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Jul 8, 2020 - 9:04:08 PM
130 posts since 3/19/2018
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I use 1/8” square brass rods for my flesh hoops because that’s how I was taught — but I’ve felt that 3/16” might be better as there is more surface for the tension hoop to press down on (and i dont think 3/16” is wide enough to exceed the outer diameter of my tension hoops — i use balsam banjo works tension hoops). I also noticed that the flesh hoop equivalent of a Renaissance head, for instance, seems wider than 1/8”.

The 1/8” flesh hoop sometimes seems like it might risk slipping under the tension hoop after the tension hoop is tightened enough, should you have a rim that is a bit less than the inner diameter of the tension hoop. But from this forum it seems people almost exclusively use 1/8” stock for flesh hoops.

Thanks

Jul 9, 2020 - 4:29:24 AM

2242 posts since 4/7/2010

I always use 1/8" square brass for flesh hoops. After doing it for about 40 years, I can not remember a problem related to flesh hoop size.

The larger flesh hoop design on Remo banjo heads is exclusively for manufacturing. There is a certain amount of epoxy necessary for the edge of the mylar to stay stable and hold up under tension. Remo has figured out how to make a head that will stay together with the least amount of material. With the hundreds of thousands heads they manufacture every year, saving 2¢ per head will add up, so they would make the flesh hoops smaller if they knew it would work.

Bob Smakula
smakula.com

Jul 9, 2020 - 7:26:31 AM

13102 posts since 10/30/2008

I have noticed on some real old banjos (Vegas, etc) the clearance between the end of the fingerboard/neck heel and the pot might not let a wider flesh hoop pass through without binding. Just something to check for!

Jul 9, 2020 - 8:30:12 AM

130 posts since 3/19/2018
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quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

I always use 1/8" square brass for flesh hoops. After doing it for about 40 years, I can not remember a problem related to flesh hoop size.

The larger flesh hoop design on Remo banjo heads is exclusively for manufacturing. There is a certain amount of epoxy necessary for the edge of the mylar to stay stable and hold up under tension. Remo has figured out how to make a head that will stay together with the least amount of material. With the hundreds of thousands heads they manufacture every year, saving 2¢ per head will add up, so they would make the flesh hoops smaller if they knew it would work.

Bob Smakula
smakula.com


Appreciate that Bob!

Jul 9, 2020 - 9:42:42 AM

7382 posts since 8/28/2013

I have never seen a head slip on a flesh hoop while being tightened, and that includes the thin round wire hoops used 140 years ago.

Jul 9, 2020 - 10:17:29 AM

130 posts since 3/19/2018
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quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

I have never seen a head slip on a flesh hoop while being tightened, and that includes the thin round wire hoops used 140 years ago.


Thanks for the reply.  I'm talking about a flesh hoop slip under the tension hoop in one part when it was tightened.  I was using a rim I found that was slightly under 11" in diameter but was using an 11" diameter tension hoop.  It tigthened fine but the next day when the skin was dry the flesh hoop on one side had slipped under the tension hoop slightly.  I only really have access to 11" tension hoops (not smaller) and so with a slightly smaller rim I was wondering if a 3/16" flesh hoop would work okay.  Anyways, I always appreciate the feedback.

Jul 9, 2020 - 12:35:19 PM

7382 posts since 8/28/2013

If the flesh hoop is being pulled up between the tension hoop and the rim, the problem is most likely the large tension hoop, not the small flesh hoop. While a larger flesh hoop might help, I think there will be other problems to address, such as a tendency for the tension hoop to slide off-center during the installation process, hook clearance issues, and because of that off-center possibily, a tendency for uneven head tension or a hoop that's not level.

The only answer, of course, is to try a larger flesh hoop to see what happens.

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