Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I decided to make a coffin style case for my new Bell Banjo and I finished it today... all 13.8 lbs of it.

Views: 211

Comment by Bell Banjos on May 28, 2013 at 1:11pm

Very nice, Dave.  I gotta get a look at that live and in person. 

Comment by Dave Vinci on May 28, 2013 at 1:16pm

Thanks Terry!  I am planning to be at the event in Maryland in June, and it will be toting my banjo, so if you're there, you can see it then.  One of the things I really like about the minstrel period banjos is their light weight... and then I go and build a steamer trunk to carry my 3 1/2 pound banjo in.

Comment by Jeff on May 28, 2013 at 10:33pm

Dave what did you use to make the case....  Looks like a Baltic Birch or maybe a nice Maple ply.  Very nice craftsmanship from what is see in the pictures...    

Comment by Vince Abadie on May 28, 2013 at 10:43pm

Dave, that's a beautiful case. I was thinking of making one for my Bell and Son Boucher that I built. Did you design it yourself or did you have someone's plans? 

Comment by Dave Vinci on May 29, 2013 at 8:56am

Thanks very much for the kind words.  I looked at what other folks have made and then drew up my own plans to fit my banjo.  The basic construction is using a 1x2 pine frame for the lid with a 1/4" birch plywood set in a 3/8" rabit joint.  The body is using 1 1x6 pine board that has been reduced in width to 5- 1/16".  The joints are glued with Tightbond II® glue and 1-1/2" brads.  It does seem like just a bit of overkill to have a 13.8 lb case for a 3.6 lb banjo. <grin>  I'll send a set of plans if you want them.

Comment by Vince Abadie on May 29, 2013 at 9:20am

Hey David, thanks. I'd love a set of plans. I may end up modifying it some, but I really like the look of yours. You can email them to me here, and I'll get a notice in my gmail account. Or, let me know if you need a physical address to mail a hard copy. Either way is fine with me, and I appreciate you! 

Comment by Nicholas A Bechtel on May 29, 2013 at 10:12am

Looks nice Dave I like the shinny finish. I built one myself about a year or so  ago. Your weight ended up being about the same as mine. I padded mine on the inside and used Red Velvet, that was my most expensive article was the fabric. But I have taken it to many reenactments and it's holding up wonderfully.  Good Job!

Comment by Dave Vinci on May 29, 2013 at 10:44am

Vince, I put the plans up as photos if that's ok with you we're good.  If not, send me your physical address and I'll send hard copy. 

Comment by Vince Abadie on May 29, 2013 at 10:55am

Dave, the photos are perfect. Thank you for sharing them. You could probably sell that design, if you wanted to! 


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