The five-string banjo has a long and intimate association with Southern Appalachian culture. By offering a class in banjo construction, WWC hopes to strengthen that tradition and make it more accessible to the 21st century.
Students with little or no woodworking background are welcome, but experience will be helpful. Each member of the class will build a semi-professional quality, open back banjo from scratch using native hardwoods for rim and neck construction and may purchase our hardware or provide their own. This type of instrument is most often heard in Old-Time and folk music but is capable of other styles of playing.
We will build precisely fitted block rims of maple or cherry and machine them on WWC’s newly-installed custom rim lathe. Students will learn how to lay out, rough in, shape and fit a one-piece walnut or cherry neck appointed with rosewood fingerboard, inlayed mother of pearl position markers and ebony trim.
We will teach a method of sawing fret slots that guarantees accurate intonation. Each builder will have considerable latitude in choosing the details of the finished instrument, and optional construction techniques will be presented and discussed.
Participants will receive an instruction booklet including numerous drawings, critical dimensions and sources.
Each will learn how to build jigs and fixtures to aid the construction process. The class will include instruction on modifying procedures to create other styles of banjos such as bluegrass, tenor, plectrum or banjeaurine.
The course is offered as part of WWC’s Fine Woodworking Program and taught by long-time builder, musician and North Carolina native, Jim Huskins.
Registration Deposit: $200
(includes $100 non-refundable registration and processing fee)