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Jan 16, 2020 - 10:59:22 AM
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3812 posts since 5/1/2003

I posted pics of this banjo on another thread recently. It's a Vega white lady pot with a neck that appears to be of the home made variety. I strung it up with 4 strings and it seems to play all right but I'd like to figure a way to add the fifth string.
I'm not about to drill a big hole in the side like some cobbled versions I've seen. I thought perhaps a small screw such as is used for a pip on some banjos to hold the loop end and some sort of custom tail piece to fit a tuner. That way it could be returned to normal with no more than filling a tiny hole or two.
I know I'll get suggestions to just have a new neck made,but that's not in my retirement budget right now.
If the neck was an original Vega plectrum I wouldn't consider such a venture.


Jan 16, 2020 - 1:13:01 PM

53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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Tailpiece tuner, at your service!
And you can bend a small bolt 90 degrees, put it in a hole in the side of the neck, for the loop end. Maybe a brass brad next to it, so it won't spin forward from the pull.

Or, for appearance, TWO small pieces of brass rod.
Prettier than a bolt.
One for the loop end, and near the first one, angled back and brazed to it, so it cannot rotate. Shall I post a drawing, or does the description suffice?

PURPLE PAPER under the 5th, just in hopes it would SHOW UP better in the photo.
Not needed for actual pluckage and/or twangification.


Jan 16, 2020 - 1:33:30 PM

53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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Hey, I drew a picture anyway.

Click to enlarge.


Edited by - mike gregory on 01/16/2020 13:34:35

Jan 16, 2020 - 1:41:21 PM

1185 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Tailpiece tuner, at your service!
And you can bend a small bolt 90 degrees, put it in a hole in the side of the neck, for the loop end. Maybe a brass brad next to it, so it won't spin forward from the pull.

Or, for appearance, TWO small pieces of brass rod.
Prettier than a bolt.
One for the loop end, and near the first one, angled back and brazed to it, so it cannot rotate. Shall I post a drawing, or does the description suffice?

PURPLE PAPER under the 5th, just in hopes it would SHOW UP better in the photo.
Not needed for actual pluckage and/or twangification.


Crazy but I love it. I have also seen where people have attached wood to widen the neck and use spikes. That's ok to do if the neck was scrap anyway.

Do not ruin this neck because it is lovely as is. Maybe find one of those cheap necks that has been removed from damaged shop stock. They used to appear often on ebay under $100

Jan 16, 2020 - 3:46:01 PM
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53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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IF my guess is right, Two small holes for the bent rods are MUCH preferred over one BIG hole, for a standard 5th peg.
If ANY of my opinions were humble, I would be that two small holes will not ruin this neck.
But if you want my HUM BULL opinion, see attached.


Jan 17, 2020 - 3:49:45 PM

506 posts since 1/28/2013

The strings will be too close together to play decently.

Jan 17, 2020 - 5:53:30 PM
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53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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The string on a plectrum are spaced the same as on a 5-string, and my design puts the 5th string off to the SIDE of the fingerboard, not close enough to be a problem.

My designs may look clumsy, but my focus is on cheap, quick, and useful.

Goodness knows, there are enough careful craftsmen, and I am in AWE of their attention to detail, as demonstrated in the photos of their work, right here on BHO.
Heck, I even bought a (used) Bart Reiter banjo, not because I haven't got ENOUGH banjos, but because it is SO BEAUTIFUL!!

Jan 18, 2020 - 12:52:42 PM
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figmo59

USA

30426 posts since 3/5/2008
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This..




 

Jan 18, 2020 - 5:15:49 PM

53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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Figmo: Did you MAKE that, or buy it?

Jan 18, 2020 - 5:30:34 PM

3812 posts since 5/1/2003

That sure would do it!

Jan 21, 2020 - 12:02:11 PM

53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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You going to post pics & a sound file when you're done?

Jan 21, 2020 - 1:00:57 PM

3812 posts since 5/1/2003

Certainly,it'll take a month or so,most likely.

Jan 21, 2020 - 4:42:08 PM

Brett

USA

2056 posts since 11/29/2005

figmo, how about sharing did you make or buy that?

Jan 27, 2020 - 2:46:03 PM

Brett

USA

2056 posts since 11/29/2005

figmo, you don’t have to tell us, I found it by googling. While the price looked reasonable, it was clicking link after link to try and buy one of their 5 string version tailpieces, and there appears to be no such business any longer. Or no retailer in the US.
So, the name matters not if they have gone under. Nor does the reasonable price.

Jan 27, 2020 - 2:51:12 PM

Brett

USA

2056 posts since 11/29/2005

For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.
Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.

Jan 27, 2020 - 3:31:56 PM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14988 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Brett

For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.
Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.


I don't know if Anders Sterner is still making tailpiece assemblies, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried to contact him of his U.S. distributor, Breezy Ridge.

The website is still active and the Sterner Capo Museum is a must see!

Sterner Capo Museum

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:48:04 AM

173 posts since 8/25/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Brett

For those who wanted to see what was a neat product, it was a company called Sterner. Good price ($79), but who know how long ago, and like I said it matters not now.
Someone should pick on this idea though. Lots of nice old plectrum necks on banjos not quite worth converting to reg 5 string neck, this would be great for a fix. Of course, I guess you’re limited to tuning up to an A note on fifth, as you can’t spike. A 5th can take that but hard to go much higher without breakage. Particularly if you hit it pretty good. shame they went out.


There is a website offering these tailpieces at :

http://jpstrings.com/sterner.htm 

The prices seem to be about the same, for all his capos.  

Jan 28, 2020 - 6:38:06 PM

53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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If you CAN get a Sterner peg, why not install   the other end of the string closer to the bottom of the neck by a couple frets?
It will then reach G at a lower tension, and you can tighten it up to a B, instead of just A, before it breaks.

Edited by - mike gregory on 01/28/2020 18:39:53

Jan 28, 2020 - 6:57:28 PM

3812 posts since 5/1/2003

Here's what I accomplished today. new head from Smakula banjo,a nearly complete set of Vega hooks from the Classifieds,and reattached the plectrum neck.
The modern clamshell was broken do I made a l bracket so I could use it and mounted a 5th string tuner on a small block of oak.
I'll post more tomorrow.

Jan 28, 2020 - 6:59:28 PM

3812 posts since 5/1/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Ks_5-picker

Here's what I accomplished today. new head from Smakula banjo,a nearly complete set of Vega hooks from the Classifieds,and reattached the plectrum neck.
The modern clamshell was broken do I made a l bracket so I could use it and mounted a 5th string tuner on a small block of oak.
I'll post more tomorrow.











Jan 28, 2020 - 7:28:03 PM

RevD

USA

75 posts since 4/8/2019

ABM has a micrometer style tuner I was looking at when thinking of this vary thing. Work good for a open back but it is long, looks like some material could be trimmed though... This one is a ABM3801C (chrome obviously) I'm not sure if its still available or not I didnt' get that far lol.


 

Edited by - RevD on 01/28/2020 19:29:30

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:31:32 PM

RevD

USA

75 posts since 4/8/2019

I know gearless tuners look clunky and you have to draw a lot of slack to make it work on like the Steinberger type. With a 5th string though its take up is pretty quick, it should give real accurate tuning of the 5th string.

Jan 29, 2020 - 7:34:17 AM
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3812 posts since 5/1/2003

Well,I got playable and only had to drill one hole. That's one less than a shubb capo would take.
I looped the string over the 4th post and fashioned a holder to keep it close to the peghead.I don't like the way it looks,think I'll make a new nut with a groove in the end and loop the string over the 1st string post for a better angle.
That's a little tiny pull attatched under the 5th fret.

Jan 29, 2020 - 7:39:57 AM

3812 posts since 5/1/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Ks_5-picker

Well,I got playable and only had to drill one hole. That's one less than a shubb capo would take.
I looped the string over the 4th post and fashioned a holder to keep it close to the peghead.I don't like the way it looks,think I'll make a new nut with a groove in the end and loop the string over the 1st string post for a better angle.
That's a little tiny pull attatched under the 5th fret.





 

Jan 29, 2020 - 8:35:37 AM
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53961 posts since 12/14/2005
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Mr. 5picker, I welcome you as a distant brother in the "Guild of What If Banjo Cobblers".

Jan 29, 2020 - 9:34:54 AM

3812 posts since 5/1/2003

Thank you Mike,I'm honored,though I'm not in your league at all.
My goal is to get the thing so I can play it for awhile before I decide if I want to spend the $ for a real 5 string neck.

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