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Jun 21, 2020 - 7:58:56 PM

beegee

USA

21837 posts since 7/6/2005

The Emperador suffered a catastrophic rim/tube failure. I tore it all down, trying to analyze the exact problem and possible solutions.

The tube was too large for the rim and slid over the bead on one side, warping both the tube and the tension hoop.

I have been making and repairing banjos since 1972. I have worked on every grade and type of banjo and have seen nearly everything...at least I though I had.

This Emperador looks like any typical Japanese banjo from the 1970's, very similar to Fender leo or the Morris I just worked on and the Iida I just set-up. The owner asked me about the rim, which is very shiny black. I dismissed any concern, because these often have a shiny black epoxy coating over a crappy wood rim.

Not this one. It has an injection-molded plastic rim. It is hollow inside with baffles reinforcing it laterally. The holes for the co-rods are large and elongated to allow enough slop for adjustment. There is a snap-in plastic ring that seals off the top of the rim.

We decided this banjo(I was trying to make it playable as a keepsake for him)was, in the final analysis, not worth sinking more money into. I had bought a new tone ring and tension hoop, so we're just going to save that for a future project. I added a thin strip of iron-on edge banding just below the bead to give the tube a more stable base and it worked perfectly. I was able to install the tube and plate and get it mounted squarely. The tension hoop is still bowed from previous over-tightening operations over the years. I assume this was caused by the tube/bead problem.

Tomorrow, I have to finish the re-fret and set-up and see how it sounds. I don't expect much.






Jun 22, 2020 - 3:34:33 AM
like this

4520 posts since 11/20/2004

Thanks for posting. That is a new one for me as well. Adds new meaning to the term "a banjo shaped object"

Jun 22, 2020 - 6:02:06 AM

55425 posts since 12/14/2005

I am guessing you cold-glued the "iron on" edge banding, since I cannot imagine setting the temp JUST RIGHT for ironing anything onto a piece of PLASTIC!

Or are you really that good and/or lucky?

Jun 22, 2020 - 6:35:08 AM

beegee

USA

21837 posts since 7/6/2005

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

I am guessing you cold-glued the "iron on" edge banding, since I cannot imagine setting the temp JUST RIGHT for ironing anything onto a piece of PLASTIC!

Or are you really that good and/or lucky?


I used a sealing iron such as is used on shrinking the film on r/c airplanes. The edge banding has a low-temp melting glue. I  cut a strip of banding the appropriate length and width(about 1/4") and used the iron judiciously to bond it to the rim. It just needed to be there long enough to fit the tube in place.   

And, yes. I am that good. And lucky. or something. I don't think most folks would have invested the time and effort into a banjo like this.

Jun 22, 2020 - 7:48:01 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

12830 posts since 8/30/2006

I am amazed at your solution, simple and elegant. Skill is accuracy x speed

I had an Aida in my shop
The tube is flattened on the bottom and sloppy
The tension hoop is too large and has another notch at the tailpiece
It defines “drop fit” to me
I had to use a new tension hoop
The rim had lacquer everywhere, the tube ledge was part of the wood rather than an installed U channel

The numbered Alvarez with the warped gold plated pot metal flange was just what I expected from tinkering. I never did see the whole Banjo. I was young
I was thinking of gluing binding around the outside. Shows what I didn’t know

Hot vinegar pickles glue, you had the right solution

I think plastic is something we should really try to eliminate. The new Rover plastic rim had a too thin broken flange

A spec rim like that or Emperador  is not exactly USA AGRICULTURAL GRADE aluminum
I’ve seen the steel pipe, I put a nice Cherry rim on that butterfly flange

You have a lot of knowledge to share. I learn from you

Edited by - Helix on 06/22/2020 07:50:10

Jun 22, 2020 - 3:55:53 PM

55425 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by beegee
quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

I am guessing you cold-glued the "iron on" edge banding, since I cannot imagine setting the temp JUST RIGHT for ironing anything onto a piece of PLASTIC!

Or are you really that good and/or lucky?


I used a sealing iron such as is used on shrinking the film on r/c airplanes. The edge banding has a low-temp melting glue. I  cut a strip of banding the appropriate length and width(about 1/4") and used the iron judiciously to bond it to the rim. It just needed to be there long enough to fit the tube in place.   

And, yes. I am that good. And lucky. or something. I don't think most folks would have invested the time and effort into a banjo like this.


As MOSES wrote in the Bible ( and I'm confident he did so Jew-diciously)

"Let us make a JOYFUL NOISE!"

Referring, obviously, to our beloved BANJOS!

And when the Pharaoh's ears were hardened, and he would not allow banjo music, what did Moses THEN say???


Jun 22, 2020 - 4:48:35 PM

beegee

USA

21837 posts since 7/6/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

I am amazed at your solution, simple and elegant. Skill is accuracy x speed

I had an Aida in my shop
The tube is flattened on the bottom and sloppy
The tension hoop is too large and has another notch at the tailpiece
It defines “drop fit” to me
I had to use a new tension hoop
The rim had lacquer everywhere, the tube ledge was part of the wood rather than an installed U channel

The numbered Alvarez with the warped gold plated pot metal flange was just what I expected from tinkering. I never did see the whole Banjo. I was young
I was thinking of gluing binding around the outside. Shows what I didn’t know

Hot vinegar pickles glue, you had the right solution

I think plastic is something we should really try to eliminate. The new Rover plastic rim had a too thin broken flange

A spec rim like that or Emperador  is not exactly USA AGRICULTURAL GRADE aluminum
I’ve seen the steel pipe, I put a nice Cherry rim on that butterfly flange

You have a lot of knowledge to share. I learn from you


I could have used a hot-glue gun and a strip of binding or even some of that white binding cement. But this adhesive is uniform thickness and quick to set after it heats and is fairly aggressive, so it set and was ready to apply the tube so it self-comformed to the tapered shape of the bead. Woe to the next guy who gets to work on it.

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