cookie tin banjo

the whole cookie tin banjo

here is the cookie tin banjo i made. i was interested in learning to play the banjo so rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a store bought one i decided to make my own.

after much research i found some dimensions to get me started. the banjo is full size, it has a 25 1/2-inch string length. the neck is wider than a regular banjo, i wanted a little more room. and the tin is a bit smaller than a regular banjo head.

ctb with cover removed to see the inside

i spent about $15.25 on parts and materials. everything else was scrap. the neck extends through the body and is laminated fingered pine with a oak fretboard. it's fretless, but there are inlays to mark the frets.

here you can see that the neck is flat, there is no bend at the nut. the tuning pegs go into the side of the head stock. this does two things it connects the strings to the pegs below the nut, and it hangs the "turny" part out of the back of the head stock like a real banjo.

side view of the neck close up of head stock and 5th peg
the red glass bridge

the nut and bridge are made of glass. i worked at a stained glass shop when i made the banjo. the nut and bridge were rough cut and finished on bevel grinding disks. the notches for the strings were cut with a glass band saw.

the strings are currently store bought light metal banjo strings. i'll probably try some medium strings when it comes time to replace them.

bottom of ctb, showing how the strings attach

here you can see where the strings are attached to the bottom of the banjo. you might reconize that piece of hardware as a picture hanger, it also works great for attaching strings with loops on the end.

another shot of the glass bridge

another shot of the red glass bridge. in this one you can actually see through the bridge, in case you doughted it was glass.

the heal, showing the neck attached to the body

i came up with a nice looking sturdy way to attach the neck to the body. when i cut the hole for the neck to pass through the body i left the material attached along the edge. i then folded the metal tabs over and screwed them to the neck.

a side view