Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

432
Banjo Lovers Online


Old Lyon Healy open Back banjo leather head

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Feb 28, 2020 - 10:00:12 AM
5 posts since 2/28/2020

Advice needed. This old banjo has old friction type tuners and is hard to tune and to stay in tune. 1
Should I change the tuners to a newer geared type. If so any recommendation?
2. The neck is only attached with two screws inside the head. If I put the slightest pressure on the neck it it will change the tuning sharp or flat. Is there any way to beef it up inside the head.

Feb 28, 2020 - 10:15:23 AM

965 posts since 1/26/2012

Does your banjo have a dowel rod or coordinator rod? Post a picture of the neck attachment.

Feb 28, 2020 - 10:25:23 AM

5 posts since 2/28/2020

It is a square rod. Not sure of the correct terminology.


 

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:04:13 AM
likes this

965 posts since 1/26/2012

I can't quite tell from your photo, but it looks like you're missing the dowel stick hardware. There's a bit of hardware that mounts to the dowel and pulls the neck tight against the pot. Something like THIS. Someone with more experience will chime in here and tell you which specific type of hardware you should have for that banjo.

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:04:16 AM
likes this

5056 posts since 9/21/2007

Please post more photos. Front, back, and side of the peghead.

That will give us an idea of what you are working with.

I presume you understand that regular banjos built before the plectrum era were all intended for gut strings which were quite a bit thinner than the currently available packaged nylon or polyester strings.

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:05:41 AM
likes this

5056 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ClayTech

I can't quite tell from your photo, but it looks like you're missing the dowel stick hardware. There's a bit of hardware that mounts to the dowel and pulls the neck tight against the pot. Something like THIS. Someone with more experience will chime in here and tell you which specific type of hardware you should have for that banjo.


Most low end banjos had the neck attached with two screws like this one.  I don't think anything is missing on the dowel. 

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:08:14 AM
likes this

6871 posts since 8/28/2013

That square rod is usually termed a "dowelstick."

Sometimes friction tuners can be improved by tightening the little screw that holds the plastic button in place. Fiber or leather washers between the tuner and the wood might also help. The problem with geared tuners is that general;ly, the tuner shafts are larger so the holes for them need to be made larger.

The screws holding the neck might be stripped out and you may have to remove them and use shims such as toothpicks glued into the holes tomake them tight again. However, it's also probable that the joint between that "dowelstick" and the neck itself has broken loose over the years, and needs to be reglued. That can be a very tricky job and might be in the realm of a professional luthier.

As far as beefing up the connection, there are metal attachment parts available which might help, but again, they require some fitting and drilling. Nothing will help, though, if that neck-dowelstick joint is loose.

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:35:59 AM
likes this

Nickcd

UK

196 posts since 1/28/2018

My Buckbee fretless  just two screws at the side of the dowel stick PLUS one below (above if looking from the back I. E at the bottom of the headstock). There is absolutely no movement in the neck - plus no way of adjusting it except....
it also looks like the top of the neck has some shims where it meets the rim - which could be original.

(btw this also has 'pure' friction pegs - no washers or screws - just tapered celluloid (?) work fine! - If yours like this & loose could try violin pegs if you don't want to ream the holes) 

Edited by - Nickcd on 02/28/2020 11:42:52

Feb 28, 2020 - 12:11:16 PM
likes this

467 posts since 1/30/2019

Somebody will chime in with the fact that you will find it easier to tune with friction pegs, and keep in tune with nylon strings. After they have settled in and stretched.
Nothing missing from the neck attachment, but don't over tighten those screws. If someone else has already done that then you'll need to fix the holes. I'm no expert so if you need to fix that attachment ask on here. (Drill out and dowel the holes, then drill some pilot holes??)
Others will help more with that.
But with friction pegs, go for nylon strings.
Looks nice to me, good find.

Feb 28, 2020 - 2:31:16 PM
likes this

Nickcd

UK

196 posts since 1/28/2018

Not easy to tell but does look like there is a gap between the rim and the bottom of the heel of the neck - would think this should be flush.
So maybe either try and tighten screws or if this not possible remove and shim holes and re screw as suggested previously. Suppose you could also try a third screw at base of heel to fully stabilise the neck.

Edited by - Nickcd on 02/28/2020 14:31:51

Feb 28, 2020 - 3:02:23 PM
likes this

965 posts since 1/26/2012

Knowing that putting screws into end grain isn't the best way to do things, wouldn't adding dowel stick hardware be an improvement?

Feb 28, 2020 - 3:10:20 PM
like this

5 posts since 2/28/2020

Andyrhydycreuau,  thank you for the advice on nylon strings.  When I got this banjo it had old steel string on it. I changed them to lite steel string, but will be switching them over to nylon.  I am a newcomer to banjo hang out and open back and clawhammer banjo.  Need all the help I can get.


Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.265625