My father-in-law and I made a custom Banjo for me. Nothing fancy, but he bought the parts (the neck, the pot, the resonator, etc), and we essentially assembled it together. It was quite a unique experience, full of frustrations and joy.
The body/pot is a mastertone pot, a specific style from what I understand. Also, getting a wide enough neck was difficult, so we modified a smaller neck to make it work.
The neck itself is from another country, Vietnam maybe? He bought it off eBay. Regardless, the craftsmanship is amazing. I love the inlays on the neck and head.
A lot of the wood doesn’t match, but I sort of like that. It gives it a ‘homemade’ feel.
Dad already had this resonator (the back) laying around his house, which sparked the whole “let’s build a banjo over a period of months” discussion. It’s a tiger fighting a hawk/bird. Pretty metal if you ask me. It was made in another country as well.
The armrest is pretty cool too, showcasing a cool flower and vine design.
All in all, the experience was fascinating. And it was a good bonding experience with my dad- in- law. It’s even inspired me to try to make another instrument, like a plectrum/tenor Banjo or a bass guitar. :).