Does anyone have experience with removing a Shubb 5th string capo? The used banjo that I am considering buying (long distance) is nice except for this contraption. Can I simply simply unscrew it? What is the best way to fill the holes that it will leave in the side of the next.
For a long time I simply passed up banjos that had the Shubb. But it seems that the market for affordable and good used instruments is shrinking, so I am considering the removing and plugging.
Yes, you can simply unscrew it. Whether you fill and refinish the holes or leave them in place is really up to you.
Does anyone have suggestions about the best product and method to use for filling the holes?
You can use matching wood and fill the holes. trim flush with a razor blade or x-acto knife. Then drop in some medium superglue. repeat the superglue until the divot is flush, then sand with some 600 wet/dry, buff. It wont be 100% invisible, but you'll have to look for it if done right.
I removed the Shubb on my RB-250 a couple years ago and added 5th string spikes. I didn’t fill the holes, and they aren’t bothersome to me, as it is part of the character of a 45 year old instrument.
Beeegee’s advice is sound.
Personally, If I had Shubb mounted I would leave it. Not that I dearly love Shubb, but at one point in time it was state-of-the-art banjo tech.
But that's just me.
I know a really good tech that doesn't particulary like spikes and probably through the years has installed a large number of Shubbs. I had him pull my spikes and fill the holes because it was a hack job install (Ebay purchase).
What do I use? A Strum Hollow. Non-invasive, I rarely capo anyway, just retune.
That wasn't very helpful was it...
Edited by - geoB on 09/15/2020 14:31:36
If you're not SUPER concerned about Perfect Appearance, push in toothpicks, trim them down, and color match with colored pencils.
Dab of clear nail polish, and buff to as close to "Good Enough" as you want.
But, as mentioned earlier, the holes do no real damage to the tone and playability.
I just repaired a banjo that had the holes in the ivoroid binding.
Super glue and baking soda filled the holes and becomes a suitable creamy colour.
I replaced the shubb capo on a nice banjo. I’d leave the holes as is. Hard to fill and ever look right unless done by a pro with plenty of time.
When I built my Bowtie Mastertone a few years ago I was copying a real 1958 Bowtie on which the owner wanted spikes installed. When I removed the Shubb capo he asked me not to fill in the holes just in case he couldn't get used to spikes. He later gave me the Shubb because he liked the spikes just fine.
When I made my copy I installed the Shubb capo, then took it off and installed spikes but left the holes in the binding just like his banjo has. It gives it a bit of character.
I'd suggest that you try the banjo with the Shubb capo installed for a week or two BEFORE you remove it. You might actually get to liking it...
Thank you to all who have posted. Your comments and suggestions have been most helpful.
Personally, I like the Schubb and put them on my bluegrass banjos. For old timey banjos I use the spikes.
Filling holes in an ebony fretboard is simple. Black dye or ebony dust mixed into epoxy and leveled properly should be invisible.
For holes in plastic binding, simply scrape similar colored binding into thin shavings and mix with acetone to make a paste. Fill the hole with the paste, let harden and level with scraper, fine sandpaper or fine file. Polish with car polish and it should be nearly invisible.
Filling holes in ivoroid is a bit trickier, but it can be done. Unless you are color blind.
Edited by - Dan Drabek on 09/22/2020 15:06:17
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