Goldtone Maple Classic Kit


[Home] [Next]

This is the account of my adventures as I built a Goldtone Maple Classic banjo from their kit.

I recently (early 2003) purchased a Goldtone Maple Classic banjo kit because I wanted to try playing a resonator banjo, but they tend to be a bit expensive. Building a kit gave me the opportunity to try one with a price that seemed acceptable for such an experiment. The kit also gave me a chance to learn more about what goes into building a bluegrass banjo (I have previously built country banjos).

Before I go any farther, I must point out that I have no financial interest in Goldtone Banjos. I do not represent the company in any way, and I make the following statements only as a satisfied customer.

After I got started on this project, I thought that it might be helpful to others if I published my experiences as I built the kit. I have built several musical instrument kits from various vendors over the years, and I have found that there is usually more to building them than is evident at first blush. The instructions which come with the kits tend to be a bit.... um... optimistic... about the course of events which must transpire on the way to the completed instrument. So, these pages are filled with my adventures as I did the project. I have not candy-coated the story and I have tried to show what happened, skinned knuckles and all. I have added some tips and suggestions which I wish I had known when I started out making this kit. I hope that these may be useful to you.

I took photos of my progress as I built the banjo, so this document has the potential of causing long download times. Therefore I have broken the story down into several pages to keep the size of each reasonable. I have also made small thumbnails of the images for inclusion with the text in order to speed up the display time. To see a photo in full size, just click on the photo and then use the Back button on your browser to go back to the text. Please be a bit patient if you are on a slow connection.

Each page is set up to describe my approach and what it took to get the job done. Each page contains the following sections:


This is general discussion of what I did to complete a specific part of the kit.


This section describes the disasters that I ran into (or rather, caused).


This section describes problems that I ran into which were not disasters, but at the same time they had to be solved before I could move forward.


This section describes the challenges that I faced during the building of my banjo. Most of the challenges were limitations of my knowledge and skill which I had to overcome in order to get this done.

What I Would Do Differently

I discuss things that I would do differently if I had it to do over again.


An estimate of how long it took to do each part.

The pages are:

So, without further ado, I will begin with some general information about the kit.


This web site and all of its content, text and images are Copyright © 2005 Brian S. Kimerer
All rights reserved.