What Are Some Tips to Build Your Own Banjo?


Quick Answer

When building a banjo, pay special attention to the instrument's neck, as it is the most complex part. To save time, try applying coats of wood finish to the rim of the body while building the neck so that both parts are ready at the same time.

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Full Answer

The first step of building a banjo is sanding the wood rim and fitting the tone ring around the instrument's body. Then, shape the fret board of the instrument, and be sure to clamp it face-down to a riser block when doing so. After this, install single pearl position markers on the third, fifth, 10th, 17th, 19th and 22nd frets. Double pearl position markers go on the seventh and 12th frets of the instrument.

Once the pearl markers and side inlays are installed, carefully install frets and a reinforcement bar onto the neck, adjusting the tension as necessary to prevent bowing. Construct the head of the instrument at this point, paying attention to the inlays and peg tuners. Once the neck is ready, attach it to the body using threaded bolts.

Upon attaching the neck to the instrument's body, install the nut, tailpiece, strings and bridge. String the instrument, and tighten the strings to pitch. Adjust the outer hex nuts on the rim to adjust the action of the strings.

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