I acquired a really nice piece of cypress wood today. I was pondering building a banjo out of it. I think a verticle stave type rim would look nice. I know a block rim would probably be stronger. I would also make the neck from cypress as well. Just wanting to hear what you guys think.
Unless it's a variety of cypress I'm unfamiliar with, that might be a bit soft for making banjos out of (especially the neck). From what I could find, the Janka rating on bald cypress is 540. Take for comparison, cherry with a rating of 950 and black walnut with a rating of 1100. Aside from using a many-laminations build-up neck, I think that's too soft for the string tension. As for the pot, I'll let someone with more experience chime in. One member here on the Hangout, xnavyguy, has a vertical stave rim made of Douglas fir. Janka rating on Douglas fir is 660.
I had planned on laminating the neck and maybe carbon fiber along with the truss rod. I glued up a rim yesterday and it has a good amount of flex. Maybe the ring and hoop along with some laminations on the back would help that. Who knows? Just a thought.