How To Build A Simple Banjo

If you like stringed instruments, you probably want to know how to build a simple banjo. Banjos date back to the late 17th century. They are popular in musical genres such as bluegrass, country and ragtime. The next time you decide to make a homemade instrument, try making a simple banjo.

To build a simple banjo, you will need:

  • Large plastic container 2-4 qt.
  • Scissors
  • A 30 X 1 X 2 in. wood strip
  • A hammer
  • 2 1 in. nails
  • 2 screw eyes
  • Nylon fishing line, 3 yards
  • 3/4 X 2 X 1/4 in. piece of wood, two
  1. Create the base and neck of the banjo. Cut the top half of the container off and throw it away. To build this simple banjo, you will need to cut two trap door flaps into the container. Cut them on opposite sides of the container.  The flaps should be the size of the wood strip.  They should also be about an inch from the bottom of the container.  Now you should slip the wood strip through the flap doors. If done correctly the flap should fit tightly.
  2. Place your nails and screw eyes.  At the end of the wood strip, closer to the container, hammer the nails in side by side.  ¼ inch of the nails should be left showing on the banjo. At the other end of the neck. Screw the screw eyes in. Leave them partially unscrewed at this time.
  3. Make your banjo strings.  Take your fishing line and  tie pieces between the nails and the screw eyes. Tie the knots securely, so that this banjo doesn’t fall apart. Use your scissors to cut the fishing line to appropriate length.
  4. Construct the bridge of the banjo. To make the bridge of the banjo, you’ll need one of the smaller pieces of wood. Place it under the strings.  It should be located in the center where the stings cross the bottom of the container. In your banjo bridge, cut some string size grooves. This will allow the strings to sit in the bridge securely.
  5. Tighten the strings. This simple banjo will be complete with a little string tightening.  Take your other small piece of wood and place it under the strings. This time it should be placed near the screw eyes.  The wood is used to give the banjo strings a bit of extra tension. Screw the eyes tighter to tighten your strings.  To get the maximum resonance, tighten the strings as much as possible.
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