A few years ago I started making gourd banjos just to see if I could do it. You can see how I built some of those banjos by visiting my home page, and following the links on the left side of the page.The reason that I started out building gourd banjos instead of banjos with wooden hoops is that I did not know how to bend wood to make a banjo pot, and it seemed simpler to just use a gourd.

The gourd banjos are fun to play and sound great, but they are difficult to hold because of the round backs. You can see how round the back of the gourd is in the photo below.

Bowl Back

Gourd Banjo Pot

When playing that banjo, the gourd wants to roll around in my lap. So I thought that I would make my next attempt be a banjo with a wooden hoop. A wooden hoop has edges on it and a flat bottom, so it should be more stable than the bowl back banjo.

I really like the sound of my gourd banjos. They have a deep, resonant voice and are not the least bit twangy like a regular banjo. I want to make a banjo that has a wooden hoop, but has the same sound as my gourd banjos. That means that I will have to make a large wooden pot to simulate the volume of the gourd.

In order to make my own banjo hoop, I will have to learn how to bend wood into a circle. So I have set out to figure out that skill.

This web site chronicles my attempts to bend wood into banjo hoops. While I was learning how to bend wood, I followed myself with my camera (if that is even possible) and photographed the whole sordid affair. I have not sanitized the contents to make it look smooth or easy. I have simply recorded the adventure, both the good, the bad, and sometimes..... the ugly.

But before we start, here are some tips about how the site is arranged.

Click on [Next] to get started or use the Site Map to go directly to any of the pages.

Original post date February 13, 2011

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Last updated January 27, 2013