Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

380
Banjo Lovers Online


Discussion Forum

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Banjo Building, Setup, and Repair
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Convert this plectrum to a 5.


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/360377

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/16/2020:  10:59:22


I posted pics of this banjo on another thread recently. It's a Vega white lady pot with a neck that appears to be of the home made variety. I strung it up with 4 strings and it seems to play all right but I'd like to figure a way to add the fifth string.
I'm not about to drill a big hole in the side like some cobbled versions I've seen. I thought perhaps a small screw such as is used for a pip on some banjos to hold the loop end and some sort of custom tail piece to fit a tuner. That way it could be returned to normal with no more than filling a tiny hole or two.
I know I'll get suggestions to just have a new neck made,but that's not in my retirement budget right now.
If the neck was an original Vega plectrum I wouldn't consider such a venture.




mike gregory - Posted - 01/16/2020:  13:13:01


Tailpiece tuner, at your service!
And you can bend a small bolt 90 degrees, put it in a hole in the side of the neck, for the loop end. Maybe a brass brad next to it, so it won't spin forward from the pull.

Or, for appearance, TWO small pieces of brass rod.
Prettier than a bolt.
One for the loop end, and near the first one, angled back and brazed to it, so it cannot rotate. Shall I post a drawing, or does the description suffice?

PURPLE PAPER under the 5th, just in hopes it would SHOW UP better in the photo.
Not needed for actual pluckage and/or twangification.


mike gregory - Posted - 01/16/2020:  13:33:30


Hey, I drew a picture anyway.



Click to enlarge.



 


Edited by - mike gregory on 01/16/2020 13:34:35


5strings3picks1banjo - Posted - 01/16/2020:  13:41:21


quote:

Originally posted by mike gregory

Tailpiece tuner, at your service!

And you can bend a small bolt 90 degrees, put it in a hole in the side of the neck, for the loop end. Maybe a brass brad next to it, so it won't spin forward from the pull.



Or, for appearance, TWO small pieces of brass rod.

Prettier than a bolt.

One for the loop end, and near the first one, angled back and brazed to it, so it cannot rotate. Shall I post a drawing, or does the description suffice?



PURPLE PAPER under the 5th, just in hopes it would SHOW UP better in the photo.

Not needed for actual pluckage and/or twangification.






Crazy but I love it. I have also seen where people have attached wood to widen the neck and use spikes. That's ok to do if the neck was scrap anyway.



Do not ruin this neck because it is lovely as is. Maybe find one of those cheap necks that has been removed from damaged shop stock. They used to appear often on ebay under $100

mike gregory - Posted - 01/16/2020:  15:46:01


IF my guess is right, Two small holes for the bent rods are MUCH preferred over one BIG hole, for a standard 5th peg.
If ANY of my opinions were humble, I would be that two small holes will not ruin this neck.
But if you want my HUM BULL opinion, see attached.


jan dupree - Posted - 01/17/2020:  15:49:45


The strings will be too close together to play decently.

mike gregory - Posted - 01/17/2020:  17:53:30


The string on a plectrum are spaced the same as on a 5-string, and my design puts the 5th string off to the SIDE of the fingerboard, not close enough to be a problem.



My designs may look clumsy, but my focus is on cheap, quick, and useful.



Goodness knows, there are enough careful craftsmen, and I am in AWE of their attention to detail, as demonstrated in the photos of their work, right here on BHO.

Heck, I even bought a (used) Bart Reiter banjo, not because I haven't got ENOUGH banjos, but because it is SO BEAUTIFUL!!

figmo59 - Posted - 01/18/2020:  12:52:42


This..





 

mike gregory - Posted - 01/18/2020:  17:15:49


Figmo: Did you MAKE that, or buy it?

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/18/2020:  17:30:34


That sure would do it!

mike gregory - Posted - 01/21/2020:  12:02:11


You going to post pics & a sound file when you're done?

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/21/2020:  13:00:57


Certainly,it'll take a month or so,most likely.

Brett - Posted - 01/21/2020:  16:42:08


figmo, how about sharing did you make or buy that?

Brett - Posted - 01/27/2020:  14:46:03


figmo, you don’t have to tell us, I found it by googling. While the price looked reasonable, it was clicking link after link to try and buy one of their 5 string version tailpieces, and there appears to be no such business any longer. Or no retailer in the US.
So, the name matters not if they have gone under. Nor does the reasonable price.

Brett - Posted - 01/27/2020:  14:51:12


For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.
Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.

rudy - Posted - 01/27/2020:  15:31:56


quote:

Originally posted by Brett

For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.

Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.






I don't know if Anders Sterner is still making tailpiece assemblies, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried to contact him of his U.S. distributor, Breezy Ridge.



The website is still active and the Sterner Capo Museum is a must see!



Sterner Capo Museum



 

Half Barbaric Twanger - Posted - 01/28/2020:  07:48:04


quote:

Originally posted by Brett

For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.

Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.






There is a website offering these tailpieces at :



jpstrings.com/sterner.htm 



The prices seem to be about the same, for all his capos.  



 



 

mike gregory - Posted - 01/28/2020:  18:38:06


If you CAN get a Sterner peg, why not install   the other end of the string closer to the bottom of the neck by a couple frets?

It will then reach G at a lower tension, and you can tighten it up to a B, instead of just A, before it breaks.


Edited by - mike gregory on 01/28/2020 18:39:53

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/28/2020:  18:57:28


Here's what I accomplished today. new head from Smakula banjo,a nearly complete set of Vega hooks from the Classifieds,and reattached the plectrum neck.
The modern clamshell was broken do I made a l bracket so I could use it and mounted a 5th string tuner on a small block of oak.
I'll post more tomorrow.

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/28/2020:  18:59:28


quote:

Originally posted by Ks_5-picker

Here's what I accomplished today. new head from Smakula banjo,a nearly complete set of Vega hooks from the Classifieds,and reattached the plectrum neck.

The modern clamshell was broken do I made a l bracket so I could use it and mounted a 5th string tuner on a small block of oak.

I'll post more tomorrow.






 










RevD - Posted - 01/28/2020:  19:28:03


ABM has a micrometer style tuner I was looking at when thinking of this vary thing. Work good for a open back but it is long, looks like some material could be trimmed though... This one is a ABM3801C (chrome obviously) I'm not sure if its still available or not I didnt' get that far lol.


Edited by - RevD on 01/28/2020 19:29:30



 

RevD - Posted - 01/28/2020:  19:31:32


I know gearless tuners look clunky and you have to draw a lot of slack to make it work on like the Steinberger type. With a 5th string though its take up is pretty quick, it should give real accurate tuning of the 5th string.

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/29/2020:  07:34:17


Well,I got playable and only had to drill one hole. That's one less than a shubb capo would take.
I looped the string over the 4th post and fashioned a holder to keep it close to the peghead.I don't like the way it looks,think I'll make a new nut with a groove in the end and loop the string over the 1st string post for a better angle.
That's a little tiny pull attatched under the 5th fret.

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/29/2020:  07:39:57


quote:

Originally posted by Ks_5-picker

Well,I got playable and only had to drill one hole. That's one less than a shubb capo would take.

I looped the string over the 4th post and fashioned a holder to keep it close to the peghead.I don't like the way it looks,think I'll make a new nut with a groove in the end and loop the string over the 1st string post for a better angle.

That's a little tiny pull attatched under the 5th fret.






 





 

mike gregory - Posted - 01/29/2020:  08:35:37


Mr. 5picker, I welcome you as a distant brother in the "Guild of What If Banjo Cobblers".

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/29/2020:  09:34:54


Thank you Mike,I'm honored,though I'm not in your league at all.
My goal is to get the thing so I can play it for awhile before I decide if I want to spend the $ for a real 5 string neck.

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/29/2020:  09:45:50


quote:

Originally posted by Ks_5-picker

Well,I got playable and only had to drill one hole. That's one less than a shubb capo would take.

I looped the string over the 4th post and fashioned a holder to keep it close to the peghead.I don't like the way it looks,think I'll make a new nut with a groove in the end and loop the string over the 1st string post for a better angle.

That's a little tiny pulley attatched under the 5th fret.






 

Brett - Posted - 01/29/2020:  15:06:54


quote:

Originally posted by Half Barbaric Twanger

quote:

Originally posted by Brett

For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.

Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.






There is a website offering these tailpieces at :



jpstrings.com/sterner.htm 



The prices seem to be about the same, for all his capos.  



Anyone that can order one of these tailpieces, best of luck. I DID go to several websites about it, none of which either respond or have a basket or way to order.  Shame, it’s a great idea.



 






 

Brett - Posted - 01/30/2020:  14:00:59


I was wrong. I just got a reply from jpstrings, they do sell it, but you have to call. I guess there is no basket or shopping cart thing, but what’s important is they do sell it. So, I hope my lack of patience in waiting for reply and misinformation did not create any business issues for them or anyone else. There’s probably very good reasons I didn’t hear back for awhile, and same for the various websites saying go here, no go there, to buy it.

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/30/2020:  14:39:51


I redid the routing on the 5th today and made a bone pip,pressed it into the screw hole. Seems to work fine.




5strings3picks1banjo - Posted - 01/30/2020:  14:51:24


Well done, if there is a well thy will be done. Aint no mountain high enough aint no valley low enough to stop me from getting to you..........

Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/30/2020:  19:25:43


I didn't like the flanges that came on this banjo,but can't swing a set of Vega flanges do I modified a set of individual saga flanges. I had to grind some relief in the back so they'd fit. They had to overlap so they are plenty ugly but they're better than nothing. Something to hang the resonator with.




Ks_5-picker - Posted - 01/31/2020:  19:36:55


Well,here's a little video of the plectrum 5 string. It actually plays ok.


Jethro Aberdeen - Posted - 02/03/2020:  16:59:39


Very resourceful fellow well done!

mike gregory - Posted - 02/04/2020:  17:45:56


Sounds like you have made a very happy convert!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125