Posts Tagged ‘fretless’

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.

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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.

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DIY Banjo Kits available

March 4, 2015

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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

Dimensions:
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 1 of 3

February 26, 2015

Supplies are got

February 21, 2015

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I have stocked up on everything needed to prepare another dozen kits. The first three are scheduled to go out this Monday. Many more available so email for yours! $60 plus shipping.

You will need some wood glue to attach the  two parts of the neck. It is still really easy, there are dowel pins to guide you. You also need something to put the tacks into the pot, like a tack hammer or maybe even a pot or frying pan would work?

Trying to source some cardboard boxes that are the proper dimensions has been a pain so I have resigned to building wooden boxes for every kit here on out, or at least until I find a cardboard box that  is cheap and that I don’t have to cut in half.

Buy a kit at carverbanjos@gmail.com or

carverbanjos.com which will direct you to my ebay page.

DIY banjo kits and website back up

February 17, 2015

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Alright, the new banjo kits are being cut out as of yesterday. The first new kit is pictured above.

My first set of kits were made of pine plywood. This new set is made of fancy hardwood birch ply. It is quite a bit more expensive for me to build, but I am still trying to make this kit as competitively priced as possible. I’m taking the “sell in bulk to make a profit” approach here. I’m so crazy I’m passing the savings on to you!

My brother helps me out a lot with the business. He helps run my ebay pages and has built a website for me. He recently updated it. Some links are still being created and moved around. You can find more info and buy the DIY banjo kit there. The coolest part is that you can hear the banjo there too. Check it out: www.carverbanjos.com

Banjos going out, new coming in

February 13, 2015

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Thanks to everyone that purchased a banjo kit lately. I’m glad they all sold. I spent today going through each kit, making sure that they are all complete and of a quality I can be proud of. I’ll be shipping out most of them tomorrow.

While there is a demand for these, I realize I need to make more. Its a win/win situation here. I got the supplies to make another ten kits. I have made a few improvements. I will be leaving the neck and dowel disconnected for the buyer to glue together. This way I can get each kit packaged into a more convenient box for shipping.

The pot will have a larger drum head to increase volume. The neck and peghead design will stay the same as before. I’m not sure if everyone knows this- the curvy cuts on the side of the fingerboard (double ogees) are not just for looks, they indicate the 5th, 7th and 12th fret positions. This can be useful especially to those that are intimidated by the lack of frets. Fretless is fun!

The best feature of the new kit, in my opinion, is the new material. They will be made of hardwood birch ply rather than the pine ply of the first batch. This gives the banjo a more finished look right out of the box, and will take nicely to any stain or varnish of your choosing. This stronger material will also allow the player to use nylon OR steel strings. I imagine a harder wood will also help increase overall intonation and sustain.

Now for the price. I have sold the first kits at $50 plus $20 for shipping. I want to go ahead and combine the two numbers and account for my slightly higher materials cost to arrive at a price of $80 shipped. That’s $80 for a banjo kit shipped to your house.

I expect to have ten kits ready to ship by Monday the 23rd of this month.  I want to open up to pre-orders today. So email me at carverbanjos@gmail.com if you are interested in the new kit. Everything is included to make your own banjo. All you need is wood glue for the neck and a hammer to tack on the skin. It’s a very simple and rewarding project that pretty much anyone can do over a weekend. And don’t worry if you’ve never built a banjo before! I’ll help you out along the way!

I will also have a detailed how-to video uploaded to youtube for everyone to view. It shows exactly how to assemble these simple banjos from the beginning to end.

Banjo Kits

February 7, 2015

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I’ve got a lot of projects going at the moment, why don’t you take some off my hands? This is just a test to see if I get any interest. I have a few unfinished banjos that could be a fun little project for a parent/child team. These are super easy to put together. All you need is a hammer to tack the skin in place. And some glue for the nut, though I am thinking I will sell these with the nut already glued in place just to save some trouble.

Kit includes:

-Pre-drilled, pre-shaped neck

-Pot/hoop

-Tuning pegs

-Nylon strings

-Leather tailpiece

-Goat Skin

-Tacks for skin

-Nut and bridge

You can give it a final sanding and paint or varnish it as you please.

I only want $50 per kit (plus shipping). I want to start up a new banjo design project, but I’d like to get a few of these out of the way first to help fund it. Email me at carverbanjos@gmail.com

Appalachian Mountain Banjo

February 3, 2015

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4I’m kind of surprised that this blog gets consistent views despite my sporadic posts. I will make an attempt to update more often. I always have a little project going on and I’ll try to share as it is happening.

I’ve got another mountain banjo for sale here now. It sounds awesome. It looks great. It has steel strings and a frailing scoop, and it is loud. They are my favorite type of banjo.

There are a few other builders of this style of banjo that can be found online. I think mine are a notch above the rest in style. You can own this one for $300 plus shipping. Email me.

The All Seeing Hand

January 31, 2015

photo-1 photo-2 photo-5 photo-4 photo-3                    Banjo #100! And 10 years of building.

I made a hand banjo about two years ago and really enjoyed the challenge of the build. I kind of wanted to revisit the idea…so I did. Illuminati is a huge buzz word these days. I like the creepiness of the image. It’s nothing new though, the image has been around for a very long time.

I carved an eye into the palm of the hand and inlayed cedar for the iris and a very dark bit of walnut for the pupil. The rest of the neck is walnut, but quite a bit lighter than the pupil bit. There isn’t a whole lot of  an angle on the peghead and the shape didn’t lend itself too well to get those strings down from the nut so I drilled holes under the bottom eyelid. The strings enter there and come out on the back side of the hand to attach to the pegs at the fingertips. I wanted the strings to look like they were pouring out of the eyes, kind of like tear drops I suppose.

I took extra care sanding this one. I mean I sanded for days. It really shows in the finish. I rubbed on a few coats of tung oil and it shines like its wet. I’m happy with it.

This banjo is, of course, for sale. I am asking for $600 plus shipping. Email me.