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greenscoe
09-04-2016, 05:21 AM
Two weeks ago I posted images of a banjo uke I made from a Stagg hand drum. I was pleased with the way it sounded and it was well received by members of the uke group I attend.

A few hours on Youtube looking at drum making easily persuaded me I should make a banjo uke from scratch using a drum made from staves.

So on Friday I cut up some meranti into 3.25x1x3/4" pieces and set about making staves for a 10" drum. This I did with block plane (a template could be made to cut them with a router or table saw). These were then glued together with Titebond using tiewraps after I was convinced that the joints were good. There are 33 staves.

Today, I trued up the outside diameter with block plane and sanding block (120 grit). I simply kept comparing the drum with a circle marked on a flat surface until it was true. The inside was done with a small plane with a curved blade and help from a sanding drum in my pillar drill.

The drum is now to size at 10" diameter with 5/8" wall thickness. The variation in outside diameter is no more than +/- 1/16 and the sides are square with the ends. It's hard to believe it was done by hand and that neither a lathe nor a router was used.

I need to get the metal parts and decide on final drum dimensions to continue the build.

I'm wondering why I don't see others on the forum making banjo ukes?

9392993930939319393293933

Timbuck
09-04-2016, 05:45 AM
Before I started making real ukuleles I started off building banjo ukes ..I made about half a dozen ..Here is one of e'm but it's an old slideshow.
http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/4cb02251.pbw.html
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/banjo%201_zps1bmcub5z.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/banjo%201_zps1bmcub5z.jpg.html)http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/banjo%202_zpsqghgxx1d.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/banjo%202_zpsqghgxx1d.jpg.html)
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/banjo%204_zpsggudgn0q.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/banjo%204_zpsggudgn0q.jpg.html)http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/banjo3_zps2fvtknsg.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/shiregreenbod/media/banjo3_zps2fvtknsg.jpg.html)

greenscoe
09-04-2016, 06:34 AM
Ken: As always beautifully made: thanks for posting these photos. I'm afraid I don't have your patience: mine will be a plain affair with an open back. With me it's simply about trying something new, so here it was seeing whether I could make the drum without making templates or having a lathe. I may never make another one.

(By the way, I also have a Safe T planer on the way from the US, and I've made a Pete Howlett plywood sander but again not nearly so good as your metal one).

DPO
09-04-2016, 10:08 AM
Two weeks ago I posted images of a banjo uke I made from a Stagg hand drum. I was pleased with the way it sounded and it was well received by members of the uke group I attend.

A few hours on Youtube looking at drum making easily persuaded me I should make a banjo uke from scratch using a drum made from staves.

So on Friday I cut up some meranti into 3.25x1x3/4" pieces and set about making staves for a 10" drum. This I did with block plane (a template could be made to cut them with a router or table saw). These were then glued together with Titebond using tiewraps after I was convinced that the joints were good. There are 33 staves.

Today, I trued up the outside diameter with block plane and sanding block (120 grit). I simply kept comparing the drum with a circle marked on a flat surface until it was true. The inside was done with a small plane with a curved blade and help from a sanding drum in my pillar drill.

The drum is now to size at 10" diameter with 5/8" wall thickness. The variation in outside diameter is no more than +/- 1/16 and the sides are square with the ends. It's hard to believe it was done by hand and that neither a lathe nor a router was used.

I need to get the metal parts and decide on final drum dimensions to continue the build.

I'm wondering why I don't see others on the forum making banjo ukes?

9392993930939319393293933

Hi, well done for giving it a go. Your final thickness would need to be about 1/2 an inch or a little less even. Not sure how the joints will hold up with this orientation, block rims are normally done the other way, in three layers, which when done correctly are pretty much indistructable. There is lots of hardware available on eBay, but you will struggle to find a 10 inch tension hoop. Rickard banjos have them in their product listing but never seem to have any in stock, it may be a special order. If I can be of any further help feel free to email me.

sequoia
09-04-2016, 06:02 PM
I'm wondering why I don't see others on the forum making banjo ukes?

Good question. I have nothing against banjo ukes personally, but I see them more as banjos than ukuleles and a different type of instrument I'm not particularly interested in. Nothing against banjos. A great American (by way of Africa) instrument. But it isn't an ukulele in my mind. But keep the posts coming. I'm always interested in building in general no matter what the instrument.

greenscoe
09-04-2016, 08:03 PM
DPO , Dennis- Good to hear from you. I've googled Southern Cross and see you make some really beautiful instruments.

I don't know how this will turn out: I am aware of block rims, and that staves are more often used for drum construction than for banjos. However I found sites on the internet where others (hobby makers) are doing this. I get the impression that block or stave construction produces a better sounding instrument than laminates (but I may also try this?)

My Stagg drum simply has tension hoop made from 3 mm dia metal (steel?). I was thinking I'd have to make my own from brass bar or rod.

As I mentioned above, its just interesting trying something new.

Sequoia: I take your point. As a maker it's like making a banjo but from a playing point of view it's a uke (same chords)and that means I can play it. I'm just surprised other makers dont want the variety of occasionally making the odd banjo uke. Congrats on your latest ziricote uke, it looks great.

Timbuck
09-04-2016, 08:20 PM
I used to get the hardware from Andy Banjo http://www.andybanjo.com/

DPO
09-04-2016, 08:51 PM
I used to get the hardware from Andy Banjo http://www.andybanjo.com/

Yes, I have had a look at their site before, but they only ship within the UK. ��

Vespa Bob
09-05-2016, 04:06 AM
Great job on that drum, greenscoe, that took dedication! As you know, I like building banjo ukes, I love the sound! What scale do you intend making this one?

Bob

greenscoe
09-05-2016, 05:39 AM
Great job on that drum, greenscoe, that took dedication! As you know, I like building banjo ukes, I love the sound! What scale do you intend making this one?

Bob

I like tenor sized instruments.

greenscoe
09-21-2016, 09:29 PM
The banjo uke was completed last week. The wooden rim ended up 10" diam x 2.75” high and 0.5” thick with banding top and bottom, both inside and out. This reinforced/stiffened the rim and may address DPO’s structural concerns. The top edge (bearing surface) was chamfered to 0.125”.

The inexpensive hardware came from EBay/China. The head is an Evan’s J1 frosted drum head, said to have a warm tone similar to calf skin. The tension ring was made from 8 x 4 mm brass bar bent around a wooden former: spring back meant that a 7.5” diam former was needed. The scarf joint was soldered. I resisted notching the ring for the J hooks: I don’t know whether this would add anything?

I made the neck from American hard maple, which I did find to be very hard. It is attached to the rim using 2 threaded inserts (and a plywood patch reinforces the rim). I decided I should use a traditional shaped headstock (despite the use of machineheads). The ‘dowel’ is unconventional and whilst structurally satisfactory, is possibly not the best arrangement acoustically.

It’s finished in True-Oil. I was more impatient than usual to complete this instrument so its certainly not my best workmanship.

It’s loud and has a deeper warmer tone than the instrument I made a few weeks ago from a Stagg drum. I don’t know whether others will consider it to be a great instrument but it was interesting to build and I’m content with this addition to my ever growing collection.

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DPO
09-21-2016, 11:15 PM
Looks good.

orangeena
09-22-2016, 12:36 AM
looks very smart greenscoe. I want to try making one at some point. I have made a few banjolele's in the past, but from the starting point of an 8" hand drum.
I imagined I would be turning the body, but you seem to have managed without that.
Max