Looks great! How did you make the body?
I Tiged it up out of marine grade aluminium plate that was lying around the shed. I used to use it to make dirt bike bash plates. The top plate is also marine grade but started out 10mm thick & mostly milled away to 3 mm except where ridgidity dictated otherwise. The tuners were of an old headless guitar. I’m a machinist so it’s not hard for me to make stuff like this. In retrospect I should have thinned the non structural areas more cos I think there’s some weight to be saved there.
Looks good to me. How does it sound? Does it have the same kind of 'metallic' sound that a resonator guitar has?
Think of it as a start or prototype and go from there.
I have been thinking about building an aluminium rim long neck but other projects seem to get in the way.
Really nice work! Hopefully you can post a sound file or video, I'd love to hear it (and don't have any Australia trips planned in the near future...)
That brings new meaning to the term Resonator Banjo.
I'm not sure how its a travel banjo though. I presume its meant to be played like a dobro?
Well, that's something you don't see every day. Looks like fun. Wish I could hear it.
G’day Glen. No it’s definitely a banjo sound. Very bright and not overly loud but I really like it.
Dave & Dan, I’m more of a machinist than a musician and I’ve got it pulled apart at the moment. The string break angle at the bridge was nudging 15 degrees so I’m going to alter the neck angle to give me more wriggle room. When it’s back together I’ll see if I can record myself & post it. I suffer terrible performance anxiety.
Mountain Banjo, it’s a travel banjo because it’s 28” long, 8”wide & 2”deep. I’m an on-site machinist & travel all over Australia & SE Asia working on steam turbines and this little banjo is rock solid & can be thrown diagonally into my checked in bag & still leave room for several sets of work clothes, work boots & a helmet
Ok Dave & Dan, I had a go & with a couple of simple tunes & still went to pieces under pressure. I hope they post ok, I’m not tech savvy at all
I’ll have another go
Sounds mighty nice. Nothing wrong with your picking. Thanks for taking the time to record it. It looks like it should travel extremely well.
Thanks for the encouragement all
Very cool build. It sounds good. So does your playing.
Looks really great too!
Thanks Tom. I really enjoyed building it especially the woodwork & I’m gonna do more of it when I retire in a couple of years
Looks good, sounds great.
Somebody COULD steal it, but they could never play it in public, as it's SO different from every other banjo, EVER!
Now, about the adjective "TRAVEL".
Travel as in take it on planes & vehicles, or travel as in backpacking?
What does it WEIGH? (In kilograms or pounds)
Nice going, Dean. It reminds me of the first instrument I built, which was a metal-bodied resonator mandolin. Mine didn't turn out nearly as nice, because I'm not a machinist. I wish I were, sometimes.
Very nice unique sound.
Thanks again for the comments everyone.
Mike, the weight is the only thing I’m not happy with. According to the bathroom scales it weighs in at about 2.2kg & as I said earlier, if I was to make another one I’d probably use 1.5mm aluminium plate rather than the 3mm I had lying around the shed. I think the nut / string anchor could also be made out of something a bit lighter than the lump of brass I got out of the scrap bin. That said it’s still a lot lighter than my standard banjo
Well, now you have something to keep you busy. See how far you can reduce the weight without losing the tone quality.
Yeah. What a great feeling it is when you string it up for the first time & it actually sounds ok. I was shooting for compact & robust. The tone was a real surprise. I shaped the neck different to any banjo I’ve played also. It’s only an A scale but it’s wider & deeper & heavily asymmetric past the 5th fret. I’ve got big hands & I really like the feel of it. Maybe a Mk2 lightweight racing version is called for
'Renaissance Head' 1 hr