So, you're making a banjo for yourself and you need to know how to make a banjo neck? Here, we're going to tell you exactly how to do that. This could take you a good few hours if you are dedicated enough to get it all done quickly. Overall, the entire process is not too difficult.
Stuff you'll need:
- Wood (The types that you want to make your banjo neck out of)
- Paper, for drawing the design
- Sharpie, for drawing the design onto the wood
- Know someone with a band saw and a drill/Have a band saw and a drill
- Know someone that can sell you a truss rod
- Banjo tuners
- Make a banjo neck design. The nice thing about making your own banjo neck is that you can design it however you want. You can make the neck thinner if you want or change the fret height. There are a few things that should remain standard though. The fret spacing should remain standard and the type of neck should also be standard to a banjo. Anyway, draw out on a piece of paper what your banjo neck design is. Get all the measurements correctly.
- Choose what kind of wood to make the banjo neck out of. These step is pretty important. You need to choose a type of wood that is durable, but also lightweight. There many different types of wood: maple, flame maple, alder and basswood. You also need to choose what type of wood to make the finger board out of. However, if you plan to make the finger board part of the neck itself, then you won't need to do choose what type of wood to make the fretboard.
- Obtain the wood that you want to make the banjo neck out of. You can usually go to a local hardware store and find wood. However, if you're using a rarer type of wood, then you may need to buy online.
- Draw your design on your wood. Use a sharpie or a marker to draw it. This way, it'll be nice and dark for you to see. Also, use rulers and accurate measurements to draw your design on the wood. If you make a mistake when drawing the design, don't panic. Just draw it correctly and ignore the mistake.
- Cut the wood. You'll need to go to a place that has a band saw. If you already have a band saw, then you probably have the knowledge and experience to use it. However, if you don't have a band saw and you don't know how to use one, then you should ask a professional to do this for you. However, be warned it might take you a while to find someone that has one. Not a lot of people need them these days. When you find someone that has one, have them cut the wood for you. Cut everything, from the neck profile to the truss rod slot to the fret slots. Shape the neck to fit with your banjo.
- Drill the tuning peg holes. In your design, you should've measured the size of the tuning peg holes. If you have a drill, then you're good to go. If not, try to find someone with a drill. Make sure that you, or that person, has the right size drill bit. If not, you'll need to change your design or buy the correct size drill bit. Keep in mind, if you change your design, the tuners may not fit.
- The truss rod. For the truss rod, we recommend having someone make that for you. It can cause lots of frustration. So, just find somebody that will be willing to make the truss rod for you!
- Put everything together. Now, it's time to put everything together. Slide the truss rod into the truss rod slot that you cut. Then, attach your tuners onto the headstock. Slide the frets into the slots and make sure that it will stay in there tightly.