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Aug 6, 2020 - 9:36:21 PM
31 posts since 7/26/2009

So this happened tonight. I didn't see it happen, but between the rain, the scramble and the attached cables, my only banjo is now headless. I've already found a top quality loaner from my good friend who happened to have an extra OME laying around that he'd won at Winfield. That will buy me some time to either fix this or have a new neck built. I tend to lean toward that latter for resale purposes but I could probably fix it myself. I'm not new to it. I'm just curious if there are any quality builders in the NW Arkansas area that could do it, or if there are any unfinished necks available that would fit. I understand the StewMacs don't fit properly on Gibsons or is this misinformation?


 

Edited by - Ron Landis on 08/06/2020 21:39:37

Aug 7, 2020 - 3:41:14 AM

123 posts since 7/14/2017

A skilled luthier using hot hide glue should be able to make that nearly an invisible repair.

Whether it needs some reinforcement, probably via a back strap, is another question. Glue alone should be enough to cope with string tension, but that's a weak spot for shocks like dropping it (in or out of its case).

Aug 7, 2020 - 6:51:18 AM
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1575 posts since 10/12/2011

I have a StewMac neck on a banjo I had built. As with any neck it will require heel work to fit you pot. They are not a plug and play neck. Personally they are a bit chunky, but I think they do this on purpose so that you can shape it to your preference. It will fit a OPF banjo but not a TPF banjo. You'd have to get the uncut heel neck to get what you need for a TPF heel cut.

Aug 7, 2020 - 7:01:45 AM
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1058 posts since 5/19/2018
Online Now

Ouch!!

I’d would go for the repair on that one.

This is a prime example of why I am extremely anti-instrument stand and always advocate for when an instrument is not being played, it goes right into the case.

Seems like once a week someone is posting a thread about what to do with an instrument that fell over, got tripped on, the Kat knocked over, and now the neck snapped.

I’ve been a victim of my own ignorance on a beautiful original Whyte Laydie. Never again.

People- keep your instruments in the case when not being played !!

Aug 7, 2020 - 7:16:13 AM

13245 posts since 10/30/2008

Eminently repairable, I think.

A replacement neck might cost more than the banjo is worth. Sullivan probably made that neck. You might ask them about repair/replacement.

A hard lesson learned.

Aug 7, 2020 - 8:55:34 AM

rcc56

USA

3091 posts since 2/20/2016

That neck can be repaired, if you wish to handle it that way.

Peghead breaks can be repaired with hot hide glue or Titebond Original. There must be a tight fit between the glueing surfaces, and it must be clamped in such a way that the joint does not move when clamping pressure is applied. The repair person must be competent, because if they do not get it right the first time, it will be difficult or impossible to get a reliable glue joint if a second attempt is made. While in many cases it may not be necessary to reinforce a repaired break with an overlay, it never hurts to add one. It adds a great deal of insurance towards long-term reliability.

Any pre-manufactured replacement neck will require at least some fitting at the heel, no matter who the maker is.
Unfinished necks such as those sold by Stew-mac and others are intentionally left oversize to allow for final shaping and fitting.

Aug 7, 2020 - 9:01:02 PM

116 posts since 2/20/2004
Online Now

That would just bug me. I’d have to replace it.
If you have woodworking skills/tools it would be a great project

Aug 7, 2020 - 9:35:04 PM
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55376 posts since 12/14/2005

Couple giant IFs here:

IF it was my banjo, or IF the client was never going to want to resell it, I would FIRST  align the break, clip the heads off a couple small nails, drill them into the wood.

THAT would prevent slipping.

Then,  separate the pieces, apply hot hide glue or Titebond Original,  clamp firmly with padded cauls.

A few days later, heat and remove the nails, sand off the top and back surfaces, and apply thick veneer over both, to help reinforce the break.

Then trim and sand the veneer.

Aug 8, 2020 - 12:34:01 AM

RevD

USA

120 posts since 4/8/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

Ouch!!

I’d would go for the repair on that one.

This is a prime example of why I am extremely anti-instrument stand and always advocate for when an instrument is not being played, it goes right into the case.

Seems like once a week someone is posting a thread about what to do with an instrument that fell over, got tripped on, the Kat knocked over, and now the neck snapped.

I’ve been a victim of my own ignorance on a beautiful original Whyte Laydie. Never again.

People- keep your instruments in the case when not being played !!


 I know, I'd see pictures of someones pride and joy custom shop Les Paul (notariously thin grain through that headstock/neck/truss rod pocket) leaning on a old fender amp of some ilk and just weep for the guitar's chance to not have a broken neck. Same now but my concern is banjers of course lol. I'm guilty when I played out of leaning it on a amp, but just my fenders not Lucille she went back in the open case between sets. When the fender falls over it goes sproing and then you tune it up and move on lol.

Edited by - RevD on 08/08/2020 00:35:17

Aug 8, 2020 - 2:12:38 AM

5steve

USA

1253 posts since 11/24/2005

I've been there


 

Aug 10, 2020 - 2:17:48 PM
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31 posts since 7/26/2009

Thank you all for your comments and advice. I've decide to fix it myself. I have a lot of experience working with wood along with a full shop with a nice Delta band saw. I used to make my own banjos when I was in high school so I think I can pull it off including new overlay and pearl inlays to match the original. Since I'll probably never sell it, resale value isn't that much of an issue. But as someone mentioned in the comments. "That would just bug me" (repaired headstock)

So I'm going to glue it, replace the overlay with a solid piece of ebony for added strength. Then, I'll cut the backside of the headstock thinner and laminate a layer of walnut veneer under a layer of curly maple that will be cut solid (Not bent) to curve up the thumb stop. Similar to the way the old Orpheum banjos were constructed with an overlay on the backside of the headstock. This way, it will have added strength and the crack will only be slightly visible from the side.

I have a really good loaner on the way and will have plenty of time to do it. Wish me luck and thanks again, y'all!

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:32:23 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

12791 posts since 8/30/2006

I agree with your solution

I’m working on one where a 3rd piece was missing I’m installing Jatoba reinforcements

Aug 10, 2020 - 8:02:47 PM

rcc56

USA

3091 posts since 2/20/2016

Sounds like a plan to me. Reinforced above and below, it should last a lifetime.

Aug 12, 2020 - 4:53:14 PM

7775 posts since 1/7/2005

Not a difficult repair--especially if it's a new, clean break. If you have no good repair persons in your location, you can ship it out. The easy way is to remove the neck and ship it without the pot. A 26" length of 4" diameter plastic drain pipe makes for a nearly indestructible shipping container and costs only a few dollars from Home Depot. And it weighs nearly nothing.

Aug 13, 2020 - 11:12:17 AM

7581 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

Not a difficult repair--especially if it's a new, clean break. If you have no good repair persons in your location, you can ship it out. The easy way is to remove the neck and ship it without the pot. A 26" length of 4" diameter plastic drain pipe makes for a nearly indestructible shipping container and costs only a few dollars from Home Depot. And it weighs nearly nothing.


It's a good thing you said "nearly indestructible."  A friend once shipped some items to me using that technique. UPS still managed to smash it. 

I think some shippers could destroy an anvil.

Aug 13, 2020 - 11:53:19 AM

7775 posts since 1/7/2005

I used to ship antique longbows that way in tubes that were over 6' long and just 3" in diameter. Never had a problem,but I guess if a carrier were determined enough, it could be broken. I do know that I could ship one acrossw the country via USPS priority mail for about $17. Way less than in a cardboard shipping box and way stronger. I remember the postal clerk once asked me what I was shipping. I told her "cookies," :->

DD

Aug 17, 2020 - 3:50:21 AM

4885 posts since 5/14/2007

I've made that repair on several instruments with Titebond and sufficient clamps. All have held and if the breaks were clean were nearly invisible. No other reinforcement was necessary.

Aug 17, 2020 - 7:52:46 AM

415 posts since 2/15/2015

I've seen a number of these that were successfully repaired not only on banjos but guitars and mandolins. There are some remarkable glues on the market these days but Titebond should work very well unless you're old school and want to use hide glue which is not as good but it might work too.

YouTube has a bunch of videos on this procedure

Aug 17, 2020 - 8:14:27 AM

415 posts since 2/15/2015

There are also luthiers listed here (hangout) on the luthier search. If u decide on a custom replacment.

Aug 17, 2020 - 8:22:51 AM

415 posts since 2/15/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Drabek

....A 26" length of 4" diameter plastic drain pipe makes for a nearly indestructible shipping container and costs only a few dollars from Home Depot. And it weighs nearly nothing.


I have  wrapped instruments in cling film (saran wrap) and then fashioned pool noodles around the piece which cost $1 a piece at the Dollar Tree store. But pool noodles are a seasonal item.

Ebay buyers transaction comments of the sale touted the proctective packaging.

Aug 20, 2020 - 12:41:17 AM

27 posts since 8/17/2020

I wouldn't use hot hide glue, it's generally used for items that may need to be removed in the future, guitar bridges and fretboards etc. Go with the Titebond.

If it were mine I would give it to a professional luthier who has done it many times before.

Seg

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