Instructables
Picture of Homemade Banjo Ukulele Project
Hi Everyone!

As a wild and crazy ukulele player I love everything uke! I have long wanted a banjo ukulele to round out my collection, but there are none available in my area of the world and even ordering one is terribly expensive! SO whats a crazy ukulele man to do?

Easy, make one yourself! I used a 2 dollar tamborine (before upgrading to a 3 dollar hand drum), an old uke neck from a broken old uke, some VERY simple and low quality non-electric tools and some TLC.

I made several videos outlining the whole process and would love to share them with you! Please enjoy this instructable and hopefully you too can make the banjo ukulele of your dreams!

sirant
 
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Step 1: The Beginning

Getting the pieces together I will need to get started.

Step 2: Cutting myself but not minding

My tools really are bad..... But I am trying my best. The pieces are coming together! Almost ready to build!

Step 3: A couple screws and some broken bits!

Well, the neck is attached and using the old broken bridge I got strings on it, and NOISE!

Step 4: It's Alive! And Almost in tune!

Well, almost... considering the broken and crazy bits and pieces, somewhat surprising to say the least!

Step 5: To glue or not glue? A new plan!

Funky tail piece and bridge not great.... Onwards and upwards! Goodbye tamborine, hello hand drum!

Step 6: Updates on the new plan!

Ordered some new parts and bits!


Step 7: It's finished! Kinda sorta...

Got the bits in the mail, got it together, sounds ok! Almost done!


Step 8: Almost done! Some filler and paint all thats left!

Almost done now! Sounds good, but, will it be electric?? Woohoo!

Fully painted and filled video to come soon!


Step 9: Almost Done! Filler added, looking good!

Switched out the cardboard back for a wood one and got the filler all in place.... looking pretty darn good!


Step 10: Finshed Product! Painted and Strung!

Still not quite in tune, but you should get the idea!

I loved making this uke and look forward to my next homemade ukulele project!

I hope you enjoyed it too!


Drdendro1 year ago
Hey thanks for your help with that.
Drdendro1 year ago
Hi sirant,
Thanks for the posts, I have gone ahead and made a banjolele from a ten inch tambourine. I have a problem with it being that there is a a bitof buzzing happening with unfretted strings. Any idea as to why? Thanks!
ampaxx4 years ago
This is awesome, but for people without broken ukulele's lying around, and not enough money to get a neck, how do you think one should go about making a neck?
gsacco ampaxx3 years ago
at a drugstore or department store there are usually toy guitars that cost 10-20$
CapnTac ampaxx3 years ago
Look up cigar box guitar building, and take advice from there on how to make necks.
bherriott3 years ago
What is the site called that you found?
qwertz4 years ago
 wow so nice!!
about half a year before i read the book called "mount dragon" where one of the characters is also playing banjo or ukulele as i remember. it just came me in mind now... actually i tried playing guitar before but ended up with not-practicing^^
when im back in germany, i will try to build such a ukulele u showed here... coz im in hong kong now, so a bit difficult to manage...
thanks for the great instructable!!
balno5 years ago
Well done !!! But I have one question. Let's see neck length for a soprano ukulele is approximately 17 centimeters, measured from the nut to the 12th fret. This means that distance between 12th fret and the saddle must be 17 centimeters too (12th fret lies exactly at the middle of the string). So the tamborine diameter must be greater than 17 centimeters to get correct intonation. this means also we must use at least an 8" inches tamborine (12" sounds better according to me) ? Is this correct ? What is the size of the tamborine you are using ? Anyway, great job !!! Thanks.
redfox11606 years ago
I think the finnished uke looks amazing. Great Job!
abadfart6 years ago
nice im doing it with a guitar neck
Here is another great banjolele palyer from the British Music Hall, Tessie O'Shea.

Nice Instructable.

Here's a video of George Formby, jr (often confused with his father, George Formby, Sr. who was also a Music hall performer) performing "With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock."
.

mattymatt016 years ago
This is AWSOME!!!!!! I am considering on making one. this is a neat little project for me to do. This is genius. Congrats my friend. Keep up the good work!
bofthem6 years ago
This is a really incredible project. Your videos are super clear and everything looks awesome. The only thing I could recommend is that you take a screenshot from each vid and post one with each step so you have pictures that will show up with the thumbnais and descriptions of this insructable. I know it's a bit of a hassle, but it will really make a difference when people take a glance at your tutorial in the feed and want to know what it's about from just a brief look. Again, this is an incredible project. Thank you for posting.