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Thread: Banjo Uke Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    1,886

    Default Banjo Uke Build

    I'm making a list of parts for a tenor banjo uke, starting with a 10" hand drum. I won't be carving the neck out a block of mahogany this time. I'm buying the neck and fretted fretboard mostly finished.

    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002GFL...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/26-Set-Ukul...IAAOSwTM5Y3Q7m

    If any of you have suggestions for parts or techniques, I'd be glad to hear them.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    70

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    I made one with a 8" hand drum and it was not strong enough to stay in tune. I put it on the shelf for another day but that day hasn't come. I think it needs a full round back with f holes or something like that. I put a strut in line with the strings but that was not up to the job. I want to know how yours works.
    Bill

  3. #3
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    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerBill View Post
    I made one with a 8" hand drum and it was not strong enough to stay in tune. I put it on the shelf for another day but that day hasn't come. I think it needs a full round back with f holes or something like that. I put a strut in line with the strings but that was not up to the job. I want to know how yours works.
    Bill
    Plans I've seen include a 1/4" rod running through the center of the drum.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
    Posts
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    Default

    I made 3 or 4 banjo ukes some years back and i found out that a decent banjo uke needs a sturdy pot with 1/2" minimum wall thickness and at least 12 tension rods and a strong perch pole to hold it all together...this one has 14 skin tension rods.
    my banjo.jpgmy banjo 2.jpg PICT1818q.jpg
    Last edited by Timbuck; 09-22-2018 at 09:19 AM.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    70

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    I agree with Timbuck, there is no shortcut to making a Banjo uke. I pulled my uke out and tried to tune it up and looking a the head was a deep dip with no way to adjust it. I think I will hang it back up and leave it there to remind me that shortcuts are the long to go.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuck View Post
    I made 3 or 4 banjo ukes some years back and i found out that a decent banjo uke needs a sturdy pot with 1/2" minimum wall thickness and at least 12 tension rods and a strong perch pole to hold it all together...this one has 14 skin tension rods.
    So this head with eight tension rods would either need more added to it, or not be used at all? The tension rods are hooked into little brackets, so I'd have to hook any additional ones over the top of the rim, correct?

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...CJ9EEA8I&psc=1
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    835

    Default

    You could do what Magic Fluke do and use a ten inch remo head. what you will need is a coordintor rod or rim rod. I used to buy mine from Wayne Rogers at Goldtone until he decided he no longer wanted my business, now I make my own. If he wont sell to you they are available on ebay.Not sure how good the hand drum you linked to will be but the Remo are excellent quality.
    see my link for some images.
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...hlight=fantail
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Instruments
    New Zealand

  8. #8
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    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
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    The "dip" is because the rim has deformed under string tension, the addition of a rim rod alleviates this issue.

    Sorry, this post was in answer to Farmer Bill.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross Instruments
    New Zealand

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DPO View Post
    You could do what Magic Fluke do and use a ten inch remo head. what you will need is a coordintor rod or rim rod. I used to buy mine from Wayne Rogers at Goldtone until he decided he no longer wanted my business, now I make my own. If he wont sell to you they are available on ebay.Not sure how good the hand drum you linked to will be but the Remo are excellent quality.
    see my link for some images.
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...hlight=fantail
    Thanks for that. I thought of using that head, but I thought it would need the clamps to keep the "skin"tight.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 09-23-2018 at 05:16 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    481

    Default

    I did mine with 25mm dowel through that just happened to match the thumb hole on the store bought hand drum perfectly. The 10mm ply rim bore no string stress at all and there were no deformation issues at all. It used a natural skin head and the sound was smooth and mellow, almost more like a wooden uke than a banjo uke.
    For ultimate DIY tack on then heatshrunk PET bottles with handmade rims work a treat.
    The pocket knife uke https://www.instructables.com/id/Mak...-pocket-knife/ is the most basic example.

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