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Thread: Basic Banjo Kit from Backyard Music

  1. #1
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    Default Basic Banjo Kit from Backyard Music

    I finally completed my kit build from Backyard Music.
    Here is their description from the Etsy Page;


    • The Basic banjo is 32" long, has 18 frets and vibrating string length of 23.5". The 9.25" diameter painted hoop is made from 1/4" thick industrial mailing tube. Tunes to G or A major in standard G tuning. Designed for casual travel, school use, teens and adults with relatively short arms.
    https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1406985454
    The build took me 5-6 hours spread out over the course of 4 days.
    Sand, paint, stain, set aside.
    Sand, paint, stain, set aside.
    Sand, paint, stain, set aside.
    Assemble, final gluing.
    I put some effort into getting a very good finish on the neck by using very fine steel wool between staining.
    All the work was done in the backyard, I don't have a shop.
    I did the work in the morning and put the parts away in a shed to dry at sunset.

    The result is a very good sounding instrument that is easy to play. I had been worried about high tension and steel strings, but that fear was for nothing. The sound is warm and not too loud, if you have been around a Bluegrass Banjo- those things are sonic weapons.

    The neck and tail piece are one and the same and the resulting set up is bullet proof, you just need to set the bridge up in the right place.

    One of the reasons I chose this kit was all of the many great reviews on the Banjo Hangout Forum.

    My kit was $100 plus shipping. Mapes brand strings were included in the kit.
    I really love my new banjo and its a pleasure to do clawhammer on.
    The only downside is that my wife wants my creation for herself.
    I may have to build a second kit.
    They also sell ready made banjos if you don't want to bother building yourself.

    I'll see if I can get some photos up soon.
    Last edited by maki66; 04-01-2018 at 11:06 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    over yonder...
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    PLEASE!!!

    Tell us MOAR!!!

    Photos and video are humbly requested...

    I am excited to see and hear the result of your project.
    Please click here ->Just the FAQs<- to be taken to the FAQ index so you can learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your interest Booli.
    I can't seem to manage to post photos from my phone, even after several tries.
    I'll try to take some photos with the camera and upload them to the computer an then post them.
    Sorry for the slow reply, I'm working a long stretch of graveyard shifts, again.
    Speaking of which, I brought it in to show my coworker and ukulele buddy. He got to mess with it and now he wants one too.

    I did make some mistakes on the build an they show, but mostly I'm very happy.
    The head stock got a little contour that came out ok.

    As for video, I'm a long way from being able to play a decent tune, six months or a year at least.
    You tube does have multiple videos of others, who are competent, playing theirs;
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...backyard+banjo
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  4. #4
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    Sep 2016
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    Congrats on your new instrument. I still love mine...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wc-uke View Post
    Congrats on your new instrument. I still love mine...
    Thank you very much, I expect I'll have years of use and pleasure from mine too.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  6. #6
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    IMG_1139.jpg
    Size comparison with my Kala Baritone.
    This is the short scale, 23" Basic Banjo Kit.
    Currently tuned to standard banjo G tuning.
    IMG_1141.jpg

    IMG_1144.jpg
    Last edited by maki66; 04-07-2018 at 08:45 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  7. #7
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    IMG_1140.jpg
    This is a detail of the head stock and also the eye bolt screw which serves at the attachment
    point of the strap. The same eye bolt is on the tail piece.
    IMG_1142.jpg

    IMG_1145.jpg

    IMG_1143.jpg
    Last edited by maki66; 04-07-2018 at 08:52 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  8. #8
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    Hello everyone.
    Some details of the build;

    I put a little design in the top of the head stock, not perfect but pretty good.
    I used a rasp and sandpaper.

    The hoop has 3 coats of water based latex, Olympic exterior, and the color was "Sarsaparilla".
    Which is basically a dark, flat brown.
    The neck got a lot of sanding and steel wool, I wanted this part to be super smooth.
    The stain was Watco Satin Wax dark. I forget whether it was 3 or 4 coats, and super fine steel wool between coatings.
    This was the best part of the build for me, I like Watco products and always love the way oiled wood comes out.
    The plywood top of the drum recieved Minwax Polyurethane with Pecan color. 3 coats with light sanding between.
    The glue was Elmer's Wood Glue. I have Titebond wood glue on hand, but this is product Backyard Music recommends.

    I messed up putting the nail on the wrong side of the tail piece.
    Which was kinda stupid as the nail holes were predrilled on the back side.
    I pulled them out easily enough but holes are visible flaws in my craftsmanship.

    The top/side of the neck has brass nails that were factory predrilled for fret markers, a very nice touch, IMO.
    There are no fret marker on the fret board itself. Though you could put some in and I may do so yet.

    Otherwise I'm pretty happy with my work.
    I'm extremely happy with the quality of the kit and the sound of the finished instrument.
    It is a super light instrument and loud enough for around the house/porch/fire side.
    My buddy really like it too, and I'm going to build him one for his birthday.

    I ordered a custom bridge with a 46mm spacing for more room between strings to help clawhammer.
    https://www.banjohangout.org/classified/26894
    The original bridge is 42mm string to string and just fine, but hey, a new custom bridge is cheap and may help.
    I'm going to try the Spillway Dam design in maple with rosewood cap, same height as the original bridge.
    Last edited by maki66; 04-14-2018 at 03:06 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Thanks for the pics and info. maki. Looks great. I have mine tuned to double C (gCGCD), a good tuning for a lot of old time clawhammer stuff. One reason I kept acquiring banjos (other than liking the way they look and sound) was so I could keep different tunings on them, Standard G, double C or D and sawmill (https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/229218) tuning. Also, my banjo fits nicely with a little extra space in the Superior Open Back banjo gig bag. I don't quite remember where I bought it online but Elderly Music sells them for a little over $30.

  10. #10
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    Thank you.
    I can see doing the same, its nice to have an instrument in a different tuning immediately at hand.
    I'm looking at mountain style and minstrel styles both kit and premade.

    Is this your gig bag?
    https://www.elderly.com/superior-ope...njo-gigbag.htm
    If so it looks nice for the price.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

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