I wanted to develop an easy to make, cheap banjo for use in the DC Public School Project (see draft proposal). I was thinking of using a paint bucket for the rim when I saw a bucket lid and was inspired to use it for the sound board.
Here is a pictorial of the development of the prototype:
This picture shows the bucket lid and the rim I turned using scraps from a 2 X 4 stud. So far this project has cost me $1.25 for the bucket lid.
Here is the assembled rim with a partially finsihed neck. The peghead is sort of like a Stratocaster peghead with no back angle. I will probably use electric guitar hardware to hold the strings down behind the nut. The position markers were made from a scrap of Brazillian rosewood. bought some maple shorts. So far the cost is about $4.00.
Assembled to check action. Next disassemble and put on finish and frets.
Done. Total cost, around $35.