Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

How do you transport your instrument to gigs? I remember Bob Winans having a case fit with foam to hold 2 instruments. What is the best case for a Boucher type banjo?

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I just use a gig bag for my tackhead, but then it doesn't travel far from home. I have a hard shell case for my old Vega and a 'delta' rifle-style case for my Deering assault banjo.
This is my first post. I joined today and have posted some pictures of an 1862 banjo AND CASE made by a solider in Company G, 6th Minnesota Volunteers, and currently in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society. The inscription on the interior of the head reads "Made on the Indian Expedition, 1862, from an old bedpost." The maker, Franklin Brawley, was an 18 year old musician (fifer or drummer) and served on expeditions against the Dakota Indians for nearly 2 years before heading south, where he grew ill and died in hospital in January 1865. The banjo was donated in about 1912 by his family. I'm attempting tom make a copy of this instrument......

The case is in the same collection. Today I don't have photos of the interior, but will endeavor to get some (a bit tricker since the current fiscal problems have closed the historic site where the Brawley instrument and case are housed!)

Jim Moffet


I know this post is old, but it is new to me.  I saw 2 banjo gig bags by ACCESS on Elderly Instruments and wondered if you remembered which was the one to which you were referring http://elderly.com/search/elderly?terms=access+banjo+bag


Tim Twiss said:

I think I found a good solution. As a retailer, I made pretty good search for cases, as quality gig bags have been a problem in my business. I found a source, and had them send their banjo bag with my other order. It is a perfect fit for a typical Boucher, and offers good protection for light travel (non-airline). It has a stiff support, where most gig bags are too soft and lack protection.
I will post some pictures later. The brand name is ACCESS.

Access has three levels of bags...all nice. By the time you get to a stage III, it is pretty stiff and solid.


I noticed that. Wasn't really sure if stiff and solid translated into better protection for the banjo or if it increased the risk of damaging the instrument (like if the fit wasn't exact and it moved around in the case).

It is well padded on the inside. I have one extra....I'll bring it to AEBG if somebody needs to buy a good case.

Here's a gourd banjo and case I built a few years back. The case is made of quarter-inch baltic birch plywood, put together with carpenters glue and very small brads. The hard part was designing and cutting all the angles to assemble the sides. After that it was simple to add the top & bottom, and cut the lid off. I brushed on oil-based satin black paint, nailed leather strips for hinges and handle, and brass hooks from the hardware store. The inside is cheap wall paper. I antiqued the inside with a wet tea bag, but it's not obvious in the photo. I painted the lettering with artist's latex paint and immediately daubed most of it off with tissues to achieve the faded look.


(I haven't played this in quite a while and wouldn't mind finding it a good home.)

Steve that case is a real work of art.

Do you still play the gourd?- it looks great too!

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