Completed kit builds

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  • #5337
    Carver Banjos
    Keymaster

    Post pics and share your completed banjo kit here. (I’ve moved a few older threads here to make things more cohesive on this forum).

    #5035
    Patrick Townsend
    Participant

    Without a hitch pretty much. Kudos to Carver for shipping a kit that:
    a)actually fits together with no “tweaks” and actually works as it should.
    b)looks great
    c)sounds good too, authentic and plucky.
    I stained the maple rim to match the neck, and then applied 2-3 coats of True Oil.
    Used a True Oil kit that included a walnut dye and was very pleased how the maple rim turned out to match the neck and dowel.

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    #5038
    Carver Banjos
    Keymaster

    Welcome to the forum Patrick, thanks for posting! Your banjo looks great. I’m seeing a few customers are staining the rim to match the neck and I think that’s awesome.
    A few threads below yours, there’s a member asking about staining the rim. Maybe you could pop into that thread or share a picture here of your rim? Specifically, the question is concerning the scarf joint taking stain as well as the rest of the rim.
    The classic minstrel is my flagship kit and I have refined this kit over the years. I started making banjos just like this one almost 20 years ago! The price is a little higher than most other kits I offer, but I try to deliver on the quality. Thanks again, hope you enjoy your banjo for many years.

    #5083
    ThomasH
    Participant

    Took a while to get to it but I got it done! Loving it so far. And going fretless wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be. I highly recommend adding fret markers where the 2nd and third frets would be if you’re going fretless. I think it helps a lot.

    The good: Plays and sounds great. Looks good although I wish I would’ve stained the rim. Very lightweight.

    The not so good: The dowel hole was drilled a bit crooked so it’s not centered on the tailpiece. The tacks supplied were a bit too long. About 75% of them came through the other side of the rim. Too Lightweight? I know I put this in “The good” but I also wish it was heavier sometimes just so it would stay put while playing.

    Things I wish were different: I wish the neck was thicker and rounded more. I’m sure that would up the price quite a bit though. Also I wish the scoop was about an inch longer. It would be nice to have a little more playing room there.

    Cheers all, Thomas

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    #5096
    Carver Banjos
    Keymaster

    Good job Thomas! Excellent pictures and review. Great to see these kits being put together. I like the added fret dot markers.
    I can address the not so good points you made. They are valid points and I understand it is constructive feedback, which is always appreciated.
    The frailing scoop is a little short, I put it there in all these necks though it could be longer on the fretless necks. I wanted a full 19 frets, so the scoop had to be shorter, it begins right after the 19th fret and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of length. You could extend the scoop easily since it’s a fretless neck.
    The tacks will pass through the rim, you could test and trim the tacks before assembly. I talk about this in a lot of my previous assembly videos, I can’t remember if I mention it in the specific video for this kit.
    The neck is what it is for thickness. I work with 1” lumber, so I understand but that’s not something we can change. As for roundness, you can shape the neck to your liking. I talk about this in my other assembly videos, but I left it out of this specific kit video.
    The dowel is a bit wonky on yours. If it’s my error I sincerely apologize. It can happen because I was drilling the holes by eye, I’ve since developed a jig to help with the process. I’m not sure if it could have been glued into the neck at an angle to correct the offset or not. I’m glad the strings still line up and the banjo looks like it plays as intended.
    I appreciate your feedback and pictures!

    #5097
    ThomasH
    Participant

    A short sound sample, warts and all. I like forget what I’m doing whenever I hit the record button.

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    #5100
    conradje
    Participant

    I have made several of the Carver Banjo Kits and the best kit so far is the short scale banjo. I like the wood rim and the short neck length. I have modified the banjo to have mechanical tuners as i prefer them to the peg tuners. The banjo is fairly light ( not like the heaver Deering Banjo) and sounds great.

    #5101
    conradje
    Participant

    Pictures of short scale Banjo

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    #5298
    David Schooley
    Participant

    I’m really happy with how it came out. Adding the scroll was the right choice.

    I used orange shellac on the walnut and garnet shellac on the walnut rim. The coffee on the goatskin came out darker than I thought it would, but it ended up being perfect. Laying down the shellac with the scroll in place was a bit of a pain. It might have been better to finish the peg head and the scroll separately and then glue the scroll into place.

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    #5302
    Nicolas Hendrick
    Participant

    Hi everyone,
    I’d like to share these photos here because this is my first Carver banjo that I’ve built and I’m very proud of the final result.
    I followed Brian’s tutorial very carefully. I didn’t have any particular difficulty, but I was apprehensive when it came to placing the goatskin. In the end, I took my time and it turned out well. Actually, I was afraid of piercing the skin, but it’s impressive how strong it is.

    I applied three coats of dark “ebony” oil and since the nut and bridge are black, I thought it would be nice to have theses ebony pegs.
    English isn’t my first language so I’m really sorry if I’ve written an incomprehensible sentence.

    Please let me know what you think 🙂

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