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Nov 29, 2021 - 10:14:39 AM
8 posts since 8/7/2021

Hello!

I'm a beginner banjo player and have to take some time off school so I thought I would do something fun to pass the next few months.

I don't have experience with power tools outside my high school tech class so I'm going for a kit. I'm looking for either a good gourd banjo kit available in Canada or someplace I can get a neck kit similar to what Bell and Sons would have provided, and I can order the gourd and other parts from somewhere else.

Any leads?

Nov 29, 2021 - 10:37:25 AM

Fathand

Canada

11875 posts since 2/7/2008

I bought a Bell and Sons neck once. It was nice enough but they charged me 5 times the actual shipping cost and when I mentioned it, they didn't really care. I won't buy from them again.

That said, I could probably build you something similar with the pegs if I knew what you were looking for. I think I have a extra skin here too and a smallish gourd.

I also have some gourd seeds if you want to try the long term approach :).

Nov 29, 2021 - 10:59:17 AM

Banjo Jenna

Canada

8 posts since 8/7/2021

Yes, I've heard some really bad things about them which is why I was hoping to avoid them. What a crazy way to treat your customers...

Thank you for the amazing offer! I'm not totally sure what I'm looking for since I'm not very experienced :) I think just something simple, also preferably fretted since I'm a beginner. I heard that part of the charm of a gourd banjo is the fretless sound, but I'm not comfy enough for that yet. Just looking for a fun project and to try out the beginner-friendly version of making/assembling an instrument. What are your rates?

I think maybe I'll try growing my next banjo ;) LOL 

Nov 29, 2021 - 11:35:25 AM

Fathand

Canada

11875 posts since 2/7/2008

PM sent

Nov 29, 2021 - 5:04:48 PM

493 posts since 10/18/2020

Banjo Jenna Built my first gourd banjo not to long ago I hand carved the neck out of a 2x4 piece of zebra wood i had laying around using pretty much all hand chisels the only thing i used a power tool to cut out was the peghead which i could have cut that with a jewelers saw if i had to.
Search for people selling gourds in your area, you can get a set of violin pegs Fairley cheap on eBay i also made my tailpiece out of a piece of snakewood i had laying around

Nov 30, 2021 - 7:37:03 AM

Noodlin

USA

94 posts since 6/3/2019

I assembled and finished a Brian Carver cello banjo kit a year ago that I haven’t been able to put down ever since. It was reasonably priced, approachable and fun, and launched me into woodworking for real (in fact I just finished building my first banjo from scratch a few days ago, and it was mostly a hand tool build as well). I know he sells gourd kits too, though gourds are subject to availability. Might be worth checking his site out. Carverbanjos.com

Good luck and have fun!

Edited by - Noodlin on 11/30/2021 07:39:10

Nov 30, 2021 - 7:14:09 PM
likes this

115 posts since 2/7/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Noodlin

I assembled and finished a Brian Carver cello banjo kit a year ago that I haven’t been able to put down ever since. It was reasonably priced, approachable and fun, and launched me into woodworking for real (in fact I just finished building my first banjo from scratch a few days ago, and it was mostly a hand tool build as well). I know he sells gourd kits too, though gourds are subject to availability. Might be worth checking his site out. Carverbanjos.com

Good luck and have fun!


I also built a carver banjos kit, the gourd banjo. It was easy to put together and low cost. There was an odd thing about the string routing on the peghead, he had the strings go through holes and loop onto the pegs from the back, I think the reason was he simplified the construction for mass production so there was no peghead angle. He may have changed it since then. It worked well enough and was a good experience, especially in attaching the skin. It certainly sounds good.

Dec 1, 2021 - 12:36:30 AM

Noodlin

USA

94 posts since 6/3/2019

quote:
Originally posted by OldTymeBanjo
 

I also built a carver banjos kit, the gourd banjo. It was easy to put together and low cost. There was an odd thing about the string routing on the peghead, he had the strings go through holes and loop onto the pegs from the back, I think the reason was he simplified the construction for mass production so there was no peghead angle. He may have changed it since then. It worked well enough and was a good experience, especially in attaching the skin. It certainly sounds good.


Interesting!  The banjo I have has the strings mounted conventionally, but the the peghead is actually flat- he's cut it out in such a way though that the flat surface is lower than the fingerboard, so the strings still come off the nut at a bit of an angle. Seems to work fine.  I enjoyed the experience of assembling it, and it's entertaining to play. That is quite a low bass string on the 6string I got. :-)

Edited by - Noodlin on 12/01/2021 00:36:57

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