Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

720
Banjo Lovers Online


Nov 16, 2020 - 2:59:37 PM
213 posts since 11/4/2009

Not exactly a collectors question but one i thought collectors of antique banjos might be more familar with.

Im looking for tapered square section nuts, the type you find on the early banjos. Ive generally been making my own using square section brass but adding the taper is just too time consuming and very hot on the fingers.

Were these nuts just made for banjos or produced for another use? If so are they still available?

I quite like the idea of customising spoke nipples as mentioned in a previous thread... or ill need to find an engineer to make me a batch.

Ive attached a pic of the sort of thing im talking about.


 

Nov 16, 2020 - 3:30:54 PM
likes this

beegee

USA

22051 posts since 7/6/2005

Any competent machine shop should be able to make these on a CNC mill. I had my local community college make some Gibson ball-bearing spacers for me. I don't know if you have community colleges in the UK. If I were to make these, I would use brass rod, then use a milling machine to cut the flats, then separate the nuts and tap them. What thread pitch are these?

Nov 16, 2020 - 3:38:23 PM
likes this

1669 posts since 1/13/2012

The originals were mostly cast... tough to replicate economically, if you want the correct look.

Nov 16, 2020 - 3:56:42 PM

824 posts since 5/31/2004
Online Now

The few I've seen didn't seem to be uniform, even on the same banjo. They differed ever so slightly in shape.

Nov 17, 2020 - 1:21:46 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

Any competent machine shop should be able to make these on a CNC mill. I had my local community college make some Gibson ball-bearing spacers for me. I don't know if you have community colleges in the UK. If I were to make these, I would use brass rod, then use a milling machine to cut the flats, then separate the nuts and tap them. What thread pitch are these?


Ive contacted a local model engineers society who might be interested. Im waiting for a reply.

Nov 17, 2020 - 1:23:08 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Andy FitzGibbon

The originals were mostly cast... tough to replicate economically, if you want the correct look.


I got a few sand cast a while back. The were pretty rough looking and drilling the centre hole was a nightmare

Nov 17, 2020 - 1:25:25 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by vintagetenor

The few I've seen didn't seem to be uniform, even on the same banjo. They differed ever so slightly in shape.


Yes i have a few old ones and all seem very hand made. The ones ive made in the past have all been a bit odd and i guess that adds to the look. But the ones that were too odd i had to chuck so a pretty slow and wastefull system.

Nov 17, 2020 - 2:07:06 AM

1669 posts since 1/13/2012

I'd guess that the originals were investment cast. Much better finish than sand, though also a much more tedious (and generally expensive) process.

Nov 17, 2020 - 2:23:47 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Andy FitzGibbon

I'd guess that the originals were investment cast. Much better finish than sand, though also a much more tedious (and generally expensive) process.


Investment? Is that like lost wax?

Nov 17, 2020 - 2:31:41 AM

1669 posts since 1/13/2012

quote:
Originally posted by flatfootjohnny
quote:
Originally posted by Andy FitzGibbon

I'd guess that the originals were investment cast. Much better finish than sand, though also a much more tedious (and generally expensive) process.


Investment? Is that like lost wax?


Correct.

Nov 17, 2020 - 6:29:07 AM
likes this

1498 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by flatfootjohnny

Not exactly a collectors question but one i thought collectors of antique banjos might be more familar with.

Im looking for tapered square section nuts, the type you find on the early banjos. Ive generally been making my own using square section brass but adding the taper is just too time consuming and very hot on the fingers.

Were these nuts just made for banjos or produced for another use? If so are they still available?

I quite like the idea of customising spoke nipples as mentioned in a previous thread... or ill need to find an engineer to make me a batch.

Ive attached a pic of the sort of thing im talking about.

---------------------------------------------

Try Bill Rickard I bought some from him a couple of years back. Maybe he still has some ? Could be worth a try.

Nov 17, 2020 - 6:40:19 AM

5822 posts since 9/21/2007

Rickard's are very nice and that is part of the problem. They are uniform and perfect. They are also larger than most of the originals I have seen/had.

I think they are a good choice for replica banjos. They won't match originals.

To the OP question, I think these, as most banjo hardware, were made for banjos. I have not found them on other things. They are not offered in hardware catalogs as a stock item that I have been able to find (and there are a ton of hardware catalogs, fully illustrated, on the Internet Archive).

Nov 17, 2020 - 7:21:26 AM

1329 posts since 2/9/2007

My James Hartel banjo has cast nuts like that--in two different sizes! (seriously accurate repro there). He either made them, or had them made to his specs.

minstrelbanjo.com/

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:48:20 AM

esmic

Canada

266 posts since 6/27/2011

I bought some from Rickard a while back as well. You won't see them offered on his web site these days. They may be sold out.

It's worth an email to ask if there are some left over in a bin, gathering dust. If so, buy a full set and hooks as well, to ensure matching thread.

Nov 18, 2020 - 10:13:08 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Stephen John Prior
quote:
Originally posted by flatfootjohnny

Not exactly a collectors question but one i thought collectors of antique banjos might be more familar with.

Im looking for tapered square section nuts, the type you find on the early banjos. Ive generally been making my own using square section brass but adding the taper is just too time consuming and very hot on the fingers.

Were these nuts just made for banjos or produced for another use? If so are they still available?

I quite like the idea of customising spoke nipples as mentioned in a previous thread... or ill need to find an engineer to make me a batch.

Ive attached a pic of the sort of thing im talking about.

---------------------------------------------

Try Bill Rickard I bought some from him a couple of years back. Maybe he still has some ? Could be worth a try.


Thanks ill check him out, although i like the idea of fabbing my own

Nov 18, 2020 - 10:15:32 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert

My James Hartel banjo has cast nuts like that--in two different sizes! (seriously accurate repro there). He either made them, or had them made to his specs.

minstrelbanjo.com/


Cool. I found a couple in my odds and sods box. I think they came of an old Lyon and Healy. These ones are definitely machined rather than cast. Casting would be crazy expensive.

Nov 18, 2020 - 10:16:09 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by esmic

I bought some from Rickard a while back as well. You won't see them offered on his web site these days. They may be sold out.

It's worth an email to ask if there are some left over in a bin, gathering dust. If so, buy a full set and hooks as well, to ensure matching thread.


Thanks ill definitely drop him a line.

Nov 18, 2020 - 10:18:17 AM

213 posts since 11/4/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Rickard's are very nice and that is part of the problem. They are uniform and perfect. They are also larger than most of the originals I have seen/had.

I think they are a good choice for replica banjos. They won't match originals.

To the OP question, I think these, as most banjo hardware, were made for banjos. I have not found them on other things. They are not offered in hardware catalogs as a stock item that I have been able to find (and there are a ton of hardware catalogs, fully illustrated, on the Internet Archive).


Yes. I have various simple square section nuts that look like they were tapered by hand (by someone with asbestos fingers) on a grinder. They are all totally different and i love  that about them

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.25