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Bottle cap banjo with bluegrass tonering upgrade

Posted by 5strings3picks1banjo on Friday, December 3, 2010

Lastest adventure is fitting a bluegrass tone ring and 3 ply rim to a bottle cap Fender banjo. First attempt I call a fail as the flange flared upwards. I cut the bottom and top of the alloy rim to use only the thin flange. There is no support or strenght so I wouldn't recommend doing it.

2nd attempt I cut only the top of the alloy rim and used the bottom half with the flange. This worked because it stops the flange flaring upwards when tensioning the head tight. I added a small block to the neck and shaped it to fit the alloy rim on the lower heel and 3ply rim and tonering on the top of the heel. It sounds very good for a very low price as all the old hooks and hardware where reused. It sounds a little bit muted with the original 13inch reso and very good with a 14inch reso.

This is not my banjo but a customer that wanted a better sound but couldn't afford a better banjo. I am sure he will be amazed at the transformation. Anything is possible so if you have an idea, think it our and have a go. I just love trying wierd and strange things.

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