attach the sandpaper to.
– Mainland has parts – I assume the same nice 3 leg bridges on the Mainland banjo ukes
– Elderly Music – They have 9 different 4-string ones to choose from.
About the coordinating rod; not sure that it is needed for this build. when I do mine I am going to look in to it and see what I feel is going to work. I will find something like these hanger bolts and a block of wood shaped to fit in the rim to bolt the neck to the rim and not worry about the coordinator rod.
Good luck, hope to see some home made ones soon.