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Here's how i make a tunneled 5th banjo neck

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Aug 22, 2019 - 7:04:14 AM
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yetmeng

England

45 posts since 12/20/2017

hello all i thought id share with you how i make a tunneled 5th string banjo neck 1900s style.The result is a nice straight neck without the 5th tuner obstacle allowing you to glide smoothly down the neck with comfort and ease. the pay of is the 5th is a little harder to tune but is indeed livable. Get a piece of brass 3mm tube. Map out the straightest route. Then cut the channel either with chisel or router.then put some fine powdered wood dust into the slot to act as a bed for the tube. Then insert a thick nylon string into the tube so it wont kink while bending. always allow for fretboard (finger board ) thickness and head stock thickness and don't bend the tube in sharp angles or it will become difficult threading your string though. the insert tube making sure its bellow the surface of the neck for ease of gluing fingerboard on later. then super glue adding more fine saw dust to bring it level with the fretboard (fingerboard) allow to dry sand of level and its done remember to drill your holes in the fretboard/ headstock at an angle to accommodate the brass tube before glueing


Aug 22, 2019 - 7:39:13 AM
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yetmeng

England

45 posts since 12/20/2017

Aug 22, 2019 - 8:08:06 AM

557 posts since 2/19/2012

Very nice! I was hoping you would post some completed pictures as well.

Aug 22, 2019 - 8:26:59 AM
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yetmeng

England

45 posts since 12/20/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Parker135

Very nice! I was hoping you would post some completed pictures as well.


here's a tunneled banjo neck i made for a friend of mine. The pirate banjo 


Edited by - yetmeng on 08/22/2019 08:29:09

Aug 22, 2019 - 9:51:16 AM

3304 posts since 1/2/2004

Great tutorial. Nice technique. Fine looking neck. Thanks for sharing.

Lew

Aug 22, 2019 - 10:24:08 AM

557 posts since 2/19/2012

Loved the video, Chris.

Aug 23, 2019 - 1:16:23 PM

DRH

USA

15 posts since 5/29/2018

I can't remember if I saw this somewhere previously or it was some combination of deja vu and senility. I like the idea of putting the fifth string tuner at the peghead.

I have a teflon liner for one of my mig guns to run aluminum welding wire. It is quite hard for teflon. Would something like this work in place of the brass? Teflon is one of very few materials where static and dynamic friction coefficients are roughly the same.

As for the entry and exit points you might be able to use a worn out carbide mixing tube from a waterjet machine. We use 1.0mm mixing tubes in our AWJ. They are already flared at the top from garnet mixing with water at 2.5 mach. The static friction of banjo wire against carbide should be considerably less than with brass. This and the teflon might cure most of the tuning problem.

Aug 23, 2019 - 1:37:42 PM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14364 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by DRHarrison

I can't remember if I saw this somewhere previously or it was some combination of deja vu and senility. I like the idea of putting the fifth string tuner at the peghead.

I have a teflon liner for one of my mig guns to run aluminum welding wire. It is quite hard for teflon. Would something like this work in place of the brass? Teflon is one of very few materials where static and dynamic friction coefficients are roughly the same.

As for the entry and exit points you might be able to use a worn out carbide mixing tube from a waterjet machine. We use 1.0mm mixing tubes in our AWJ. They are already flared at the top from garnet mixing with water at 2.5 mach. The static friction of banjo wire against carbide should be considerably less than with brass. This and the teflon might cure most of the tuning problem.


Nechville uses that type of material for the fifth string guide path.

I've been doing tunnels for quite a while and use small gauge stainless steel micro-tubing.  The tubing has a very low coefficient of friction and the string will not bed into the material over time.  I form my tunnels so the string doesn't contact the tubing edges and the path is as straight as possible from the sounding point to the string post.  That's vitally important to eliminate tuning and string breakage issues.  I posted a CAD drawing in the "Cello Banjo Plan" topic with tunnel path and material details if you want further information.

Aug 23, 2019 - 1:53:26 PM

DRH

USA

15 posts since 5/29/2018

Then it was probably your post that I remembered. Thanks Rudy.

Aug 24, 2019 - 3:03:05 AM

yetmeng

England

45 posts since 12/20/2017

starting to sound very technical. i just use brass tubing i have worked on many banjos from the 1900s with brass tubing and there still going strong with very little wear so its proven to last the riggers of time but a tube is a tube as long as its strong enough. But the idea of reducing friction sounds good. Like RUDY said don't bend sharp angles in the tube or it will become a pain for tuning when completed. As you can see from the pic the tube no sharp bends


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