Hey guys i picked up a tin for a banjo but when i go home i realized i dont have tin snips.....ive got some old wire cutters that should work but im lost at where to cut the tin . down the side like a box ? cut out a hole ? i have a problem with over thinking so any advice will help me out .

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Tin snips will distort the tin. Best idea is to use a dremel with a fine cutting disk

 

I just built one based on instructions in Mike Orr's Handmade Music Factory book. I cut down the sides from the top with a pair of heavy duty scissors. I first cut thru the top edge with a hack saw. Easier with snips but i used what I had. DON'T cut off the flap.Just bend over this will be used to attached the stick.

I attached the stick first using some epoxy on the metal flap & clamping it down, once dried I put a screw up from the bottom thru the metal flap and into the wood. If you look closely you can see the metal flap. I highly recommend Orr's book. Plays real nice.Here's a picture. Have fun!

oh cool thanks yeah that books on my santa list lol

For some reason the image didn't load before but it is now.

I -love- your string retainers. Are those from CBGitty?

I'm a medic so I had a few pairs of trauma shears sitting around and that's what I used. Worked a treat!!

I cut mine down from the top and used the bottom edge of the tin's lid for a tail piece just by punching holes through the lip and out the top. A bottle cap holds the string ball ends to keep them from cutting though the thin tin.

One piece of advise: Every tin that I cut a "sound hole" sounds terrible unless you have a grommet around it.

I use a nail and a hammer and punch a bunch of holes in an elongated "X" pattern then I use a pair of dikes (precision wire cutters used for electronics) to snip the tin between each pair of holes. Once the holes are cut, I then bend the edges of the cut material back up and into the tin so that there are no exposed sharp edges on the outside of the tin.

Be aware, that when I'm pounding in the holes with the nail and hammer, I support the backside of the tin with a piece of wood to minimize any unwanted bending of the tin's wall. Most of the time, this wood is a 3 foot length of 1" x 1" or 1.5" x 0.75" poplar with one end rounded to better fit the interior contour of the tin (usually rounded). I hold this length of wood vertically with my feet and knees, holding the tin against the piece of wood using by left hand (with which I'm also holding the nail) while I pound with a small hammer in my right hand. It's a bit of a balancing act, but not too difficult to do. It works pretty good with minimal investment in tools.

And with tin guitars, I don't even bother to put in a sound hole.

Word.

I'm done with sound holes on my tins. They look cool but man, they usually sound like crap.

I am in Korea right now and I made an great sounding tin string dulc out of a really cool Ginsing tin that has a 'sound hole' but like I said, it also has a large brass grommit. I'll post a picture next week.

How's your lunar new year so far Rand?

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