My poor old banjo needs some loving attention.....
Monday, October 24, 2011 @6:42:47 PM
The tone ring (spot the new guy - I'm assuming that's what the grey metal ring is) looks like it needs a bit of polishing. Is that a good idea? I'm guessing it needs an 11 inch head - that is the diameter of the inside of the pot. Also needs a bridge and strings.
Monday, October 24, 2011 @9:08:47 PM
Hi. What you have is an entry level (low end) GH&S (British) 5 string. The original vellum (hide head) has gone west. If this banjo has an 11" rim, then you can either fit a new vellum or get a modern white frosted mylar one.
The problem is heads come in 3 different 'crown heights' so one would need to know what yours is before you replace the head. What area of NZ are you in? There may be someone locally who can either advise you or do the work for you.
The 'tone ring' on this jo is very basic. The smaller metal ring (silver) gives it the appearance of an 'arch top' ring instead of a 'flat top' one but it is the 'tone ring'. Like I said, this make and model is very basic.
Hope it helps
Monday, October 24, 2011 @9:21:05 PM
Thanks for that Wayne, I'm in Nelson. Someone gave me the banjo years ago in that condition and I forgot I had it stored in a garden shed. I just pulled it out recently and was surprised that it doesn't seem to have deteriorated much. I'm just hoping I can get it working as a starter banjo to see if it's something I'd like to take further as I can't afford a decent one yet. Is there an easy way to tell the crown height? I'm not completely handless, so could dismantle it further to measure something if needs be.
Monday, October 24, 2011 @9:49:32 PM
Hi John. Go to the link I have provided. That will give you an indication.
If the jo has been stored in a shed then most likely it will have absorbed moisture and may distort in time. Best to store it inside in a warmish location to let it dry out. There is no reason why you couldn't 'restore' this to playing condition yourself. If you want help/advice then drop me a line.
Monday, October 24, 2011 @11:08:03 PM
Cheers Wayne! Will do.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 @12:01:45 AM
Ok she's now in about 70 bits ;)
Looks like the head is 3/8" going by the diagram on the stewmac site. The tone ring sits higher than the top surface so the old head goes straight up 3/8" from the top of the mounting band to the face then it slopes in towards the centre about 5/8" while rising another 1/4" up to the tone ring before levelling off. Does that sound about right?
Saturday, October 29, 2011 @3:43:28 PM
Theoretically it should but the only real way to find out is to see if is to try and fit an 11" high crown head. Is there anyway you can come across and get the banjo to me for a look see? I have some old heads ( and new ones) that I could try.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 @4:08:42 PM
Are you in Napier Wayne? I am coming over to Wellington next week for a few days, but no plans to go further north.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 @4:42:46 PM
I am in the Lower Hutt. Perhaps we could meet up when you are over. send me a PM via my homepage and we can t up a time.
Sunday, June 3, 2012 @8:39:07 PM
Yay! Finally got a new head and bridge for this banjo , so can finally start learning. I managed to snap one of the head tighteners but it seems to be holding together so far. Fingers crossed.
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