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Oct 27, 2020 - 6:35:06 AM
7 posts since 7/10/2018

Hello,

I've been playing banjo for a while but I've always been interested in a build.

I stumbled upon an old mandolin banjo, the neck wasn't in the best shape but the rim was, so I asked a friend whether he could construct me a neck. (He's a professional carpenter/joiner) So I've drawn up a plan for him (attached below). Any tips/advice for this build?

Thanks,

Ross


Oct 27, 2020 - 7:38:01 AM

1356 posts since 2/4/2013

How big is that rim?

You have a rim with holes for a perch pole but have a design with two co-ordinator rods. What will you do to the rim so that co-ordinator rods work?

Oct 27, 2020 - 7:49:14 AM

7 posts since 7/10/2018

11'' Rim.

Depends, could possibly ask my friend to recreate the inner wooden piece or use a concoction of washers. The design has slightly changed in that I'll only be using one rod as it'll fit through the existing hole where it marries into the tailpiece

Oct 27, 2020 - 8:06:20 AM

beegee

USA

21937 posts since 7/6/2005

Co-rods are easier. I might stick with 2 rods on the thin rim just to minimize distortion. Make sure to get an accurate neck angle and alignment.

Oct 27, 2020 - 8:11:02 AM

7 posts since 7/10/2018

What's the best way to calculate the neck angle?

Oct 27, 2020 - 8:58:47 AM

3401 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Roscoee

What's the best way to calculate the neck angle?


Use a protractor and a T bevel. I set the neck angle at three degrees but I make bluegrass banjos. Old time banjos could use a smaller angle, more like one or two degrees. Set the T bevel at the degree mark you want to use and mark it with a pencil or a silver Sharpie.

I would go against the grain here and suggest sticking with the square dowel in the neck. I use rim rods in bluegrass banjos but your rim is already cut for a perch pole. Trying to patch up the holes and put rim rods in will leave you with a very amateur looking job and won't necessarily be any more stable than the square dowel the banjo was designed for.

Oct 27, 2020 - 9:54:52 AM

7 posts since 7/10/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden
quote:
Originally posted by Roscoee

What's the best way to calculate the neck angle?


Use a protractor and a T bevel. I set the neck angle at three degrees but I make bluegrass banjos. Old time banjos could use a smaller angle, more like one or two degrees. Set the T bevel at the degree mark you want to use and mark it with a pencil or a silver Sharpie.

I would go against the grain here and suggest sticking with the square dowel in the neck. I use rim rods in bluegrass banjos but your rim is already cut for a perch pole. Trying to patch up the holes and put rim rods in will leave you with a very amateur looking job and won't necessarily be any more stable than the square dowel the banjo was designed for.


Is it possible to combine the two for extra strength? A rod down the perch pole I mean?

Oct 27, 2020 - 10:14:58 AM
likes this

3401 posts since 5/29/2011

The Rudy Rod uses a threaded rod down the center so the perch pole is just decorative. Check the archives for posts about it. Other people who have used that system know more about it than I do. Luthier Randy Cordle who goes by the name Rudy on here is the one who developed the system.
Another alternative is to use a perch pole in conjunction with a rim rod sort of like some of the early Gibsons did. The perch pole went in the center of the rim and the rim rod was below it near the bottom of the heel. It may have worked for Gibson but I never had good luck with it.

Oct 28, 2020 - 7:13:25 AM

7 posts since 7/10/2018

Think I'll keep it simple and use a perch pole, I have the original pole but I don't think it's wide enough. Think I'll have to increase the width of it so it'll be more substantial.

Oct 29, 2020 - 9:34:39 AM

Helix

USA

13072 posts since 8/30/2006

They are other internally adjustable rim rods.
This is a Martin rod. I have one for cheap
I like his use of SAE 1/4” hanger bolts for the neck
It serves well and has edges to bounce the sound around

It’s easy to remove the dowel and plug with Maple Use hot vinegar and wrap with a rag

Or using the original pole even with an auxiliary rod is inventive and totally workable

1/4” “music wire” is always at ACE in lengths. People use it to make one way truss rods all the time




Edited by - Helix on 10/29/2020 09:36:07

Oct 30, 2020 - 6:47:13 AM

7 posts since 7/10/2018

I think I'll have to experiment a bit and see which works best for this specific build! I'll show the finished product when we're done.

Oct 30, 2020 - 5:39:32 PM

Helix

USA

13072 posts since 8/30/2006

I support that approach

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