Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

778
Banjo Lovers Online


Jan 15, 2021 - 8:57:24 AM
1270 posts since 3/10/2005

I'm trying to get an old no frills (well it has mop dots and ivoroid tuners) no-name Slingerland (purty sure) 5 string banjo in playing condition. I obtained it without a head. It appears to be a 10 11/16" head size, but I'd appreciate experienced insight into whether that sounds right for an old Slinger, and whether I can assume its a medium crown or not. Its got a very plain tone ring, steel judging by the surface rust on it.

Jan 15, 2021 - 9:54:42 AM
likes this

8171 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

The vast majority of Slingerlands used a 10 3/4 inch head. I suspect you have a different make.

A few pictures are in order.

Jan 15, 2021 - 10:31:40 AM

2496 posts since 4/7/2010

Most slingerlands use a 10-3/4" medium crown head. As George said, posting pictures of your no-name banjo will help confirm the ID.

Bob Smakula

Jan 15, 2021 - 11:06:38 AM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

Well it could need a 10 3/4 although the perimeter measures closer to 11/16 I could go either way. This is a low end neglected banjo and might have shrunk some I suppose. The fingerboard has numerous cracks from drying.

The peghead looks the same as the middle of these 3 Slingers, and the shape is the same as both of the left two.

mugwumps.com/NoNameBanjos/Slin...andPH.jpg

It has a painted/stained peg head and fingerboard and the only marking is a shallow L stamped in the peghead.

Edited by - MountainBanjo on 01/15/2021 11:07:49

Jan 15, 2021 - 11:48:28 AM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

Well I had the brilliant idea to measure the back end of the pot which is a lot easier and it is indeed 10 3/4". Now how do I be sure about the crown height?

Here's a couple pics anyway...its in pretty gruesome shape.


Edited by - MountainBanjo on 01/15/2021 11:49:10

Jan 15, 2021 - 12:17:23 PM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

quote:
Originally posted by MountainBanjo

 Now how do I be sure about the crown height?


In addition, is there a way to determine whether it will even be playable if I get a new head on it? The neck isn't twisted, but if I lay a straight edge on the 22nd fret it lays flat most of the way down the neck but the neck starts distancing itself around the 5th and the first fret is probably 1/16 away from the straight edge. Not sure whether that's within reason or not once I get it strung up.

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:15:57 AM

8171 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

As Bob Smakula indicated earlier, a medium crown head should be correct.

String tension will pull the neck somewhat straighter, but it's pretty impossible to know how much. Your best bet is to install the head, bridge, and strings and see what you get. Even if the neck doesn't work out, the pot is certainly worth more than the head will cost.

Jan 16, 2021 - 8:31:58 AM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

ah thanks, I missed the comment on the crown height earlier and only noticed the diameter part

Jan 18, 2021 - 5:25:23 PM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

Anyone know offhand what the "normal" bridge height would have been for this banjer?

I tightened up the one string on it and I'm guestimating a 1/2 inch bridge will have it playing nicely, but I'm just guestimating.

Jan 18, 2021 - 7:37:40 PM
likes this

8171 posts since 8/28/2013
Online Now

I own a Slingerland tenor, and it has a 1/2 inch bridge. That was pretty much the usualal size for banjos back in the twenties.

Jan 22, 2021 - 9:37:54 AM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

Can these be set up and played without the simple steel tone ring? Just curious, in case I want to toy with the sound when the head arrives...

Edited by - MountainBanjo on 01/22/2021 09:39:11

Jan 22, 2021 - 10:36:55 AM

banjonz

New Zealand

11094 posts since 6/29/2003

Not many 5 stringed Slingerlands turn up these days. Yours is a student grade model (no frills). Just assemble and string it up, then see what needs to be done from there.

Jan 22, 2021 - 12:53:25 PM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

Yup, I know its a student model, I called it no frills in the first post. Still want to know if it can be set up without the tone ring if I wanted to, its just a chunk of steel. I'm not sure if that would be bad for the head though. 

Jan 22, 2021 - 4:42:56 PM
likes this

banjonz

New Zealand

11094 posts since 6/29/2003

quote:
Originally posted by MountainBanjo

Yup, I know its a student model, I called it no frills in the first post. Still want to know if it can be set up without the tone ring if I wanted to, its just a chunk of steel. I'm not sure if that would be bad for the head though. 


Modern mylar heads are pretty tough. However, removing the ring and mounting the head directly onto the rim may not work. The head will sit lower than normal. The nuts may bottom out at the end of the hook threads and you would definitely need a higher bridge. These were designed to take the ring.

Edited by - banjonz on 01/22/2021 16:43:20

Jan 22, 2021 - 8:27:01 PM

1270 posts since 3/10/2005

Good to know, thanks. That's kind of what I was afraid of.

I just noticed this banjo has a 4-string Waverly tailpiece, as in

mugwumps.com/tailpieces/waverly-simple.jpg

But it looks like it would be easy to string for 5 too. Now I wonder, was it common to use these on 5-strings, or do I have a conversion, a frankenbano or someone just switched tailpieces?

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.21875