Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

777
Banjo Lovers Online


Nov 27, 2020 - 11:10:54 AM

Gman47

USA

5 posts since 5/26/2020

So, I have a rolled brass ring that is just a skosh shy of fitting the notch in my rim.  I do not have a lathe to adapt the rim. I will not be buying a lathe.  Question: Is it okay to cut the the brass ring so that I can open it up another 1/8 - 1/4",  or will that make the ring useless? Is the function of the ring dependent on it being a contiguous piece of brass? Thank you to anyone who has a take on this.


Nov 27, 2020 - 11:22:15 AM
likes this

3551 posts since 5/29/2011

If you only have to open it 1/8" you probably could get by cutting it and put the cut space at the heel. The head will hold it together. I don't think I would want a 1/4" gap in there though.
Another thing that I have done with a ring that was too tight is to take a rasp and a three cornered file to the ledge where the ring sits. You may not get the rim under the ring perfectly round but you can get it close enough that it won't affect the sound any more than using a cut ring would.
I hope that made sense.

Nov 27, 2020 - 11:53:21 AM

Bill H

USA

1483 posts since 11/7/2010

If it's brass you should be able to fill any gap with solder.

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:26:39 PM
likes this

11012 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden

If you only have to open it 1/8" you probably could get by cutting it and put the cut space at the heel. The head will hold it together. I don't think I would want a 1/4" gap in there though.
Another thing that I have done with a ring that was too tight is to take a rasp and a three cornered file to the ledge where the ring sits. You may not get the rim under the ring perfectly round but you can get it close enough that it won't affect the sound any more than using a cut ring would.
I hope that made sense.


I'm with Mark on this except that I'd put the gap under the tailpiece where it can't show on nearly all banjos — highly unlikely anyway if only 1/8".

For that matter, I wouldn't be afraid of a 1/4" gap with a plastic head. I would crown each edge with emery cloth to remove the sharp edge. If you get a slight pucker over the gap, it won't hurt anything but you might not like it. It also might not be visible depending on the tailpiece.

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:36:05 PM

3551 posts since 5/29/2011

Good point, Mike. That would work just as well.

Nov 27, 2020 - 1:12:28 PM

1053 posts since 1/9/2012

"...or will that make the ring useless? Is the function of the ring dependent on it being a contiguous piece of brass?" I think that the answer is yes, no, and it depends... As best I know, there are three things the rings does. Two are likely unaffected, while the third maybe only slightly so.

The ring provides a hard, stiff edge to the head as seen by high frequency, short wavelength head vibrations. So less of them gets absorbed into the wood, leaving more to make sound. The ring defines the shape of the pot interior right under the edge of the head. That impacts the head's ability to vibrate and radiate sound at its highest frequencies. (So far, so good, i.e., no change.) The ring also stiffens the rim on larger scales. If you leave a little gap, some radially in and out rim motion will be a little easier than it had been. Such motions again steal mid-range vibration energy from what would have gone into sound. If it were a difference you could hear (unlikely, though), who's to say it's for the better or the worse?

Nov 27, 2020 - 3:08:20 PM
likes this

2990 posts since 2/18/2009
Online Now

If you cut the tone hoop and leave a gap the sound waves will have to jump across, instead of just zooming smoothly around and around the circle like they normally do. Some of the lower pitched sounds may be traveling too slowly and instead of making it across the gulf will fall in and plummet to their demises, regretted by all. At least that's what I heard.

Nov 28, 2020 - 12:04:11 AM
likes this

Polle Flaunoe

Denmark

5476 posts since 3/7/2006

 

I´ve had indeed great results installing a 6 mm ~ 1/4" brass ring in an existing recess at the inside of the rim - on the early version of the B&D Senorita model - born without a ring at all.

For getting the best possible fit into the recess I keep the ends of the ring appr. 1/16" apart - hidden by the tailpiece. Here´s an example for now in my workshop:

Edited by - Polle Flaunoe on 11/28/2020 00:09:17

Nov 28, 2020 - 1:47:22 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

13294 posts since 8/30/2006

I'll give you an analogy.

Remember that the chuck wagon cook has a triangle he hits with a steel rod. So does a a symphonic orchestra use a triangle with an open end.

I throw my joined, fresh rolled brass hoop in the air and strike it with a screwdriver and get a "note."
I do the same with an un-joined fresh rolled brass hoop and get the same note.

I do not think that sound goes around and around with any tone ring, so it doesn't jump a 1/6" or 1/8" or 1/4" gap. no spark.
I think each note is an event driven by attack, sustain and decay. Then another event until the banjo might get to ringing with sustain. A woody is like popcorn, high attack, low sustain, high decay. It's great to have reliable variables.

A tone ring enhances sustain. Depending on grain orientation of the rim, some people can demonstrate that tone can be produced
reliably by a rim/tone ring continuum. I can put rim blanks on my arm and demonstrate the tap tone of different woods over the phone.
Yes, that's correct, it isn't pure science, but since the pieces in each rim are the same size, then differences in tap tone can be transferred over to the selected and desired tone of the banjo.
I use an architectural rim which acts differently than strappies or lammies. All wood is subject to changes in barometric pressure and humidity. That's why we have cases.

Perhaps an O scope or equivalent new tech could easily show which frequencies were produced and which clipped by each banjo.
The same with tone rings. Other types of photography can show the stresses on the banjo while playing. As far as I know, no one has shown this type of data. Like learning to listen to Dolphins while they interact in their own language.

I find that wood and brass are a great combination now for a century.

So my opinion based on experience here in my "lab" is that a gap in a flatbar tone ring is just fine.

Nov 28, 2020 - 1:53:10 AM

46 posts since 3/24/2020

When I'm installing a tone hoop, if it doesn't butt hard to itself I always install a piece of dowel (preferably Maple) to transfer the vibrations across the gap. Violin soundpost material is good for this application. I don't believe you have to re-solder the join, but l always aim to get compression on the hoop/ring.

Nov 28, 2020 - 1:58:44 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

13294 posts since 8/30/2006

That's a very good point. There is one banjo builder here who innovated using an Ossicle to transfer sound, just like in a fiddle.

Nov 28, 2020 - 5:34:24 AM
like this

2990 posts since 2/18/2009
Online Now

I was just being silly in my earlier post, I have heard a lot of unusual rumors about how tone rings work over the years and thought I should do my part to add to the folklore on the subject. I like the idea of putting something in the gap, that would help keep from getting a wrinkle in the head. I have lots of leftover 1/4" brass rod pieces, and if you let me know what the gap measures I'll be happy to cut a piece to that length, sand the ends and mail it to you.

Nov 28, 2020 - 6:35:46 AM
likes this

3933 posts since 5/12/2010

I have cut them before. On some I filled the gap by soldering in a piece, on others left the gap open. I could not tell any differences between them as far as sound goes but I never had a gap as large as 1/4" so not sure about that.

Nov 28, 2020 - 7:17:47 AM
like this

8050 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Hoyt

I was just being silly in my earlier post, I have heard a lot of unusual rumors about how tone rings work over the years and thought I should do my part to add to the folklore on the subject. I like the idea of putting something in the gap, that would help keep from getting a wrinkle in the head. I have lots of leftover 1/4" brass rod pieces, and if you let me know what the gap measures I'll be happy to cut a piece to that length, sand the ends and mail it to you.


I actually found your earlier post rather amusing, and figured it was just some silliness and maybe a subtle comment on tone ring mythology.

I can easily imagine sound frequencies running around like tiny racehorses in a tone ring steeplechase. Some of those little horses just aren't going to be able to leap a large gap. They'll fall, break their itty-bitty legs, and have to be shot. It's their dying whinnies that causes bad banjo tone.

Nov 28, 2020 - 2:59:15 PM

7883 posts since 1/7/2005

As far as I know, the classic Vega Whyte Laydie banjos all had rolled brass tone rings sitting on top of the scalloped ring. Those tone rings all have open ends on the rings. Doesn't seem to hurt the sound too much. You can certainly experiment with yours and find out for sure.

DD

Nov 30, 2020 - 8:00:19 AM

Brett

USA

2405 posts since 11/29/2005

I know the stock rolled brass hoop inside a Vega Wonder from 60s is split from the factory and the split end was under tailpiece. I don’t know about prewar Wonders. I’ve only fought off one Wonder skirt and hoop assy with hair dryer.

Nov 30, 2020 - 9:13:41 PM
likes this

11012 posts since 10/27/2006

Vega rings were split whether covered by a skirt or not.

Dec 2, 2020 - 11:01:16 AM

790 posts since 9/7/2005

Depending on the size of the gap, as someone said above, just fabricating a small piece of brass to “fill in the gap” and soldering it in place should work to maintain a continuous ring should work.

Another idea that would require a bit of finesse would be to drill and tap one end of the tone ring and put a small set screw in the threaded hole that would allow a bit of adjustability to fill in any gap and that would maintain continuity in your ring too. Find the right amount to adjust the set screw, hit it with a dab of purple Lock-tite, de burr all edges and you should be good to go.

Dec 2, 2020 - 1:23:38 PM

8050 posts since 8/28/2013

A tone hoop is approximately 34.5 inches around. Divide that by 1/8 inch (the length of the gap) and you should get the exact amount of tone lost in that gap. devil
 

Dec 2, 2020 - 6:57:03 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4816 posts since 1/5/2005

A piece of dowel held in place by heat shrink tubing...?

Dec 3, 2020 - 9:03:24 AM

8050 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman

A piece of dowel held in place by heat shrink tubing...?


Why bother with tubing? Head tension should hold the dowel in place.

(I personally wouldn't even bother with the dowel, unless the gap was huge. If that were the case, I'd probably make a bigger ring.)

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1875