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Feb 19, 2020 - 6:15:34 PM
369 posts since 12/14/2008

So I have just got a banjo that the heel is not exactly for right and the flange is touching and not allowing the heel to sit tight against the rim. I think I could take it off and sand it to where it needs to be. I should be able to cut that myself right?

Feb 19, 2020 - 6:44:43 PM
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12345 posts since 8/30/2006

Yes a Dremel, some filing, with care and patience, it should be fun.

Feb 20, 2020 - 12:55:47 PM

369 posts since 12/14/2008

Thanks for the reply. I’m pretty handy as I’m an electrician and have working skills with lots of materials. But I’m not a neck builder by any means. Any tips on how to cut or file? Or should I just take a little from where I think it needs it and then hold the neck on the pot and look at it and file some more? Thanks

Feb 20, 2020 - 12:57:48 PM

369 posts since 12/14/2008

Also it seems like a Dremel would be a really good tool for this job. Maybe some sand paper. A file might be hard to get the right curve of the pot. What do you think?

Feb 20, 2020 - 1:15:07 PM
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3780 posts since 5/12/2010

A dremel is a good tool for stuff like this, but if all you need to do is add some clearance to the cut for the flange you can do that with a file, or a proper sanding tool.

I save the cut offs from rolling tension hoops and tone rings in my ring roller, and these make useful sanding blocks by gluing sandpaper or other abrasive to the pieces of brass. I use things like this to fine tune heel cuts all the time.

You can heat a file and bend it in a curve, then harden it again and have a useful tool. The curve only needs to approximate the curve of the heel cut to work, and a little tighter curve on the file will make it easier to use.

You can do this by first softening the file by heating it cherry red with a torch and letting it cool slowly. Then you can bend it around some sort of form near the desired curve ( an iron skillet comes to my mind ).

Once the file is curved enought to be used, you harden it by heating it again to cherry red and then cool it fast by putting it into a bucket of water.

One thing to be aware of here which might save you some time is the only place this cut needs to be accurate is on each side of the heel. Should be a close fit there for appearance sake, but nobody can see inside the heel so the cut doesn't need to be perfect, just needs enough clearance for the flange.

Edited by - OldPappy on 02/20/2020 13:17:49

Feb 20, 2020 - 1:17:38 PM

12710 posts since 6/29/2005

Are you talking about cutting the neck, or the flange?  A couple of pictures would be very helpful.

Feb 20, 2020 - 1:19:13 PM

3780 posts since 5/12/2010

Hi Ken,

Had not thought of cutting a little off the flange at that point, but I have seen that done too.

Feb 20, 2020 - 2:08:16 PM

369 posts since 12/14/2008

Originally posted by OldPappy

Hi Ken,

Had not thought of cutting a little off the flange at that point, but I have seen that done too.

Thanks oldpappy. Those are some good tips and I think I got this. I really like the curved file idea. As I mentioned. The neck is not straight with the pot which is how I noticed the problem. When I got the banjo I noticed the strings were at the edge of the fretboard up the neck even with the tail piece and bridge centered. After looking at it I noticed the bottom of the heel was not seated against the pot ever so slightly. I assume it's because the flange is not letting it sit down and the neck is tweaked off center slightly. So if I take out the material in just that gap first I'll be able to see if it corrects the allignment issue. I will report back with what happens but thanks everyone again for the ideas. Any other ideas fire away. 

Feb 21, 2020 - 2:07:05 PM

369 posts since 12/14/2008

Well thanks for the tips. I did it and it worked great. The heel is sitting solid! On another note this thing is a cannon! I was going to sell it but I may not be able to.

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