Step 2: making the neck longer

To play in tune, the most important thing is that the 12th fret must be placed exactly at the middle of the string length. If you attach the ukulele neck directly to the 8" tambourine, it won't work, you'll have to put the banjo bridge too near from the tambourine border in order to get a proper intonation.

THE SOLUTION : making the neck longer.

I used a block of hard wood and shaped in to fit the neck heel one side and the tambourine the other side. I used a dremel, various fillers ans sandpaper.

When doing this, you should have in mind that the neck is slightly tilted back on a ukulele, this helps getting appropriate action and intonation. Measure this on the kit you use and try to shape the wood block in consequence.

This piece of wood makes the neck 1" longer. It could be more, since the more the bridge is centered, the best the ukulele sounds.

Advice : you must take care of the wood grain. It's always better to have the grain of the block perpendicular to the tambourine. the piece of sapelli I found was too short to do this.
Since the neck is attached with a nut, the problem is cosmetic, but if you can get a piece of wood allowing this, it will look better and will be more durable.
<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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