It's a lot lighter and a little quieter than a regular banjo.
It's based on the traditional folk instruments seen in "Foxfire Volume Three".
First step: Make a tuning peg hole reamer from a pair of scissors.
The reamer is a tool for making tapered holes. First you drill the hole then you ream it out to enlarge and taper it. The taper of the reamer matches the taper of the tuning pegs that will be plugged into the holes.
The smoother, straighter, and better matched to the pegs the holes are, the better your tuning pegs will work.
You can skip this step if you want, either by buying a commercial peg hole reamer, or by tapering your peg holes with a rat-tail file.
Commercial peg hole reamers cost from $26 on up.
They can be obtained from:
Step 1: What Taper?
I've learned from experience that pegs that taper too much are hard to use. You have to loosen, turn, and force them back.
Pegs that don't taper much need to be made from very hard wood and need a hard headstock hole. Otherwise the peg enlarges the hole from use and bottoms out at the knob end of the peg.
I've got an old violin that needs that kind of pegs, so I can kill a few extra birds with this project.
I plan to buy violin pegs for my banjos in the future when I get lazy.
Modern violins use a 30:1 taper.
Here's the scissor jaw with the grinding guide lines marked on it.
The wide end at the base is .34" wide.
The narrow tip, 3" from that is .22" wide.