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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Rim thickness


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/350794

Quickstep192 - Posted - 02/02/2019:  04:08:34


I’m gathering materials to make a version of Rudy’s Banjobuilding 101 banjo. I wanted a rim with without a head so I could use a mesh drum head. I’m also planning to use light gauge steel strings.

Anyway... I found a frame for a hand drum, but it’s only 1/4” thick. It’s a lot of plies and it seems well made, but I’m wondering if it’s thick enough.

Any thoughts on this?

Billybiltbanjo - Posted - 02/02/2019:  05:17:57


I had a 1/4" multiply drum shell that I was going to try a few years ago.. I was worried that the shoe brackets and the head of the bolts would squash the multi ply shell and meet in the middle.. Maybe yours is better quality

rudy - Posted - 02/02/2019:  05:35:08


It depends on what the plies are made of... "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link".



Many banjo makers (some very well known...) use slices of Keller (or other) drum shells with no problems.  I've used them many times myself.  Standard Keller shells are 10-7/8" outer diameter and are about 1/4" thick.  They are made from thin layers of maple or other hardwood and have either 7 or 9 layers, I don't remember which at the moment and warm coffee is preventing me from venturing outside to the shop to check.  When I use them I add a full 1/16" layer of a more attractive wood veneer to the outside, bringing them to 11" O.D.



My point is that a 1/4" thick rim will work fine if it's made of hardwood and well constructed.

Quickstep192 - Posted - 02/02/2019:  07:13:17


It’s made of maple and the joints appear to be quite good.

I was thinking of adding a few layers of veneer to the inside, but I don’t have a ready source and it flies in the face of my “quick and dirty” plan for this banjo.

Culloden - Posted - 02/02/2019:  08:01:30


quote:

Originally posted by Quickstep192

It’s made of maple and the joints appear to be quite good.



I was thinking of adding a few layers of veneer to the inside, but I don’t have a ready source and it flies in the face of my “quick and dirty” plan for this banjo.






woodcraft.com



I have used numerous products from them, including their veneer, and have never been disappointed. Maybe it goes against your quick and dirty plan but you might consider it in the future. Making banjos is like eating Lay's potato chips. You can't build just one.

2hennepin6 - Posted - 02/02/2019:  12:13:13


Zach Hoyt, builder and frequent contributor to this site just used a Keller drum shell for a banjo. It is listed in the Marketplace right now for sale. It is a very nice looking banjo. He could give some insight if you contact him.

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