I am new to playing and recently picked up an old tenor banjo. It is a sterling tenor which I understand was probably made by Tonk bros. I have been looking around and I cannot find another banjo like it. The outside of the pot is metal but has a slight crease or wave in the metal but it is not visable on the inside. I believe I have a spun pot but I am not sure. I was wondering if you guys could let me know if there is anything I can do about the bend in the metal or if I even have to do anything. Also any information you guys could tell me that would be great! Thank you in advance.
Hi Alex and welcome! The best thing to do is take a lot of photos all over the instrument and post them so folks can ID it.
Here are a few images of the banjo, let me know if any other photos would be helpful.
Tonk Bros. was a distributor, not a manufacturor. The peghead on this banjo has a Slingerland shape(Slingerland made some Tonk Bros. instruments) but that is where the resemblance ends.
I don't know who made it, but the crease in the exterior metal cladding is somewhat common on cheaper clad. rims. A combination of poor workmanship to begin with (loose fit of the cladding to the wood rim) and head tension, often made worse by the installation of a plastic head.
Thank you for all of the information. It has a plastic head on it right now and it is not worn at all, if I were to replace it in the future is there any that you would recommend to not put so much stress on the outter rim?
No. The stress on the outer rim is part of the sound of a banjo. Get a better instrument instead of buying a new head.
Well this banjo is the best I can afford at the moment and it sounds pretty good even with a crease in the outside. I was more wondering if other heads can produce comparable sound at a lower amount of stress on the instrument.
The damage is already done at this point.. if its playing ok, I would probably just go with how it is, and not worry about it. Cladding is near impossible to fix.
If it plays, play it, and don't worry about stress. The damage is already done, very likely not fixable, and probably doesn't affect the sound, anyway. Any head will have about the same tension when it's tightened enough for good sound, so changing the one on it won't make anything better and will just cost money and installation time.
I agree with Mr. Porgie.
Have fun with what you've got.
And, welcome to the HangOut.
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