Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Hi All:

I see the last time this was discussed was over 5 years ago, so I apologize if it is old news. I tried all my existing banjo cases and the only case that fits it in the house is a guitar gig bag. Not so bad but it seems a little too thin and flimsy.

I see that the Boulder bags are recommended for some banjos but the dimensions seem to be too short (39 x 19 x 22 inches) for that longish Boucher headstock. The banjo seems to be almost 42" long.

Any recommendations?



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Thanks all for your suggestions. That GT gig bag sounds like it would be a good possibility.

This is a strange dilemma. I was very prepared to buy the Gold Tone case mentioned below and sold from Elderly. A friend has a tenor banjp case by them and they are nice and thick. Elderly even has a shopworn one with a missing tab on the zipper for less. However, when I put it in my cart the shipping charges end up being over $50 dollars due to the fact that the case will not fold and fit into a small box. I could actually buy one directly from Gold Tone for more money for the case but significantly less for shipping (like $13) so that would actually be the same cost.

OTOH I found this foam case. I have a similar one for my Benary banjo but the Bell Boucher does not fit in that one but it sounds like the Boucher would fit in this one:


The dimensions are 42 x 16 x 9 inches but it sounds like I might have to put some padding in there and perhaps remove the accessory compartment. Boy, this is fun. Luckily it is no emergency and I have lots of time to deal with this before I go on a world tour. :-)

I actually wonder if the foam construction might be a problem removing the accessory compartment vs. a real wooden hardshell case.


Jim Garber said:

Luckily it is no emergency and I have lots of time to deal with this before I go on a world tour. 

Or, get yourself a sewing machine and some nice upholstery fabric and make a heavy sack:

paisley banjo sack

Strumelia: do I have to have authentic 19th century paisley fabric? Maybe I could take great grandma's quilt and make a gig bag from that. :-)

The banjo came with a very thin cloth sack. I have a feeling that the seller was a civil war re-enactor. Not very protective especially from cannonballs or the like.

Yes, my Bell Stichter arrived in a brown very thin fabric sack seemingly made from a sheet.  I think that's the sack Terry Bell provides.

Just use heavy upholstery fabric of any kind the looks 'timeless' and appeals to you.  I lined mine with additional polar fleece for added cushioning.

Or continue your search if expecting cannonballs (or tomato) projectiles.    :D

hah! I suppose I could just get a Boulder gig bag like you have for your Stichter. The Gold Tone cost more to ship since it will not fold up smaller whereas the Boulder will actually ship for $14. Big difference in shipping cost!

Yeah but remember I said the Boulder will likely not accommodate anything longer than 40", even when stretching it to the max.   :(

Ah, thanks!

I guess you remain convinced that the Alpine bag won't work, but when I was shopping for a bag, I called Bernunzio's and asked them to actually measure one for my Bell Boucher.  They thought there was enough flex in the bag for it to work, and indeed, it fit fine.  Not a lot of extra room, but it provided great protection for the entire time I owned the banjo.  It's a shame you can't try one without having to pay shipping, perhaps both ways.  At the time, I believe Bernunzio's folded it up so it fit into a smaller box, which helped a little.  I'm finished now...good luck with your search!

I not completely convinced that it would not work. I may see Lisa/Strumelia sometime and maybe I can convince her (likely) to bring her banjo and Alpine bag. I just would hate to have to buy something and return it because it would not fit. Too bad because my daughter graduated last year from a college within shouting distance of Bernunzio's. And, of course, I do miss that store. One of my favorites and John is a sweetheart and a real fretted instrument expert as well.

I certainly understand.  I took a risk by ordering one, which worked out for me, but you might feel like it's too snug.  And it would be a pain to ship it back.  I agree on the store.....I got to visit them a couple of years ago, and John showed off his Eastman banjo, which Michelle Younger demo'd for me.  I would love to live nearby.   

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