Creating a Tunneled 5th String on a Banjo Commission

Just a quick blog post to show you some photos of a commission where the player wanted a tunnelled 5th string. Here are the photos from marking out the groove, cutting and fitting the nickel pipe:

1: Marking out



2: Cutting the groove


3: Fitting the nickel tube


4: How it looks once fitted


Any questions or comments, let me know!


  1. This project looks excellent – got to get me one.

  2. I have a tunnelled fifth string on my banjo(nechville phantom)and at first ,without the normal point of reference ,i.e. the 5th string tuner,it takes some getting used to,but once you are there,playing a conventional banjo afterwards seems very strange !

    Goog luck with your projects Malcolm.


  3. Nice, but I kinda like the way the 5th string peg sticks out on a the traditional neck (or is the tunnel more trad??). Maybe it’s my prejudice against Zithers, which have never really appealed to me.

    • Hi Graham, I really like them . I do appreciate what your saying though I’ve owned some dodgy old banjos in my time ! 🙂 . I changed my opinion after playing some of the more modern takes on the tunnelled fifth . I like them both now .

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