Irene Tukuafu’s Cherry Wood Banjo With Abalone Inlay

“My Tenor Banjo is made of cherry wood & there are some places that are walnut in the neck and peg head. I used some wood inlay for the side with some added crushed turquoise with epoxy glue then sanded that down. It’s easier to use abalone shell.  This shell is gotten from Aqua Blue Maui LLC. WONDERFUL FOLKS to work with and their process of making abalone shell into a product that can be used easily….WOW. They have a great website and sooooooooo many colors to choose from. This shell that I’m using is from N.Z. but there are abalone shells from all over the world. They make it into the thin even stuff that is not even as thick as a credit card and can be cut by scissors.  All made there in Maui. And yes, I did inlay this abalone shell. I used super glue to make sure it stays where I put it.

So often a banjo overrules a small group of musicians. That’s one reason why I like this style as it’s not too loud. I used Baritone Ukulele strings on this banjo as that is the tuning. It’s also called “Chicago tuning”…really it’s just the last 4 strings of a guitar. Easy to play and enjoy. Not as heavy as your brother’s Tenor Banjo. There are two other tunings that can be used with this banjo, making it very playable to folks who play other instruments.…”


About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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