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Made my own electric plastic-bucket banjo

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by KaBar2, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66
    The question I keep asking myself is "Why?" Yesterday I put the finishing touches on my dumpster-dived, home-built, plastic-bucket, five string banjo. I built it out of a cut-down white plastic detergent bucket, and used a piece of oak shipping skid as a neck. I sawed the neck blank out of the shipping skid with a hand saw, shaped it with a draw knife and a spoke shave, drilled the holes for the tuners and the lag bolts with hand-powered crank drills and a brace-and-bit. The head of the banjo is a 1/8" thick piece of maple plywood that I dumpster-dived. I used Black Diamond "light" strings. The tuners I got from Stewart-MacDonald. The "nut" and "bridge" I built myself from some REALLY hard plastic I recovered from the railroad track. It's a plastic buffer that goes between the bottom of the rail and the top of a concrete railroad tie. Hard as shit.

    I built the pick-up from a Radio Shack "piezo transducer", part # 273-073A. I sawed the little plastic case off the piezo very carefully. If you bend it, it breaks and is worthless. I used Radio Shack audio cable--soldered the ground wire to the white wire, then attached that to the black wire on the piezo. The blue wire, I soldered to the red wire on the piezo. Stuck the piezo on the bottom of the plywood "head," using double-sided tape. It didn't work at first, until the tech guy at the guitar shop realized I was using a bad guitar cord (those Radio Shack parts!) Bought a good one and the thing sounded awesome. Well, it sounded pretty good, anyway.

    I bought a $25 30W amplifier at the pawn shop. Now, I'm rockin'! Trying to learn how to play it!

    Next on my list: electric cigar box guitar.

    The first annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival is being held May 14-16 in Carrollton , Kentucky. Several hundred CBG enthusiasts will come from all over the world and spend three days playing music, making CD's, selling merchandise, and generally having a good time doin' it.

    Make your own music. You'll be glad you did.
  2. TheoHuxtable

    TheoHuxtable Senior Member

    Joined: Jan 5, 2004 Messages: 2,113 Likes Received: 1
  3. Dick Quickwood

    Dick Quickwood 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 14,783 Likes Received: 14
    i assume you sawed the bucket off some ?
  4. T=E=A=S=E

    T=E=A=S=E Elite Member

    Joined: Mar 27, 2004 Messages: 3,271 Likes Received: 0
  5. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66
    Yup. Sawed the bucket off.

    It looks a lot like a regular banjo. Some Appalachian banjos have thin wooden heads, as well. I used a coupler nut to attach the lag bolts in the neck to the tension bolt that goes through the back of the rim.

    It has a wierd sort of sound. Fretless. Sometimes I play it with a slide.

    go to cigarboxguitars.com

    You'll see what I'm talking about, as far as CBG's goes. I need to get a picture of my PBB up somewhere on the net.
  6. vinyl junkie

    vinyl junkie Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 17, 2002 Messages: 4,725 Likes Received: 0
    i was gopnna ask what you used for frets... then i saw your last post...

    well done kabar... cheers...
  7. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66
    Vinyl Junkie

    I actually have some fret wire now. I was down at my buddy's guitar shop and he gave me an Epiphone electric guitar pick-up to use on my next creation. I was astounded at how well the piezo pick-up works. It has a high impedance. I'm going to buy an in-line EQ box so I can balance out the signal. It doesn't have to have it, but I'd like to experiment with the levels, to see how it sounds.
  8. adderall

    adderall Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 10, 2003 Messages: 2,921 Likes Received: 1
  9. SteveAustin

    SteveAustin Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 12, 2002 Messages: 7,042 Likes Received: 2
    Kabar...I don't care what you have to do...to do it...but I wanna see pics of this thang.
  10. Kr430n5_666

    Kr430n5_666 Banned

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004 Messages: 19,229 Likes Received: 30
  11. Dirty_habiT

    Dirty_habiT Administrator

    Joined: Mar 8, 2001 Messages: 18,136 Likes Received: 82
    hahaha omgomgogm... that's the fucking sweetest idea ever. You can't look like a true struggler without the white bucket/shipping plank banjo.... that is the ultimate awesome.
  12. Zack Morris

    Zack Morris Veteran Member

    Joined: Jun 23, 2001 Messages: 9,728 Likes Received: 4
    I didn't think anyone from the board would have any interest in this, but I am going just to see the homemade guitars, and carrollton is only like a 45 minute drive from here...good times are sure to be had.
  13. 2 blaazed

    2 blaazed New Jack

    Joined: Jun 28, 2002 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 3
  14. Pfffffffffft

    Pfffffffffft Moderator Crew

    Joined: Feb 16, 2004 Messages: 15,347 Likes Received: 683
    kabar...what gave you the idea for this? (the concept of the using the bucket)

    and can you post a picture of it?
  15. synaps

    synaps Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 8, 2002 Messages: 1,644 Likes Received: 0
    a picture of the final product would be nice

    i'm really interested in seeing how it turned out

    good work kabar [​IMG]