Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Hi all, after trying my friend's Prust tack head last summer I fell in love with the sounds of minstrel banjos. Being a woodworker I wanted to take on the challenge of building a Minstrel banjo. I am going for a tack head with a Boucher neck and a scroll headstock. I do, however, have some initial questions.

First, I opted fot a 3 ply maple pot, but when I took it off my form I noticed that it had a few spots that were out of round. I was able to smooth the outside of othe rim to make it reasonably round. However, on the inside there is a section about 4 inches long that is a eighth inch out of round only along the bottom edge of the rim. The entire top edge is reasonably round. My question is should I fuss over this some more and try to build it up, or is it nothing to worry about?

Also, do most folks cap the laminated bottom edge of their rims? Mine is all solid maple, but you can see the lines.

I am sure I'll have more questions as I go along and I really appreciate any comments and suggestions. This is a great resource!

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Hi Everyone,

So I decided to make a new rim for my banjo.  This one is a LOT thinner at about 5/16th of on inch.  It is also more consistent in wall thickness and more round than the first (still not perfect though, and that's ok).  I have also started working on the neck and the neck to rim connection.  I put a picture on here, but I am going to try and get the fit a little better (any suggestions, I am currently using a piece of sandpaper wrapped over the rim).  I think my next step will be to cut the back of the neck down close to size, cut the headstock, and then the ogee on the neck.  I was planning on installing the perch pole and fitting it to the rim before I did the rounding on the neck.  What do you all think?


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