A long awaited update…

October 28, 2018

Hey guys, it’s been a few years since I have posted here. I’ve been getting a few emails and it seems like some people still stumble upon this old blog. I admit, I abandoned posting here once I got things rolling with my own website, carverbanjos.com.

Well, I dug out the old password and logged in for a little update so here it is:

I am still selling DIY banjo kits. I’ve sold nearly a thousand now. I still build each one by hand, though the process has been greatly improved and streamlined. I’ve offered a dozen different models over the years from minstrel to gourd to mountain style.

I have gotten this whole process down to a science and I now make large batches of just one kit model and I focus the rest of my time in the shop on other banjo projects.

I’ve developed a hybrid electric banjo and well, it does a lot of things. Check it out at Bantronic.com.

Thank you to everyone that has supported Carver Banjos by purchasing a kit or some other banjo from me. I’ve had an awesome time pursuing my dream and my love for woodworking.

I’ll consider this blog a little time machine, I don’t plan to keep it updated regularly. If you want to see what I’m up to just go to carverbanjos.com or check my page at YouTube.com/brncrvr.



Gourd Banjo Kits

June 9, 2015

I present the gourd banjo kit. I have a limited number of gourds to work with so this kit is going to be sold in short runs. About a dozen are already floating around out there.

photo 4

Hear a sound-clip at my website, carverbanjos.com.  You can buy it there or on my ebay page. It comes with nylon strings and has a warm mellow tone. Similar to the DIY kit sound, but more volume and bass. Super easy to assemble and requires no tools at all.

You can put it together and be playing within an hour, or take your time and give it a nice sanding and finish as a weekend project.

I have a few small gourds, so I figure why not make a mini travel sized gourd kit? The scale length is just 17″ (full size kit scale is 24″). Still feels good in your hands and the playability is good. I will have five of them available very soon. Email me if you would like to reserve one: carverbanjos@gmail.com.


Over 100 kit banjos in 4 months!

June 8, 2015

photo 3Stoked to say that I have shipped out over 100 banjo kits since I stumbled upon the idea exactly four months ago.

Its been a lot of work but it has been rewarding. I’m so excited to see these kits being put together and played. If you have one of these kits, send me a picture so I can share it here in a future post.

So far we have the original DIY kit, the fretted and fretless Mountain Man kits and the Gourd kit (more info coming soon). With a Uke kit and a Mini-Gourd kit still in the works. Tons of fun developing these kits, thanks for all of the input from the users.

Skinning a Mountain Man (banjo)

June 8, 2015

photo 2

Well, this picture probably doesn’t make the process look easy. I’m realizing that some things are actually easier done than said. How do you get the skin inside a mountain banjo? Its easy really. I just can’t tell you how. Watch this video and it might make more sense than the written directions that I provided in my Mountain Man Banjo Kits. If you have purchased one of these kits and are having trouble with the skin, slow down. Think about the end product. Think about what you are needing to do. You have the top and bottom plates, a skin, a tone ring, some tacks and some screws, put them together in the correct order and you have a banjo.

Mountain Man Banjo Kits

April 8, 2015

photo-4 http://carverbanjos.com/sound/mountman.mp3photo-6

Kits are the way to go. I’ve been having so much fun with the DIY Banjo Kit these past few weeks that I wanted to expand my models available. This new design is one of several to come in the near future. It is a fretted (!!!!) mountain style banjo. I’m really excited to be working with frets, and I think it will be more appealing to the   modern banjo player.

I have been developing this kit for the past 6 or 7 weeks now, and it has been pretty hard for me to not share before it was ready, but here it is, and I’ve got ten of them ready to ship out.

This banjo is based on the ever popular homemade banjo found in the “Foxfire 3” book series. It is similar to the banjos made by Stanley Hicks and Frank Proffitt in the Appalachians. A unique and beautiful instrument with a rich history.

Each kit includes:

-maple hardwood ply neck and pot assembly

-steel strings

-16 pre-placed frets

-steel tone ring

-goat skin

-built-in frailing scoop

-brass hardware

-walnut tuning pegs, nut and bridge

-detailed assembly instructions

I am also working on getting some how-to assembly videos together.

These kits are $85 plus shipping. Email me at carverbanjos@gmail.com

Sound clip posted above and found here: http://carverbanjos.com/sound/mountman.mp3

The Daily Frail and DIY Banjo Kits

March 9, 2015

Patrick Costello has made a great little review for my kits. Visit his website, dailyfrail.com if you haven’t before. He is a huge figure in the old-time banjo world, and a genuine guy!

DIY Banjo Kits available

March 4, 2015


I’ve got a lot of these kits ready to go. Email me at carverbanjos@gmail.com. I accept paypal and cashier checks. They are $65 plus $20 shipping in the US. I will ship internationally at cost.

I have these listed on ebay, but I prefer to sell them directly. There are a lot of fees on ebay. So if you are reading this and want one, don’t hesitate to email me.

Includes everything you need to build your own old-time banjo!
No woodworking experience required!

A simple banjo design that still offers a few extra comforts of higher-end instruments, like the double ogee on the fingerboard that indicates the 5th, 7th and 12th fret positions.
This kit includes everything needed to assemble a fully playable banjo. The only tool required is a hammer to tack on the skin and wood-glue for the neck. The entire process takes about two hours, following detailed instructions provided. Made of hardwood birch plywood and featuring hand-carved walnut tuning pegs, nut and bridge. With a leather tailpiece and goatskin head. This would certainly be a fun weekend project for someone of any level of banjo experience.

This banjo is modeled after the old-time fretless banjo dating back to the pre-Civil War era. It is ideal for the clawhammer banjo player: fretless with a built-in frailing scoop.

Stain, paint or varnish it to your liking, or play it all natural.

You will get:
-hardwood birch neck and pot
-real goatskin
-brass tacks for drumhead
-leather tailpiece
-tuning pegs
-nut and bridge
-2 sets of nylon strings
-detailed assembly instructions both written and illustrated

36″ long
24.5″ scale length
Pot diameter is 11″
Drum head diameter is 8″

DIY BANJO KIT Assembly part 3 of 3

February 28, 2015

DIY BANJO KIT Assembly part 2 of 3

February 26, 2015

DIY BANJO KIT Assembly part 1 of 3

February 26, 2015