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Coffee Stained My Fiberskyn Head. Do I Need a Protective Coating?

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Aug 6, 2020 - 6:11:20 AM

Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

Hi all, I mucked up my most recent calf skin head replacement, and I don't have the funds or the patience to get a new one and do it all over again. Instead, I'm reinstalling the Fiberskyn head that came with my banjo and hasn't been used in a decade.

However, I decided to stain it with coffee first. I like the results, but I'm wondering if I need some sort of protective clear coat. I know you don't for an actual skin head, but wasn't sure about synthetic. Thoughts?

Aug 6, 2020 - 7:27:03 AM
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BobbyE

USA

2756 posts since 11/29/2007

Nothing definitive but I would be worried that it might change the tone of the head. Once it's on there, not sure you could ever go back. Might wind up mucking that one up too.

Bobby

Aug 6, 2020 - 7:50:45 AM
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2306 posts since 4/7/2010

I would not worry about a protective coating on the Fiberskyn head. That may just make a mess. I wouldn't try without practicing on a "take off" head.

To age calf skin banjo heads we usually soak them in strong tea as part of the installation process. Why not use the coffee on all of the calf skin head and reinstall?

Bob Smakula

Aug 6, 2020 - 8:11:58 AM

Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

Thanks for the suggestions.

Just to be clear, the way I mucked up the calf skin head has nothing to do with staining it. When I installed it last fall, I accidentally over-tightened the tension hoop and caused a tear along the edge. I continued to play on it anyway, but It has slowly grown over the last nine months from a small "cigarette burn" size to about four inches now.

Also, I haven't installed the Fiberskyn head yet. I just wanted to make sure I didn't need to coat it with something before moving forward. 

Edited by - Viper on 08/06/2020 08:14:17

Aug 6, 2020 - 8:28:48 AM
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1663 posts since 2/21/2011

Uh, if you're gonna stain the head with coffee, I recommend you use decaf... you'll avoid the risk of unwanted jitters.  cheeky 

Aug 6, 2020 - 9:12:37 AM
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Players Union Member

R Buck

USA

2816 posts since 9/5/2006

What a waste of coffee!

Aug 6, 2020 - 9:30:54 AM
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Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

quote:
Originally posted by R Buck

What a waste of coffee!


I used instant for just that reason!

Aug 6, 2020 - 9:40:30 AM
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206 posts since 7/2/2012

I stained one with coffee a couple of years ago (bought it from Bob S above, great source for odd sizes). I didn't like the look, it was just the wrong color.

But don't worry - it ain't coming off! Mine is on an old re-necked Vega Little Wonder, and I use it for camping, etc. Took it to Clifftop last year. It even got a few drops of rain when hanging from strap over my shoulder. Every bit of coffee stain is still there.....

So I would not worry about a protective coating.

Edited by - Shmockiebaby on 08/06/2020 09:42:15

Aug 6, 2020 - 10:15:06 AM
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Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Shmockiebaby

I stained one with coffee a couple of years ago (bought it from Bob S above, great source for odd sizes). I didn't like the look, it was just the wrong color.

But don't worry - it ain't coming off! Mine is on an old re-necked Vega Little Wonder, and I use it for camping, etc. Took it to Clifftop last year. It even got a few drops of rain when hanging from strap over my shoulder. Every bit of coffee stain is still there.....

So I would not worry about a protective coating.


Now this might be the best testimonial I've gotten! Thanks for your thorough testing, even though you didn't like the looks. 

Aug 6, 2020 - 6:50:38 PM

Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

As for my next question, how long until the smell fades?

Aug 7, 2020 - 6:19:50 AM

167 posts since 8/31/2006

Not at all what you asked, but this might help:

I have repaired a skin head using superglue and a scrap of skin. It worked great! I saw a banjo that Mike Seeger repaired that way or else I never would have tried it myself.

Phil

Aug 7, 2020 - 9:54:57 AM

Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

quote:
Originally posted by tron.miller

Not at all what you asked, but this might help:

I have repaired a skin head using superglue and a scrap of skin. It worked great! I saw a banjo that Mike Seeger repaired that way or else I never would have tried it myself.

Phil


Thanks! I've thought about trying this, but the head will have to be removed temporarily regardless, as the tear is right at the edge where it meets the rim. I don't know if I have a scrap of skin what will work. 

Aug 7, 2020 - 3:57:28 PM
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429 posts since 2/15/2015
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I spilled coffee on a nice white tablecloth years ago, and my sister took the tablecloth and dyed it with a homebrew coffee dye resulting in a light brown "antiqued" tablecloth.

Edited by - geoB on 08/07/2020 15:57:55

Aug 10, 2020 - 7:45:31 AM

Viper

USA

1091 posts since 12/12/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Viper
quote:
Originally posted by tron.miller

Not at all what you asked, but this might help:

I have repaired a skin head using superglue and a scrap of skin. It worked great! I saw a banjo that Mike Seeger repaired that way or else I never would have tried it myself.

Phil


Thanks! I've thought about trying this, but the head will have to be removed temporarily regardless, as the tear is right at the edge where it meets the rim. I don't know if I have a scrap of skin what will work. 


Upon removing the calf skin head, I found that the tear was even worse than I realized. It went all the way down to the flesh hoop and was 6 to 7 inches long. No way I can repair it, unfortunately. 

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