Author Archives: jimblack

Kenny Holburn's Banjo

Kenny Holburn’s Banjo

Kenny was one of my pupils at Royal High. He built this banjo as the final project for the Standard Grade Craft & Design course, working on it from September 2012 until March 2013. I marked out and cut the neck at the band saw, but Kenny did almost all the rest.  It was one of the best banjos built in the department.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from twenty-four hardwood segments. The neck was laminated pine with a purple heart hardwood finger board and peg head veneer. Calf skin was stretched over a brass tone ring (rolled and soldered in-house) and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Nylgut (nylon) strings were  fitted.

High resolution photos of the banjo are available at Royal High CDT’s Flickr account.   Each photo is captioned with construction information.

Work in progress photos of a similar banjo being built are available here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157628065703373/

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Gaven Smith's Banjo

Gaven Smith’s Banjo

Gaven was one of my pupils at Royal High.  He built this banjo as the final project for the Standard Grade Craft & Design course, working on it from September 2012 until March 2013. I marked out and cut the neck at the band saw and levelled the frets, but Gaven did almost all the rest.  It was one of the best banjos built in the department up to that date.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from twenty-four hardwood segments. The neck was laminated pine with a hardwood finger board. and peg head veneer. Goat skin was stretched over a brass tone ring (rolled and soldered in-house) and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were  fitted.

High resolution photos of the banjo are available at Royal High CDT’s Flickr account.   Each photo is captioned with construction information.

mikey_prince_banjo_9191b

Mikey Prince’s Banjo

Mikey was one of my pupils at Royal High.  The banjo was his final project on the Standard Grade Craft & Design course.  He completed it in March 2013.

The neck of the banjo was built up from layers of pine, with a purple heart finger board.  The peg head featured contrasting hardwood veneers.

The rim was built up from twenty-four segments of various species of timber and turned on the wood lathe.  Mikey rolled a brass tone ring, soldered its ends and fitted it to the rim.  He stretched calf skin over it and fixed the skin in place with furniture tacks: a tack head arrangement.

The rim is held to the neck with aluminium brackets, cast at school.

Inexpensive worm gear guitar tuners were fitted.

High resolution photos of the banjo are available at Royal High CDT department’s Flickr account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157633431237720/

Steven Grieve's Banjo

Steven Grieve’s Banjo

Steven was one of my pupils at Royal High.  He built this banjo from September 2011 to April 2012.  It was his final model on SQA’s Standard Grade Craft and Design course.  Steven was in year S4.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, but Steven did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from thirty-two hardwood segments – ash and walnut. The neck was formed entirely from purple heart.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over a brass tone ring and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. The brass tone ring was formed in school from 6mm round bar, bent using a ring roller. Its ends were soldered together at the brazing hearth.

Steven Grieve's Banjo

Steven Grieve’s Banjo

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjo, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157629713585845/

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Anna Butchert's Banjo

Anna Butchert’s Banjo

Anna was one of my pupils at Royal High.  She built this banjo from November 2011 to May 2012, working for around an hour and a half after school each week.  She did it is part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  Anna was in year S3.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, but Anna did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from sixteen hardwood segments. The neck was formed from a tropical hardwood.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over a brass tone ring and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. The brass tone ring was formed in school from 6mm round bar, bent using a ring roller. Its ends were soldered together at the brazing hearth.

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjo, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157649322473751/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157628491381775/

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Struan Robertson's Banjo

Struan Robertson’s Banjo

Struan was one of my pupils at Royal High.  He built this banjo from November 2011 to May 2012, working for around an hour and a half after school each week.  He did it is part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  Struan was in year S3.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, but Struan did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from sixteen hardwood segments. The neck was formed from a tropical hardwood.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over a brass tone ring and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. The brass tone ring was formed in school from 6mm round bar, bent using a ring roller. Its ends were soldered together at the brazing hearth.

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjo, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157648915565617/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157628491381775/

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Patrick Collings's Banjo

Patrick Collings’s Banjo

Patrick was one of my pupils at Royal High.  He built this banjo from November 2011 to May 2012, working for around an hour and a half after school each week.  He did it as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  Patrick was in year S3.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, but Patrick did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from sixteen segments of a tropical hardwood. The neck was formed from a tropical hardwood.  The finger board and peg head veneer are oak.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over a brass tone ring and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. The brass tone ring was formed in school from 6mm round bar, bent using a ring roller. Its ends were soldered together at the brazing hearth.

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjo, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157630842549136

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157628491381775/

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Andrew Tyler's Banjo

Andrew Tyler’s Banjo

Andrew was one of my pupils at Royal High.  He built this banjo from November 2011 to May 2012, working for around an hour and a half after school each week.  He did it is as a portfolio piece, not related to a particular course.  Andrew was in year S6.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, but Andrew did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from twenty-four hardwood segments of a tropical hardwood. The neck was formed from a tropical hardwood.  Andrew opted to stain the neck and tail piece.  This added several hours of work to the project. The timber was wet and allowed to dry several times, sanding down each time.  Several coats of black stain were applied, then several coats of varnish on top.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over a brass tone ring and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. The brass tone ring was formed in school from 6mm round bar, bent using a ring roller. Its ends were soldered together at the brazing hearth.

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjo, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157629992589967/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157628065793709/

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Laura Davidson's Banjo

Laura Davidson’s Banjo

Laura was one of my pupils at Royal High.  She built this banjo from November 2011 to May 2012, working for around an hour and a half after school each week.  She did it as a portfolio piece, not related to a particular course.  Laura was in year S6.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, but Laura did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from twenty-four segments of a tropical hardwood. The neck was formed from a tropical hardwood.  The peg head veneer is walnut.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over a brass tone ring and fixed to the rim with furniture tacks. The brass tone ring was formed in school from 6mm round bar, bent using a ring roller. Its ends were soldered together at the brazing hearth.

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using cast aluminium brackets (cast in-house) and hardwood wedges. Steel strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjo, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157631087675564/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157628065793709/

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Morgan Barr's Banjolele

Morgan Barr’s Banjolele

A banjolele is a ukulele size banjo.

Morgan was one of my pupils at Royal High.  This banjolele was his final piece on SQA’s Standard Grade Craft and Design course.  He built it between September 2012 and March 2013.   Morgan was in year S4.

I marked out and rough cut the neck and instrument stand at the band saw, and cut out the decorative veneers for the peg head. Morgan did almost all the rest.

The rim (pot) was turned on the wood lathe from twenty-four hardwood segments of a tropical hardwood. The neck was formed from 5mm layers of pine, laminated together, with a walnut finger board.  The peg head veneer is pine. It was cut with a fret saw and the edges of the individual pieces were rounded.  They were then stained and put back together again.  They depict a road running over a hill, with a sky with sun and clouds.

Calf skin was soaked in coffee, to accentuate its natural colour variations, then stretched over the rim and fixed in place with furniture tacks.  A brass tone ring was not incorporated.

Guitar fret wire has been used instead of banjo wire, as it’s easier to press in place than banjo fret wire. The neck was fixed to the rim using hardwood wedges. Nylon (Nylgut) strings were fitted.

The instrument stand is made from 4mm birch plywood.  Its components are a friction fit, and easily dismantle for transportation in an instrument bag. Bicycle rubber inner tube has been glued to the plywood, to prevent the banjo being marked by the stand.

High Resolution photos of the finished banjolele, along with construction images, are available at Royal HIgh CDT’s Flickr account:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdtlog/sets/72157633200597428/

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