Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Check out photos from the workshop I am currently attending with Jeff Menzies at his studio in Ontario.  What a thrill.
Has anyone considered having a workshop for this group?  I am learning so much.  This is a wonderful experience.

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Nice peghead and soundhole!! It's more than fun isn't it?
Wait 'till AEBG.  We will put the wonderful in experience.
I'll bring this one to the gathering. Excited about the event!

Carl Anderton said:
Wait 'till AEBG.  We will put the wonderful in experience.
Hi Dena, Looks like a great workshop.......like Terry B I loved the peg head and sound hole....... anyone considered having a similar workshop in the UK ?  I'd like to put  my name down.
Hey, Sylvia.  Where are you located?  Jeff says he is interested in doing a workshop in the UK.
Wow,  he would come all that way to do a workshop...... I'm actually on the Isle of Wight , a small island off the South Coast of England so I don't think there would be enough people to warrent a work shop here on the Island but somewhere  more central in England would probably be better for custom for him. Wonder if anyone else on Minstrel in the UK would be interested and perhaps some on Classicbanjo . ning. We may get some interest just from these two posts. Thank you Dena.

Nice work! Jeff is doing a workshop in Madison, Wisconsin, in July. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and hosted by the UW. See Jeff's website for more info and to register, or call me at that Museum 608-266-1009. 

Michael Telzrow

I'd definitely be interested in a workshop. I'm from Wales, but I'm studying in Huddersfield (near Manchester & Leeds). I've been looking to try and build a gourd banjo myself this summer, but I can't find any suitable gourds in the UK, so I might have to improvise a bit!

I got my gourds on Ebay.  You can look for martin/birdhouse gourds, or canteen gourds.  I would suggest contacting the sellers who sell large numbers of gourds, and tell them what you are interested in.  My martin gourds have very thick walls, and are really hard.  Does anyone else know what gourd varieties work well?


I should add here after the fact that I built the banjo from scratch after buying the gourd, walnut for a neck, and a banjo head from Elderly Instruments

beautyfortheashes said:
 I can't find any suitable gourds in the UK
Check out flatfootjohnny (via google) he is in England and making great-looking gourd banjos. 
Northern Dipper has the most amazing supply of gourds I've seen.  They are thick walled, wonderfully shaped and inexpensive.  Northern Dipper
I got a nice canteen gourd from Northern Dipper a while ago for about $9.00 I just started working on a neck for it this week. All my friends with band saws were away so I did all my rough shaping with saw cuts and chisels. For a while it looked like I'd subcontacted to a beaver - but it's looking much better now. For no particularly good reason I've decided to make a "pre-Sweeney" (or pre-whatever) four-string, with a thumb string but no bass. I'm aiming for show-and-tell by the end of the month if all goes well.

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