Greetings all. I want to build a banjo ukulele and am having trouble finding resources for parts, especially a smaller size pot. Also, will I need a trus rod for a concert length instrument with nylon strings. Any help is appreciated.
I say, no truss rod needed!
For the pot, a small hand drum or a de-jangled tambourine would work.
Hi Diane. Thanks for the reply and resource. I currently build cigar box ukes and use an insert nut in the neck and attach with a hex drive connecting bolt. With some reinforcing inside the drum rim and a well fitting neck, do you think this would hold up? I looked at some of your pics, nice work. How did you attach the necks on your banjos?
All my necks are not-quite-thrus. They butt up to the tail end of the inside of the box and the taipiece screws into them.
I did not have much luck with bolt-on necks. I could not get the insert nuts to seat in the grain end of the wood of the heel.
Even on my fiddles (well, all two of them) I have a dowel running through the box. Then all the stress is on the dowel/neck and none on the box itself - except for the pressure of the strings pushing downward.
I have a little Banjovie and it has a little faux-skin drum with a thru neck. So does my "real" banjo-uke, but it also has a ring and those clampy thingies all around the rim, more like a traditional banjo.
So I'd go with a thru of some sort. Any distortion of the ring from stress over time is going to wreak havoc with your skin, and I'd guess the thru will lessen that stress as much as possible.
You might consider buying one of those fancy hand drums with the synthetic drum heads and the drum head tensioning hardware around the side of the drum. Add a ukulele neck & head assembly and the resulting instrument is very close to a banjolele. There's a fellow who goes by the name "Sirant" who did a series of videos on his home-made banjolele project a few years ago and posted them up on Youtube. There is a good chance they are still there; I can't verify this as Youtube is banned where I live 9 to 10 months per year (China). Sirant also lives (or used to as of last year) in Shenzhen maybe an hours drive from where I live. He's a uke nut, too.
P.S. here's a photo of the kind of drum I'm talking about: