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Aluminum rim banjo project finished at last!

Posted by vintagewells on Monday, October 8, 2007

I have been waiting since May to have the tension hoop welded back together. One of those aluminum rims that had an 11.25" head on an 11" rim. With the wooden rim insert, I needed to go to an 11" head for the best fit. So I cut the tension hoop down. and gave it to my daughter to weld. Her excuse was that it was too hot. OK, so maybe 105 is a mite hot. I still love her.

I found someone else to weld it for me. Which he did. So last Friday I was happily putting the brackets  on and started tightening them. SNAP! The weld gave way. It didn't hold.

At that point I was almost in tears, having waited so long.....Really bummed out. Iwent to bed.

......and woke up the next morning, went out to my work area and picked up a lamp shade frame - no fabric on it.

Don't you have such things around in case you need one?

I cut the top ring off, cut it apart, drilled it, bolted it together and made a makeshift tension hoop.......

It'll do for a while. Not pretty, but works.

Putting the rest of the banjo together, I really had the feelling that I was working in Gibson Gangsta's custom shop. One of the tuning pegs doesn't match, there are two different styles of those little ferules that go around the tuning  peg shafts, one of the resonator bolts was missing - always has been, so I found a brass one that worked. Of course, there is the crooked coordinator rod.....

Finally, get it strung, the bridge placed correctly, tuned, and the big moment ......How does it sound?

Beautiful, it is such an improvement. Oh wow!

This banjo has had a wonderful action, ever since i first tinkered with it. And that remains true today. It is fun to play, sounds good and makes me want to play better.
I will post a music file as soon as I can.

You can see the pictures in the album entitled Aluminum rim banjo project.

On one of the photos, it appears that the head actually sinks in, it doesn't, just a little under the bridge as is true for most heads that aren't tightened to the point of detonation. On another there are weird reflections, they are of a chain link fence and prickly pear cactus. But it was so neat, I had to include it.


2 comments on “Aluminum rim banjo project finished at last!”

mrphysics55 Says:
Sunday, October 21, 2007 @6:52:25 PM

Lorna! You are my new "Hero"! Using what's around to get that banjer up and going... :>) Eddie

jimbo1971 Says:
Sunday, October 28, 2007 @1:51:51 PM

you like your sitting in proper banjo country. 105 jeez thats hot.

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