Ikea has some nice 10 inch walnut bowls with flat sides.  A little pricy at $20 but they are probably tall enough to make two banjos if cut in half.  Made with 1/4 inch plywood but very sturdy and nice dark walnut grain.

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It looks exactly like it but the price was $19.99 in the Salt Lake City, Utah store.

thats the Aussie price..lol

That would save Aton of work.
Taff

Looks like the hardest part of a banjo build is already done. Not many home git builders have a steam box to safely and uniformly bend wood. Go for it, post pics.

It would cost more to build a steam box and buy the wood.  Plus I  suck at steaming plywood and making the necessary joints.  I was going to buy some cheap tambourines in Mexico then apply walnut or cherry PSA  (pressure sensitive veneer) around them.  The cost would about half but after examining the Ikea bowls I believe they would save a lot of time and the wood is much thinner but very sturdy.  I may go for it.

Thanks for that info! For $20 you can also get a 10" tambourine with a head already attached. When I do this I remove the jangles since they vibrate in an annoying way. If I had an Ikea nearby I'd certainly try one of these bowls.
Here's a tambourine I've used in the past with the Remo pre tensioned head
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Remo-Fixed-Head-Tambourine-10-Black-/302427...

Hi again, I would just like to mention another way to form a banjo rim, its what I did when building a banjo some time ago.

I used layers of timber cut into half circles and glued together so that the end joints were staggered, as in a brick wall. then capped them off with a contrasting timber, as in the photo.

Taff

That's a beautiful banjo rim Taff!

Thanks Jim.

Great job! Looks awesome.

steam boxes are not that difficult to rig up.

an old leftover piece of HVAC duct, 4 scraps of 6 inch wide leftover plywood/pine/hardboard, aluminum-foil-type dryer hose, the chimney for your arctic tent camping wood stove, basically anything with open ends.

put it on a pair of saw-horses, put your back-packing stove under one end with a pot of water and some aluminum foil to guide the steam in, and a cloth rag draped over the other end to partially hold and partially vent the steam.

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