My First DIY Tin Can Banjo.

My First DIY Tin Can Banjo.

It was a long long time ago. In 1980.
I was 21. I was on vacation at some nice subtropical place.
And it just happened that I didn’t have my guitar with me.
Swimming and tanning every day got boring very fast for me.
I needed to do something to entertain myself.
So I started to look around the beach.
And very soon I found a small empty tin can then another one. Of a little bit bigger size so one could perfectly fit in another.
When I inserted it bottom up it was looking like some closed container.
“Looks like a small banjo body” – I said to myself. And that was the idea!.
tincan banjo
I started to search further. And soon I found:

  • a small clean plank for the neck;
  • few bolts and screws which I used as the tuners and bridge attachment;
  • some pieces of the fishing lines which turned out to be the strings.

My tool kit consisted of a small pocket knife.
Later I added a big rusty nail to make the resonating holes on the top surface of the bigger can. Every middle-sized pebble stone was my hammer. 🙂
And the last “tool” was a thick piece of green bottle glass. I used it to “sand” and shape the neck.

And every stranger passing by was asking what the hell I’m trying to make of this.
And all the beach “inhabitants on vacation” were deeply intrigued by what will come out of this.
At that time I had NO IDEA about cigar box guitars.
And I lived very far from America where this instrument has been invented a long time ago.
Can you imagine how crazy it was looking like? 🙂

It’s not the image of the original thing.
Unfortunately, this first DIY instrument was lost in time (over 35 years!).
But it was looking similar to that one.

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