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Nov 11, 2019 - 5:56:17 PM

kcjc69

USA

12725 posts since 3/6/2006

Not sure this is where I should be posting but here we go. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will tell me where to go... lol

I was just given this and I'm pretty sure it is a junker. The only markings are on the head stock which look stamped in. I've got a banjo uke but the head on this one is about 11" across. I'd like to get it back to playing condition. I see stew mac has flat hooks and nuts but where can I get a four string tail piece? I might just use a fork like I've done with some of my cigar box guitars if it's a junker but not sure.

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.




 

Nov 11, 2019 - 6:45:12 PM

12339 posts since 10/30/2008

I fixed up an old banjo uke with bracket hooks and brackets just like your photos. Stew Mac had a cheap sheet metal 4 string tailpiece that worked fine for me. I wouldn't call yours a junker by any means. Do the tuners work? Is the head usable? What is the scale length? That might help determine if it's a big-head banjo uke, or a basic "melody banjo" (early tenor). Which could guide you on the type of strings to get. have you had the resonator plate off to look inside for a maker's mark?

I say have some fun setting it up.

Nov 12, 2019 - 3:44:16 AM

kcjc69

USA

12725 posts since 3/6/2006

Thanks for the response. Yes the tuners are in good shape, the head is perfect and feels like it's textured instead of like my banjos. The scale length is 17 frets. I took the resonator plate off and there are no markings. I did a google search and someone else on BHO had one almost identical.

Nov 12, 2019 - 5:13:25 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14627 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by kcjc69

Thanks for the response. Yes the tuners are in good shape, the head is perfect and feels like it's textured instead of like my banjos. The scale length is 17 frets. I took the resonator plate off and there are no markings. I did a google search and someone else on BHO had one almost identical.


Hi Jim,

You'll need to know your scale length to know the initial location for the bridge.  Measure from the face of the nut to the center of the 12th fret and multiply that distance by 2, that's your scale length.  (The number of frets can vary from brand to brand even when scale length is the same.)  The bridge is positioned at that distance from the nut face and will then be shifted slightly (usually around 3/16") toward the tailpiece to set intonation.

Setting your intonation has been covered many times in archived topics, so when you get to that point just use the search feature at the left sidebar of each page here on the Hangout.

Nov 12, 2019 - 8:35:21 AM

6326 posts since 8/28/2013

You don't absolutely have to find a four string tailpiece. You can simply use a five string model and leave the middle hook or mounting post blank.

I'd like to see the entire headstock and the inside of the pot. Headstock shape and neck mounting hardware can often times give clues as to the maker.

The head feels like it's textured becasuse it's calfskin.

Nov 12, 2019 - 2:34:44 PM
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bill t

USA

193 posts since 12/14/2012

Elderly Instruments "elderly.com" also sells flat banjo hooks and they have tailpieces, bridges and strings.
From what one can see in the few pictures, it looks like a very useable banjo. Just needs a little work.

Nov 12, 2019 - 2:40:36 PM
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RevD

USA

43 posts since 4/8/2019

Not a junker, heck wouldn't take much to get it playing. Little clean up and it'd make a playable piece of art that one could hang and play when the feeling strikes...

Nov 12, 2019 - 5:19:50 PM

kcjc69

USA

12725 posts since 3/6/2006

Thanks all for the response. G Edward here are photos of the head stock and with resonator removed. I will have to make a nut but do that all the time with cigar box guitars.




Nov 12, 2019 - 5:23:39 PM

kcjc69

USA

12725 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by rudy
quote:
Originally posted by kcjc69

Thanks for the response. Yes the tuners are in good shape, the head is perfect and feels like it's textured instead of like my banjos. The scale length is 17 frets. I took the resonator plate off and there are no markings. I did a google search and someone else on BHO had one almost identical.


Hi Jim,

You'll need to know your scale length to know the initial location for the bridge.  Measure from the face of the nut to the center of the 12th fret and multiply that distance by 2, that's your scale length.  (The number of frets can vary from brand to brand even when scale length is the same.)  The bridge is positioned at that distance from the nut face and will then be shifted slightly (usually around 3/16") toward the tailpiece to set intonation.

Setting your intonation has been covered many times in archived topics, so when you get to that point just use the search feature at the left sidebar of each page here on the Hangout.


Looks like 10 7/16 so I'd say 20 7/8ths, sound close? 

Nov 12, 2019 - 7:42:21 PM
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2241 posts since 3/30/2008

This instrument seems to have features from both Oscar Schmidt, & Slingerland, c. 1920-30's. Well worth fixing up.

Nov 12, 2019 - 11:38:03 PM

10463 posts since 10/27/2006

Elton hardware as used by many including Slingerland. One of my Slingerland May Bells had an original resonator mounted identically.

Repro hardware is readily available but it's so shiny.

I'd install a few singles while cruising the internet or posting wanted ads for original style.

Used 4 string tailpieces are available but there are 5 string styles where you can't tell including Elton. Elton 'pieces are a bit of a PIA to string and many of us have them in our parts boxes, too. I may have an old rusty one in a box somewhere.

Edited by - mikehalloran on 11/12/2019 23:40:06

Nov 13, 2019 - 5:13:26 AM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14627 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by kcjc69
quote:
Originally posted by rudy
quote:
Originally posted by kcjc69

Thanks for the response. Yes the tuners are in good shape, the head is perfect and feels like it's textured instead of like my banjos. The scale length is 17 frets. I took the resonator plate off and there are no markings. I did a google search and someone else on BHO had one almost identical.


Hi Jim,

You'll need to know your scale length to know the initial location for the bridge.  Measure from the face of the nut to the center of the 12th fret and multiply that distance by 2, that's your scale length.  (The number of frets can vary from brand to brand even when scale length is the same.)  The bridge is positioned at that distance from the nut face and will then be shifted slightly (usually around 3/16") toward the tailpiece to set intonation.

Setting your intonation has been covered many times in archived topics, so when you get to that point just use the search feature at the left sidebar of each page here on the Hangout.


Looks like 10 7/16 so I'd say 20 7/8ths, sound close? 


Indeed it does.

I posted a CAD drawing for a 21" scale 17 fret tenor, so you can check that plan to give you a good visual indication of what your banjo should look like when properly set up.

Tenor banjo plan

Nov 13, 2019 - 3:28:59 PM

kcjc69

USA

12725 posts since 3/6/2006

Thanks Rudy great info.

Nov 13, 2019 - 3:32:41 PM

kcjc69

USA

12725 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran

Elton hardware as used by many including Slingerland. One of my Slingerland May Bells had an original resonator mounted identically.

Repro hardware is readily available but it's so shiny.

I'd install a few singles while cruising the internet or posting wanted ads for original style.

Used 4 string tailpieces are available but there are 5 string styles where you can't tell including Elton. Elton 'pieces are a bit of a PIA to string and many of us have them in our parts boxes, too. I may have an old rusty one in a box somewhere.


Sounds like a good idea. I'll start posting on the hangout marketplace and see what the response is. Thanks for the info. 

Nov 13, 2019 - 6:26:05 PM
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6326 posts since 8/28/2013

This is absolutely, positively, an Oscar Schmidt product. The neck attachment hardware was patented by Schmidt, and as far as I know was not used by others. The peghead shape, although similar to some Slingerlands, is not the same. I've seen that flat, screwed on resonator on other Oscar Schmidt banjos, too.

The "HF" initials on the peghead were most likey a wholesaler or music store branding.

I'd get this banjo going. It shouldn't take much.

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