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How do you build a banjo?

Master chairmaker and woodworker, Charles Brock visited Bill at our home and workshop known as Chestnut Grove Studios in Santa Fe, Tennessee for the latest episode of Chuck's Web TV Show, The Highland Woodworker. Chuck and his videographer, Stephen Price, spent several hours at the workshop as Bill walked them thru the process and care he takes when building a handmade banjo.

It was a joy watching from the sidelines as Stephen filmed Bill and Chuck sharing and learning about all of the jigs, tools and steps necessary when building a banjo. I've watched Bill do these steps countless times, and it was still fascinating to see it come together in this video. Chuck and Stephen did a fabulous job laying it out so seamlessly. Maybe they'll come back and learn about dulcimer building one day.

Some still shots from video are below...

Episode intro Chuck calls - "A Moment with the Master"

Taking the short walk from the tiny house to the workshop

Steam-bending rims

Dry fitting the rim into the laminating jig

Outer and middle layers of the rim placed with a wedge and cauls in the laminating jig

Fitting together a tone ring

Turning the rim with the tone ring on the lathe

Cutting a compound angle on the neck

Example of inlay on a resin-rimmed peghead

Gold finch on thistle inlay in progress

Chuck, Bill and me about to play The Carter Family song, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow"

Bill playing one of his banjos

Chuck on his mandolin

My cameo on one of Bill's dulcimers

Drone shot of the tiny house

Entrance to the Chestnut Grove Studios workshop

Episode ending with a drone shot of the house and workshop

If you are interested in a custom banjo, dulcimer or piece of furniture, please reach out to us via email at

P.S. I invite you to browse through some of the other videos on the Highland Woodworking Channel where they showcase many other great craftsmen and craftswomen. You can also take a peek at Chuck's website and check out some of his hands on as well as online workshops.

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