Dumb Question 101....I been cuting out the top of a soft drink can...the metal in their is very very thin...I thinking of using some other type of can or leaving the top attach....What do you think?

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Are you cutting below the top lip or directly down through the top? I leave a little of the top and burnish it inwards with the shank of a screw driver to stiffen the lip of the top.

This worked on my can but I never tried on the soda cans you work with.

Edit: ....... I just looked at a picture of your canjo and it kinda looks like how I cut the top on mine so I guess I'm not too helpfull. My can is a few decades old Foster Ale can with steel sides and aluminum top and bottom, a lot stiffer than your soda cans.

I think the main problem is all soft drink can is aluminum...

Do you need to cut the entire top out to make it work? I usually Dremel the tab open wider until I have half a top and a tiny bottom fringe left, then gently crimp the fringe back into the can as Corbie suggested and smooth the burrs with a file. If anything, the extra aluminum and smaller soundhole seem to lend the canjo a puncier sound.

Not a dumb question at all!

I'm still trying to perfect a nice clean rim on an aluminum beer can so I can make it a commercial item.

What are you using to cut the top out, without damaging the rim of the can?

I don't build canjos much anymore (I prefer 3-stringers), but when I did, I found cutting the tops of coke cans and the like was particularly frustrating (as I tend to be a crude builder and my rough techniques would often either dent the can or I'd end up with yet another cut), So, I switched to using those cans which have an aluminum "pop top" which make it easy to peel off the top of the can when you open them. They work pretty well, and tend not to leave jagged edges for people to cut themselves with. But, yeah, if you can burnish off the sharp edge, that would be even better. Just my 2 cents worth...


I seem to have a ready supply of 24oz Bud cans available...

They might make a nice - sized resonator when used as a butt-plate.

I was planning on opening up the pop-top end of the can using a rotary bit on a dremel tool or my drill...

Last one was a stick-in-can, which had a large diameter, and the 1x2 was spaced nicely with the string run to the center of the can.  I can slide it or fret it using the No 6 string off a small guitar.

the stick was set in the can on edge.

Using a 24 can, I suppose I should lay the stick flat against the side...  

I'll post a report when I get some more fabbed.



OK !

Done deal...

Here's my stick-in-a-can using a 24oz loomie.

This one uses a nylon string and a uke tuner.  It requires a nut and i play it fretless.

I like the tone it has, and play with it more than others.

This is NOT a good design !!!

As the pic shows, the top of the can is necked down from the larger, outer diameter, which the stick is attached to with a pair of drywall screws and some finishing washers.

It was necessary to cut a notch into the stick with my coping saw, and this made the neck weak.

Actually, it did crack, with the grain of the wood.

It's just a cheap softwood scrap I had on hand, but still, this is NOT the best design.

Oh, I did cut out the inside of the top using a small cerated knife, then bent the slightly jagged edge over using the shank of a screwdriver.

The aluminum cans are too thin, will not hold up very well, and I really can tell the larger can volume contributes to better tone.  The tone mostly seems to come from the stick, with best tone coming from the 12th fret vicinity.




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