Gourd Banjo

Updated: Wednesday, November 27 2013, 01:15 PM EST
Gourd Banjo story image
by Joshua Grant, Grant Custom Banjos

Supplies
Mask
Gloves
Gourd
Bleach
Copper Sponge
Hard Tone Woods
Hide (Calf skin, Goat skin, Groundhog skin, Thin Deer skin)
Soup can or coffee cup
Pencil
Hack Saw, Pocket Knife or Bandsaw
Rasp or File
Beeswax, oil, or poly - for waterproofing
Glue
Pegs
Viola/Violin reamer
Dowel Rod.
Sandpaper 50 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit.
Mineral Spirits
Teak Oil
Banjo Strings

Instructions
Safety First! Wear mask with wood and gourd and gloves with chemicals.
  1. Select gourd, scrub with bleach water solution and copper sponge
  2. Select variety of hard tone woods
  3. Select hide to be used for head, shave hair and tan if necessary.  Calf skin, Goat skin, Groundhog skin, Thin Deer skin
  4. Set gourd on flat surface (kitchen table would be best). Using either a soup can or coffee cup, hold pencil on top and slowly circle the gourd until a true line is established
  5. Cut off above line (DO NOT CUT LINE). Carefully cut using either hack saw, pocket knife, or bandsaw
  6. Cut to the line. Use a rasp and file leaving the line
  7. Scrub out inside and waterproof. To waterproof use beeswax, oil, or poly
  8. Establish desired length of neck, leave room for pegs and heel (8 inches)
  9. Glue Fingerboard. Clamp every 2 inches
  10. Select style of peg head and shape.
  11. Drill peg holes
  12. Ream pegholes. Viola/Violin reamer
  13. Glue second piece of wood, equal width, overlapping four inches to establish heel and dowel rod.
  14. Mark center of dowel and measure and mark 3/4 inch on both sides.
  15. Establish a line from edge of wood joint to end of previous mark, Cut leaving line, this creates a wedge shape from heel to end of dowel.
  16. Determine nut width, shape nut, glue in place and mark from edge of heel to edge of nut, factoring in the 5th string.
  17. Cut neck shape and using in order, rasp, file, 50 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit.
  18. Wipe with mineral spirits, then Teak oil(follow directions on can)
  19. Carefully fit neck to gourd with 5-7 degree kickback where fingerboard meets gourd meaning cut the hole higher to the top on the back, the dowel rod extends through the entire gourd
  20. Cut sound-hole in gourd
  21. Soak hide in water,stretch hide and secure to top 2" of gourd, after two days dry time trim excess if desired.  Do not press on head when wet
  22. Make tailpiece and bridge, this determines action/ height of strings.File string slots on nut and bridge
  23. Assemble banjo and attach strings, usually two day "settling" time for new instrument.
Play,play,play some more!!Gourd Banjo
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Crafts

Craft Author Date
Drying Flowers - Dried Floral Arrangement Box Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns Sep 29, 2014
Fabric Bunting Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Sep 25, 2014
Fabric Catch-All Caddy Dawn Kucera, WNC Quilters Guild Sep 23, 2014
Wine Bag Janet Bennett, MV Craft Shows Sep 22, 2014
Cork Wreath Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Sep 18, 2014
Dahlia or Chrysanthemum Design Martha Anderson, Master Flower Show Judge Sep 16, 2014
Beaded Gourd Shakere Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Sep 15, 2014
Rug Braiding Dianne Ellis, Dogwood Crafters Sep 08, 2014
Whatever Basket Christine Williams, MV Craft Shows Sep 04, 2014
Cleaning a Gourd for Craft Projects Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Sep 02, 2014
Small Flower Centerpiece Valerie Holden, MV Craft Shows Sep 01, 2014
Fresh Floral Arrangement from Your Garden Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Aug 29, 2014
Simple Dangle Earrings Sabrina Miller, MV Craft Shows Aug 28, 2014
Chair Baby Rose Beck, MV Craft Shows Aug 25, 2014
Easy Party Lights Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Aug 21, 2014
Summer Flower Arrangement Martha Anderson, Master Flower Show Judge Aug 19, 2014
Bullseye Powder Glass Design Neal Hearn, MV Craft Shows Aug 18, 2014
Crochet Keepsake Bookmark Diane "Dee" Frazier, Innovative Crafting Aug 12, 2014
Chainmaille Jewelry Tony & Barrett Cariveau Aug 11, 2014
Charm Pack & Jelly Roll = Quilt Top by Sandy Chambers Aug 07, 2014
Luggage Tags Karen Marcus, MV Craft Shows Aug 05, 2014
Easy Crayon Blocks Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Aug 04, 2014
Learning to Knit Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jul 31, 2014
Leaping Lizards! Brenda Anders, Dogwood Crafters Jul 29, 2014
Rag Dolls Rose Beck, MV Craft Shows Jul 28, 2014
Vintage Quilt Pinwheels by Joyce Lantz, Dogwood Crafters Jul 24, 2014
Summer Time Flower Design by Martha Anderson, Master Flower Show Judg Jul 22, 2014
Layer Cake Quilt Design Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Jul 21, 2014
Gourd Bumble Bees Louisa Lunt, Louisa Lunt Arts & Crafts Jul 17, 2014
Decorative Hanging Panel Neal Hearn, MV Craft Shows Jul 15, 2014
Stitched Greeting Card Joan Marsden, Dogwood Crafters Jul 14, 2014
Crochet Ringlet Necklace Diane "Dee" Frazier, Innovative Crafting Jul 10, 2014
Jelly Roll Quilt Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Jul 08, 2014
Drop Cloth Curtains Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Jul 07, 2014
Embellish Knit Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jul 03, 2014
Fruit Basket Christine Williams, MV Craft Shows Jul 01, 2014
Masonry Nail Reindeer Jim Nicolazzo, Dogwood Crafters Jun 30, 2014
Ladybug Gourd Louisa Lunt, Louisa Lunt Arts & Crafts Jun 26, 2014
Children's Sewing Project Brenda Anders, Dogwood Crafters Jun 24, 2014
Glitter Globes Karen Marcus, MV Craft Shows Jun 23, 2014
Polymer Clay Molds by Diane "Dee" Frazier Jun 19, 2014
Natural Potpourri Tina Snow, Momma T’s Soap Co. & MV Craft Shows Jun 17, 2014
Woven Paper Heart Joyce Lantz, Dogwood Crafters Jun 16, 2014
Seasonal Grapevine Tree Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jun 12, 2014
Jute Webbing Placemat Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Jun 10, 2014
Christmas Triangle Quilted Ornament Dawn Kucera, WNC Quilters Guild Jun 09, 2014
Bunnies w/Gourds & Wood Louisa Lunt, Louisa Lunt Arts & Crafts Jun 05, 2014
Weaving on a Peg Loom Melissa Orr, Fiber Feel Day Jun 03, 2014
Wind Spinners Joan Marsden, Dogwood Crafters Jun 02, 2014
Paper Bead Necklace Vie Davis, Soulfully Salvaged May 29, 2014
Grapevine PC Buttons by Diane "Dee" Frazier, Innovative Crafting May 27, 2014
Coastal Party Glass Candle Rea Holden, MV Craft Shows May 26, 2014
Fabric YoYo Headband Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House May 22, 2014
Duck Tape Feather Earrings Jen Kindsvatter, MV Craft Shows May 20, 2014
Laquering a Paper Bead Vie Davis, Soulfully Salvaged May 19, 2014
Gift Card Envelope by Diane "Dee" Frazier, MV Craft Shows May 15, 2014
Making a Paper Bead Vie Davis, Soulfully Salvaged May 13, 2014
New Uses for a Pot Holder Loom Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists May 12, 2014
Mug Rug Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild May 06, 2014
Dried Herb Wreath Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns May 05, 2014
Easy and Convertable Infinity Scarf by Lisa Whitfield, The Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House May 01, 2014
Natural Liquid Laundry soap by Tina Snow of Momma T’s Soap Co. & MV Craft Shows Apr 29, 2014
Jute Webbing Utensil Holder by Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Apr 28, 2014
Drop Spindle by Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Apr 24, 2014
Aromatherapy: Lavender Sachets by Cynthia Gillooly: B.B. Barns Floral Designer & Orchid Goddess Apr 22, 2014
Pave' by Terry Dorlan, Swannanoa Flower Shop Apr 21, 2014
Deviled Eggs Holder Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Apr 14, 2014
Half Square Triangles Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Apr 10, 2014
Slab Built Rectangular Tray Kim Ross, Touch of Ross Pottery Apr 08, 2014
Using Home-Printed Images for Decoupage Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Apr 07, 2014
Floral Arranging with Permanent Botanicals Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Apr 01, 2014
Doll Body Building with Wire Armature Karen Hawkins, Klay Hawk Dolls Mar 31, 2014
Chicken Scratch Embroidery Junetta Pell, Dogwood Crafters Mar 27, 2014
Corn Shuck Wreath by Christine Williams, MV Craft Shows Mar 27, 2014
Multi-Media Dolls Melissa Lewis, Storybook Doll Exhibit Mar 25, 2014
Four Patch Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Mar 24, 2014
Spring Floral Wreath Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Mar 20, 2014
Oreo Lollipops Rose Beck, MV Craft Shows Mar 18, 2014
Picture Frame Display Case Karen Hawkins, Klay Hawk Dolls Mar 17, 2014
Vegetable Garden Starts: Seeds and Starter Plants Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns Mar 11, 2014
Elf Dolls Patricia Bennett, Gemstone Elves Mar 10, 2014
Baby Mocassins Sherry Laney, MV Craft Shows Mar 06, 2014
Princess & the Pea / LED Lighting In Artwork Melissa Lewis & Anne Duncan (demonstration) Mar 04, 2014
Silk Painting Karen Hawkins, Klay Hawk Dolls Mar 03, 2014
Incense Holder Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Feb 27, 2014
No Sew Burlap Table Runner Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Feb 25, 2014
Orchid Repotting Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Feb 24, 2014
Winter Herb Garden Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns Feb 20, 2014
Slab Built Round Platter Kim Ross, Touch of Ross Pottery Feb 18, 2014
Triple Decker Ice Cream Cone (paper craft) Paige Childs, Spellbound Children's Bookshop Feb 17, 2014
"Get Framed" - Painted Picture Frame Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Feb 10, 2014
Wall Plaque Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Feb 06, 2014
You & Me Layout Christy Woodson, 3 Scrappy Boys Feb 04, 2014
Winter Blooming Garden Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Feb 03, 2014
Felted Beads, Balls or Marbles Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jan 30, 2014
Diamond Frame Pendant Jacolyn Campbell, Campbell Creations Jan 28, 2014
Butterfly Mosaic Bracelet Paige Childs, Spellbound Children's Bookshop Jan 27, 2014
How To Knook Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Jan 23, 2014
Cardboard Owls Paige Childs, Spellbound Children's Bookshop Jan 21, 2014
Mason Jar Magic David Hawkins, Uncle Junebug's General Store Jan 20, 2014
Terrariums Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Jan 16, 2014
Jewelry Frame Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Jan 14, 2014
Napkin Holder Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Jan 13, 2014
Crochet Flowers Diane "Dee" Frazier, MV Craft Shows Jan 09, 2014
Grocery Cart Seat Cover Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Jan 07, 2014
Soft Hat Elizabeth Searle, Elizabeth Helene Designs Jan 02, 2014

Crafts

Craft Author Date
Drying Flowers - Dried Floral Arrangement Box Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns Sep 29, 2014
Fabric Bunting Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Sep 25, 2014
Fabric Catch-All Caddy Dawn Kucera, WNC Quilters Guild Sep 23, 2014
Wine Bag Janet Bennett, MV Craft Shows Sep 22, 2014
Cork Wreath Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Sep 18, 2014
Dahlia or Chrysanthemum Design Martha Anderson, Master Flower Show Judge Sep 16, 2014
Beaded Gourd Shakere Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Sep 15, 2014
Rug Braiding Dianne Ellis, Dogwood Crafters Sep 08, 2014
Whatever Basket Christine Williams, MV Craft Shows Sep 04, 2014
Cleaning a Gourd for Craft Projects Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Sep 02, 2014
Small Flower Centerpiece Valerie Holden, MV Craft Shows Sep 01, 2014
Fresh Floral Arrangement from Your Garden Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Aug 29, 2014
Simple Dangle Earrings Sabrina Miller, MV Craft Shows Aug 28, 2014
Chair Baby Rose Beck, MV Craft Shows Aug 25, 2014
Easy Party Lights Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Aug 21, 2014
Summer Flower Arrangement Martha Anderson, Master Flower Show Judge Aug 19, 2014
Bullseye Powder Glass Design Neal Hearn, MV Craft Shows Aug 18, 2014
Crochet Keepsake Bookmark Diane "Dee" Frazier, Innovative Crafting Aug 12, 2014
Chainmaille Jewelry Tony & Barrett Cariveau Aug 11, 2014
Charm Pack & Jelly Roll = Quilt Top by Sandy Chambers Aug 07, 2014
Luggage Tags Karen Marcus, MV Craft Shows Aug 05, 2014
Easy Crayon Blocks Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Aug 04, 2014
Learning to Knit Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jul 31, 2014
Leaping Lizards! Brenda Anders, Dogwood Crafters Jul 29, 2014
Rag Dolls Rose Beck, MV Craft Shows Jul 28, 2014
Vintage Quilt Pinwheels by Joyce Lantz, Dogwood Crafters Jul 24, 2014
Summer Time Flower Design by Martha Anderson, Master Flower Show Judg Jul 22, 2014
Layer Cake Quilt Design Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Jul 21, 2014
Gourd Bumble Bees Louisa Lunt, Louisa Lunt Arts & Crafts Jul 17, 2014
Decorative Hanging Panel Neal Hearn, MV Craft Shows Jul 15, 2014
Stitched Greeting Card Joan Marsden, Dogwood Crafters Jul 14, 2014
Crochet Ringlet Necklace Diane "Dee" Frazier, Innovative Crafting Jul 10, 2014
Jelly Roll Quilt Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Jul 08, 2014
Drop Cloth Curtains Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Jul 07, 2014
Embellish Knit Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jul 03, 2014
Fruit Basket Christine Williams, MV Craft Shows Jul 01, 2014
Masonry Nail Reindeer Jim Nicolazzo, Dogwood Crafters Jun 30, 2014
Ladybug Gourd Louisa Lunt, Louisa Lunt Arts & Crafts Jun 26, 2014
Children's Sewing Project Brenda Anders, Dogwood Crafters Jun 24, 2014
Glitter Globes Karen Marcus, MV Craft Shows Jun 23, 2014
Polymer Clay Molds by Diane "Dee" Frazier Jun 19, 2014
Natural Potpourri Tina Snow, Momma T’s Soap Co. & MV Craft Shows Jun 17, 2014
Woven Paper Heart Joyce Lantz, Dogwood Crafters Jun 16, 2014
Seasonal Grapevine Tree Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jun 12, 2014
Jute Webbing Placemat Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Jun 10, 2014
Christmas Triangle Quilted Ornament Dawn Kucera, WNC Quilters Guild Jun 09, 2014
Bunnies w/Gourds & Wood Louisa Lunt, Louisa Lunt Arts & Crafts Jun 05, 2014
Weaving on a Peg Loom Melissa Orr, Fiber Feel Day Jun 03, 2014
Wind Spinners Joan Marsden, Dogwood Crafters Jun 02, 2014
Paper Bead Necklace Vie Davis, Soulfully Salvaged May 29, 2014
Grapevine PC Buttons by Diane "Dee" Frazier, Innovative Crafting May 27, 2014
Coastal Party Glass Candle Rea Holden, MV Craft Shows May 26, 2014
Fabric YoYo Headband Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House May 22, 2014
Duck Tape Feather Earrings Jen Kindsvatter, MV Craft Shows May 20, 2014
Laquering a Paper Bead Vie Davis, Soulfully Salvaged May 19, 2014
Gift Card Envelope by Diane "Dee" Frazier, MV Craft Shows May 15, 2014
Making a Paper Bead Vie Davis, Soulfully Salvaged May 13, 2014
New Uses for a Pot Holder Loom Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists May 12, 2014
Mug Rug Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild May 06, 2014
Dried Herb Wreath Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns May 05, 2014
Easy and Convertable Infinity Scarf by Lisa Whitfield, The Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House May 01, 2014
Natural Liquid Laundry soap by Tina Snow of Momma T’s Soap Co. & MV Craft Shows Apr 29, 2014
Jute Webbing Utensil Holder by Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Apr 28, 2014
Drop Spindle by Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Apr 24, 2014
Aromatherapy: Lavender Sachets by Cynthia Gillooly: B.B. Barns Floral Designer & Orchid Goddess Apr 22, 2014
Pave' by Terry Dorlan, Swannanoa Flower Shop Apr 21, 2014
Deviled Eggs Holder Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Apr 14, 2014
Half Square Triangles Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Apr 10, 2014
Slab Built Rectangular Tray Kim Ross, Touch of Ross Pottery Apr 08, 2014
Using Home-Printed Images for Decoupage Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Apr 07, 2014
Floral Arranging with Permanent Botanicals Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Apr 01, 2014
Doll Body Building with Wire Armature Karen Hawkins, Klay Hawk Dolls Mar 31, 2014
Chicken Scratch Embroidery Junetta Pell, Dogwood Crafters Mar 27, 2014
Corn Shuck Wreath by Christine Williams, MV Craft Shows Mar 27, 2014
Multi-Media Dolls Melissa Lewis, Storybook Doll Exhibit Mar 25, 2014
Four Patch Sandy Chambers, Rutherford Quilt Guild Mar 24, 2014
Spring Floral Wreath Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Mar 20, 2014
Oreo Lollipops Rose Beck, MV Craft Shows Mar 18, 2014
Picture Frame Display Case Karen Hawkins, Klay Hawk Dolls Mar 17, 2014
Vegetable Garden Starts: Seeds and Starter Plants Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns Mar 11, 2014
Elf Dolls Patricia Bennett, Gemstone Elves Mar 10, 2014
Baby Mocassins Sherry Laney, MV Craft Shows Mar 06, 2014
Princess & the Pea / LED Lighting In Artwork Melissa Lewis & Anne Duncan (demonstration) Mar 04, 2014
Silk Painting Karen Hawkins, Klay Hawk Dolls Mar 03, 2014
Incense Holder Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Feb 27, 2014
No Sew Burlap Table Runner Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Feb 25, 2014
Orchid Repotting Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Feb 24, 2014
Winter Herb Garden Letha Hinman, B.B. Barns Feb 20, 2014
Slab Built Round Platter Kim Ross, Touch of Ross Pottery Feb 18, 2014
Triple Decker Ice Cream Cone (paper craft) Paige Childs, Spellbound Children's Bookshop Feb 17, 2014
"Get Framed" - Painted Picture Frame Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Feb 10, 2014
Wall Plaque Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Feb 06, 2014
You & Me Layout Christy Woodson, 3 Scrappy Boys Feb 04, 2014
Winter Blooming Garden Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Feb 03, 2014
Felted Beads, Balls or Marbles Ruth Howe, Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists Jan 30, 2014
Diamond Frame Pendant Jacolyn Campbell, Campbell Creations Jan 28, 2014
Butterfly Mosaic Bracelet Paige Childs, Spellbound Children's Bookshop Jan 27, 2014
How To Knook Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Jan 23, 2014
Cardboard Owls Paige Childs, Spellbound Children's Bookshop Jan 21, 2014
Mason Jar Magic David Hawkins, Uncle Junebug's General Store Jan 20, 2014
Terrariums Cynthia Gillooly, B.B. Barns Floral Designer Jan 16, 2014
Jewelry Frame Sherry Campbell, The Pink House Jan 14, 2014
Napkin Holder Elizabeth Westveer, Silver Wings Studios Jan 13, 2014
Crochet Flowers Diane "Dee" Frazier, MV Craft Shows Jan 09, 2014
Grocery Cart Seat Cover Lisa Whitfield, Asheville History Center at Smith McDowell House Jan 07, 2014
Soft Hat Elizabeth Searle, Elizabeth Helene Designs Jan 02, 2014
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