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Jan 24, 2020 - 2:41:51 PM
1164 posts since 2/2/2008

I have many thoughts and ideas, some dumb some good. Mostly you never know until you attempt it.

Has anybody ever tried a straight cut heel and machined the rim to get the desired action for the desired bridge they wanted to use.

Jan 24, 2020 - 2:55:43 PM

7518 posts since 1/7/2005

Over the past couple centuries, I expect nearly every modification to the standard construction has been tried. Machining the rim rather than the heel sounds to me like more work, with no discernible benefits. I do know that some of the old Weymann banjos were angled on the inside of the rim, but I don't recall off hand whether they were also angled on the outside, where the heel is mounted.

DD

Jan 24, 2020 - 3:07:24 PM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

Just a thought I had once. Getting the heel angle matched to an action can be a pain. As you know if your neck is not done just right the banjo is not right.
Probably right there is no real advantage because if the curvature of the heel is not straight to the neck alignment the neck will always be high or low or to the left or right and will not have the strings down the true centre of the neck.

Ok thanks for helping me realise it a dumb idea.
See it's true, I'm full of dumb ideas :)

Edited by - 5strings3picks1banjo on 01/24/2020 15:08:54

Jan 24, 2020 - 3:11:39 PM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

Tube and plate neck fitting is easier than op flanges

Jan 24, 2020 - 4:11:04 PM
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2764 posts since 2/18/2009
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I think that in theory it should be easier to machine the rim into a cylinder and the heel to a section of a cylinder (as we do now) than to machine the rim and the heel into matching sections of a cone, which is what would have to happen if the rim was tapered on the outside and the heel fitted to it. I suppose it wouldn't be a very drastic taper, but I think it would still be enough to be challenging.
Zach

Jan 24, 2020 - 4:33:16 PM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14945 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by 5strings3picks1banjo

Just a thought I had once. Getting the heel angle matched to an action can be a pain.

As you know if your neck is not done just right the banjo is not right.


Probably right there is no real advantage because if the curvature of the heel is not straight to the neck alignment the neck will always be high or low or to the left or right and will not have the strings down the true centre of the neck.

Ok thanks for helping me realise it a dumb idea.
See it's true, I'm full of dumb ideas :)


Adjusting the rim results in weakening this most crucial area of the instrument.

If you want to know what I think is a great solution to the neck fitting conundrum, check this out:

Bluestem Backstep Banjo

Jan 24, 2020 - 5:53:57 PM
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12595 posts since 6/29/2005

When you sand-cast metal you need to have a taper on the pattern, which is called "draft".  This allows the pattern to be pulled out of the sand.  The cast part will have the same draft and most parts are machined straight after casting.

Some, maybe all of the original cast aluminum Ode rims were left with the draft and the heel cuts were straight.  I have an old Ode rim in the shop and it probably has 2-3 degrees draft, outside and inside, which is imperceptible unless you put a square against it.

Of course, that could be done with a wood rim below the tone ring skirt, I see no reason why it wouldn't work unless you had a bracket band.  You wouldn't be able to see it if my Ode is any indication.  Lots of molded parts you see every day have draft, and it isn't noticeable.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 01/24/2020 18:00:29

Jan 24, 2020 - 8:14:33 PM

Alex Z

USA

3721 posts since 12/7/2006

The poster might check out the Nechville Banjo neck connection.

Jan 24, 2020 - 10:59:05 PM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

Some interesting comments. Thank you.
Love Rudy's work and ideas.

Jan 25, 2020 - 8:36:22 AM
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12595 posts since 6/29/2005

I have made banjos with straight rims and carbon fiber composite interfaces that not only have the neck angle incorporated into them, but are flat on the surface so the neck heel can have a flat cut instead of a concave cut—much easier to adjust.

The part of the interface that fits against the pot must be molded to fit whatever the pot configuration is—in my case there's a bracket band.

Jan 25, 2020 - 9:14:03 AM

1164 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

I have made banjos with straight rims and carbon fiber composite interfaces that not only have the neck angle incorporated into them, but are flat on the surface so the neck heel can have a flat cut instead of a concave cut—much easier to adjust.

The part of the interface that fits against the pot must be molded to fit whatever the pot configuration is—in my case there's a bracket band.


Thanks for sharing. I love how we find ways to bring our ideas to light. That does make sense that the shim would be easier to shape. 

I have been trying to find the quickest easiest cheapest way to produce a banjo that has good sound that people can afford. Not a junk banjo a quality banjo that can kick some butt. Any banjo I make is so expensive people cannot afford them. The quality is there the sound is there but the desired name people want is not on the headstock.

I've thought if I can get banjos into people's hands they will sell themselves. Seems the market price has to be under $1000. Australia seems more narrow minded when it comes to banjo. I love the many banjos that so many people make here from Bho. So many unique ideas and solutions to problems.

Jan 25, 2020 - 9:48:37 AM

12595 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by 5strings3picks1banjo

I have been trying to find the quickest easiest cheapest way to produce a banjo that has good sound that people can afford. Not a junk banjo a quality banjo that can kick some butt. Any banjo I make is so expensive people cannot afford them. The quality is there the sound is there but the desired name people want is not on the headstock.

I've thought if I can get banjos into people's hands they will sell themselves. Seems the market price has to be under $1000. Australia seems more narrow minded when it comes to banjo. I love the many banjos that so many people make here from Bho. So many unique ideas and solutions to problems.

 


Good luck with that!  Here in this country we have various price points ranging from entry level to high end custom, and in my observation, after a long career in design and marketing, I can't perceive there to be any clear logical reason why someone will choose one banjo over another within the clearly stratified price ranges.

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