making your own banjo ukulele from a neck taken from a kit and a cheap tambourine.

Please excuse any mispelling or mistake, I'm french and was taught english a long time ago ...

Step 1: materials

- a ukulele neck and fretboard taken from a cheap soprano ukulele kit ($20 here in France). I bought mine here : http://www.thomann.de/fr/hosco_ukulele_kit.htm. Kit includes pegs and nuts. fine
- 8" tambourine (should cost about $15)
- a block of hard wood (1"1/2 x 2" approximately). I used sapelli, any harwood is fine.
- threaded rod (1/4", 2 ft.)
- aluminium tube (your threaded rod should fit in)
- 1/4" nuts + washers
- a metal piece with holes to make tailpiece. I used a piece of an old construction game called "Mecano".
- 2" of hard wood cleat (1/4" thick)
- plastic guitar saddle

<p>Fantastic. The aluminium tube is a great idea; it holds the neck on and stops the wooden hoop from changing shape.</p>
<p>Heya, you may want to change the name of the item you are using from Tambourine to Hand Drum. A Tambourine has metal cymbals all around, when googling you will never find the hand drum. If you google Hand drum it shows the correct item</p><p>Thanks for the tutorial, now i have found the parts im going to make one :D</p>
<p>You can just buy a tambourine and cut the metal cymbals off it.</p>
<p>Combien est ce que sa coute au total ? <br><br>Whats the total price of this construction ?</p>
Hi! A billion of thanks for your tutorial! <br> <br>I'm building my own banjolele today. I just have a few question: <br> <br>How do you fix the bridge to the skin of the drum? Do you simply glue it? How? <br> <br>How do you fix the aluminium tube to the other side of the drum (not the neck side)? Do you think it's better to have an aluminium or a wooden element? <br> <br>En fran&Atilde;&sect;ais: <br> <br>merci mille fois pour ton tutorial! J'ai toujours r&Atilde;&ordf;v&Atilde;&copy; d'avoir un banjolele et les prix sur le net sont monstrueusement cher. Je me fabrique donc le mien, &Atilde;&nbsp; l'aide de ton tutorial. Quelques questions: <br> <br>Comment fixes-tu le &quot;bridge&quot; &Atilde;&nbsp; la peau du tambour? Est-ce qu'il n'y a pas de risques pour la peau? <br> <br>A quoi sert exactement la tige de m&Atilde;&copy;tal, derri&Atilde;&uml;re le tambourin? <br> <br>Merci beaucoup!
Hi, the bridge isn't fixed on the tambourine skin, it is only maintained by strings pressure. We must be able to adjust its position from time to time. <br> <br>And in french :) <br> <br>Le chevalet n'a pas besoin d'&ecirc;tre fix&eacute;, c'est la pression des cordes qui le maintient en place. Il faut pouvoir ajuster sa position de temps en temps. Je te conseille cependant de tracer des petits rep&egrave;res au feutre fin quand tu as trouv&eacute; la position id&eacute;ale. Comme &ccedil;a, quand on change les cordes, c'est facile de la retrouver. <br> <br>La tige filet&eacute;e et le tube servent &agrave; raidir le tambourin... Mine de rien, 4 cordes de ukulele, &ccedil;a tire pas mal :) <br> <br>Bonne construction et vive le ukulele :) <br> <br>PS. Ce serait sympa quelques photos de l'objet ;)
Thanks a million times for your crucial help! <br> <br>I just finished my Banjo &quot;Banjojo #1&quot;. I had some troubles on several moments, specially when fixing the neck on the drum. I also had troubles with the very last adjustments, for getting a proper sound and a sustained tune (i.e. in order not to have to tune it every 2 minutes). <br> <br>I'm not a DIY-man at all, I had to try and purchase almost all the tools needed! So next time I'll probably change some elements and conceive a better tool. <br> <br>But I'm already very happy with Banjojo #1! <br> <br>Here is a link to a presentation video of the Beast: <br> <br>https://dl.dropbox.com/u/19308726/Banjolele.m4v <br> <br>As you'll see, it's not perfectly tuned and has a dirty sound - quite enjoyable, for me! <br> <br>For doing it, I purchased: <br>A child hand drum, 8&quot; (approximately 20 cm), 13&acirc;‚&not; <br>A very cheap ukulele, 20&acirc;‚&not; <br> <br>Again, many thanks for your instructable! <br> <br>Jojo
Thanks! It's still experimental but I tested yesterday in rehearsal with my group and, well, it rocks! <br> <br>Just a very important fact I noticed: <br> <br>The humidity rate has a direct &amp; huge impact on the tuning of the banjolele. <br>Humidity indeed distends the skin of the drum (if it's a natural skin, not a plastic one). Consequently, the bridge is lowered and the tuning of the 4 strings is altered. Strings are lowered and playing is more difficult. <br> <br>So, when playing, check the &quot;distortion&quot; of the drum skin: if it's distorted, you just have to dry the skin (with a lighter, for example, but be careful...). <br> <br>As Balno said, tension of the skin is primordial! <br> <br>
This one sounds and looks great !!! <br> <br>Bravo ! <br> <br>Fran&ccedil;ois
Last minute, I've found this kit :<br> <br> <a href="https://www.cbgitty.com/cubecart/concert-ukulele-parts-pack-everything-except-the-body-.html" rel="nofollow">https://www.cbgitty.com/cubecart/concert-ukulele-parts-pack-everything-except-the-body-.html</a><br> <br> and considering building a concert sized version.<br>
Could you make this only instead of using a tambourine you use a round metal cookie tin of similar size?
FINISHED here it is
Absolutely great !<br /> I'm looking forward to hear this one !!! I bet it sounds really cool.<br /> Thanks for posting this, you've made my day.<br /> <br />
And yes, aquila special banjo set works great, I've recently tried this and id brings more tension, fine purchase.<br />
Yes I was buying a set of strings for my usual uke and found these I did'nt know they made them until recently, I will try and do a recording but at the moment I only have a very fuzzy microphone.<br /> <br /> Thank you for your very helpful instructions,<br /> <br /> Matt
Hey Matt, I received your recording, really impressive, it sounds great and I love your strumming !<br /> Good work ! BTW, I'd really like to see how you've made the tailpiece and how strings are attached... I want to make another banjuke and wasn't able to find the same metal piece used in the instructable...<br /> <br /> Thanks, you've made my day !<br /> <br /> Fran&ccedil;ois<br /> <br /> <br />
Thanks very much for your lovley comments. <br /> Well I don't really have a tailpiece on it. What I did was, drilled 4 holes about the same size as the strings in the tambourine wood. To prevent the strings rubbing on the metal or the skin I put on small strips of rubber where they would have come in contact with&nbsp; the metal.<br /> <br /> I hope the pictures explain it better.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;Thanks
Very clever !!!<br /> I'll use this method on my next banjolele... Thanks for sharing !<br /> <br /> Fran&ccedil;ois<br /> <br />
Just an update. As i enjoy my banjolele so much i fitted it with a piezo, volume control and 1/4 jack so now everyone can hear how amazing it sounds. :D electric banjouke!
Awesome build! I featured it on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dailyhack.net/2009/04/homemade-banjo-ukulele-banjolele-hack.html">The Daily Hack</a>. Keep up the great work! :-)<br/><br/>Charlie Flowers<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dailyhack.net/">DailyHack.net</a><br/>
Hey !!! Thanks to everybody for the positive feedback !!! So cool !!! By the way, it seems I messed around with the size of the tambourine... Actually, I think it is a 8" tambourine... I measured 21 cm. diameter, I do believe it corresponds to 8"... Sorry for the wrong conversion, we are usually using centimeters in France and I made a mistake while converting in inches. Thanks to everybody and keep on strummin' anyway !!! François
Cool hack!<br/>I have the same problem with inches and feet as i am from Sweden.<br/>You can use the same online converter as i did when making my instructable <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-an-Eskimohut-in-wood/.">http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-an-Eskimohut-in-wood/.</a><br/><br/>Link: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ekdahl.org/omvandlare.html">http://www.ekdahl.org/omvandlare.html</a><br/>
I'm from america but i'm living in russia right now so i have the same problem in reverse. Also, celcius throws me off a bit.
i have been waiting for this thank you... there isnt that many how to make instruments on instructabels
ya I'm going to try this with a six string from an old guitar.
I'd really like hearing this !
i got the idea from a dean i saw in a guitar shop
Great idea... looks like this <a rel="nofollow" href="http://images4.thomann.de/pics/prod/206771.jpg">http://images4.thomann.de/pics/prod/206771.jpg</a><br/><br/>Do you plan to get a 10&quot; tambourine ? I guess it would look better.<br/>
it'll be a guitlele
or a ukeitar
For anyone wanting to make this in England this is the cheapest place I can find a drum for is<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.normans.co.uk/p-990-percussion-plus-pp876-8-inch-tunable-hand-drum.aspx">http://www.normans.co.uk/p-990-percussion-plus-pp876-8-inch-tunable-hand-drum.aspx</a> <br/><br/>good luck<br/>
Great deal for the price !!! Skin looks OK, I'd be very interested in hearing its sound. BTW, this model seems to have only 4 tensioners, if they're good, no matter, but remember the best sound is obtained at a really high skin tension and prepare yourself to turn the screws a lot ;) Many thanks and I hope to see (and hear) your own banjolele soon :)
Where did you get the hand drum from I cant find any with tensioners? Awesome Instructable I'll try it when I get the parts
I bought this one on an online store : <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thomann.de/fr/sonor_gthd8n_handdrum.htm">http://www.thomann.de/fr/sonor_gthd8n_handdrum.htm</a>. They're not really good. Tensioners work right, but skins are cheap ones... The most important thing about banjolele is skin tension, the more tension you get, the best it sounds.<br/><br/>I guess I could make my banjolele sounds a lot better just by replacing the head by one of these : <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Shop_by_instrument/Banjo:_Heads/1/Weatherking_Banjo_Heads.html">http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Shop_by_instrument/Banjo:_Heads/1/Weatherking_Banjo_Heads.html</a><br/><br/>I'm still looking for a better tambourine for my next project indeed.<br/>
Thanks i'll be getting started soon hopefully.
I always wanted a reason to buy one of the kits from here...&lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;&lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; href=&quot;http://www.grizzly.com/products/Ukulele-Kit/H3125&quot;&gt;http://www.grizzly.com/products/Ukulele-Kit/H3125&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;<br/>
For sure, this is a great kit. If I had a chance to get one, I think I'd follow the instruction book faithfully. Looks like it would make a great regular ukulele :)
excellent! both your playing, and the ukulele. how does it sound compared to a regular ukulele?
Thanks :) It actually sounds a lot louder, but with less sustain. Though it uses nylon (or exactly fluoro-carbon) strings, it has that peculiar banjo flavour. I realized that the tambourine skin is really important in the sound.
I love it. Let me actually read it now.
Awesome job!
Looks great! good work!

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