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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Calfskin Banjo Head: See through version...


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/362701

staceyz - Posted - 04/01/2020:  15:23:36


I have a couple old calfskin heads (unmounted) in the round sheet format, from an old music store. Does anyone know how manufacturers turn a white calfskin head into a semi-see through version? .. and is there a way to make them less see through? Maybe a light sand?

Thanks in advance, Stacey

tdennis - Posted - 04/01/2020:  15:30:46


Are these "slunk" calfskin heads, designed for the bottom of a drum ? They are usually thin enough for banjos & are usually transluscent amber color, which is quite nice. & not really see through . (Just a guess)

staceyz - Posted - 04/01/2020:  15:49:29


Yes, they are transluscent amber, and are definitely thin enough for a banjo... and about 16" in diameter..

staceyz - Posted - 04/01/2020:  15:56:07


I never heard the term "slunk" skin... Just found out they are "made from the skin of unborn calf and are generally expensive because they are hard to come by."

Jonnycake White - Posted - 04/01/2020:  19:08:38


I think you are thinking backwards, StaceyZ. I could be wrong, but I think the manufacturers take translucent skins and make them white by bleaching. They probably start with thicker skins and skive them down also.

Bart Veerman - Posted - 04/01/2020:  21:02:37


The see-thru spots that you see in some hide heads usually are weak spots...

A friend of mine used a paper towel to dab - not smear - white latex on the bottom side of the head that looked really good. Don't do it on the top side of the head else you'll have big-time problems trying to move the bridge and scraping off the latex.

I'm not sure whether he moistened the paper towel and/or head a bit so do practice the dabbing on a piece of newspaper before tackling the head itself.

Like I said though, it came out looking and sounding real good.

staceyz - Posted - 04/02/2020:  11:04:04


Here is a photo of the skin... (very see through) Do you think when I soak the skin I could add bleach to the water..?



 

mjt0229 - Posted - 04/02/2020:  12:52:35


quote:

Originally posted by Bart Veerman

The see-thru spots that you see in some hide heads usually are weak spots...



A friend of mine used a paper towel to dab - not smear - white latex on the bottom side of the head that looked really good. Don't do it on the top side of the head else you'll have big-time problems trying to move the bridge and scraping off the latex.



I'm not sure whether he moistened the paper towel and/or head a bit so do practice the dabbing on a piece of newspaper before tackling the head itself.



Like I said though, it came out looking and sounding real good.






Interesting. In this video John Balch says those translucent areas were stronger:



youtu.be/3pp0VFXiu38?t=207

carlb - Posted - 04/03/2020:  04:46:14


quote:

Originally posted by staceyz

Here is a photo of the skin... (very see through) Do you think when I soak the skin I could add bleach to the water..?






Looks like slunk to me. I love these skins and use them on my banjos just as they are; 20 min soak in cold water, wrap in a towel to remove excess water, then mount. I prefer thin skins (0.2-0.25mm).

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