Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

475
Banjo Lovers Online


Page: 1  2   3   4  ...   Next Page   Last Page (5) 

Feb 24, 2021 - 10:53:53 PM
561 posts since 5/14/2013

EDIT: Although I believe it to be irrelevant to the question at hand, I have been informed that in my original post I did not specifically state that the banjo was stung with nylon strings.
 

Howdy,

I have a question about coordinator rods.

I installed the highest bridge that I could put on my Deering Vega Little Wonder. But, I still needed a little higher action for classic playing. So, I adjusted the coordinator rods. I did get my action where I needed it to be. But, in doing so, I have basically maxed out the bottom coordinator rod. I'll attach some photos showing this. The maxing out is probably best represented by the photo showing the amount of rod in the nut on the outside of the pot (which also holds the tailpiece on).

My question is... will having the rod maxed out like this harm the banjo? I was told by a luthier that it would not, but I wanted to get more input.

Thanks for your help,

Ryan

 




 

Edited by - westsideryan on 02/26/2021 09:51:48

Feb 25, 2021 - 12:42:32 AM
like this

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

Yes, this will harm the banjo. You are essentially warping the rim to an extreme and this is not the best way to raise the action to accommodate a higher bridge.

Feb 25, 2021 - 1:01:45 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

What are considered to be acceptable adjustments as far as coordinator rods go? Currently, it looks like the bottom part of the pot is a little under 1/8" out of round. The top part of the pot (where the head is attached) doesn't appear to be out of round at all (I had to "eye" that measurement as I have a tailpiece in the way).

I don’t think I have any other options left to raise the action.

I have already installed a 3/4” bridge and introduced as much relief to the neck as I could.

What other options do I have?

Couldn’t I always pull the pot back into round with the same coordinator rod (if I ever needed to)?

Thanks,

Ryan

Edited by - westsideryan on 02/25/2021 01:15:10

Feb 25, 2021 - 2:49:10 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

Yes, this will harm the banjo. You are essentially warping the rim to an extreme and this is not the best way to raise the action to accommodate a higher bridge.


 

I forgot to add... I may be wrong (as I am lacking on sleep at the moment), but I really can't figure out why anyone would raise their action to accommodate a higher bridge? I could see someone raising their action to accommodate a lower bridge.

Feb 25, 2021 - 3:22:12 AM
like this

4602 posts since 11/20/2004

The preferred method is using shims at the heel of the neck where it meets the rim to raise or lower action. Warping the rim, at the least hurts tone, and at the worst, cracks rims.

Feb 25, 2021 - 3:43:24 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by lightgauge

The preferred method is using shims at the heel of the neck where it meets the rim to raise or lower action. Warping the rim, at the least hurts tone, and at the worst, cracks rims.


Wouldn't adding a shim actually bend the coordinator rods? Thus, just "warping" a different different area of the banjo? And, just by being their, wouldn’t a shim theoretically "hurt" the tone of the banjo?

As far as tone goes on my particular banjo, it didn't change in any noticeable way based on the coordinator rod adjustment. I am actually quite happy with it.

I tend to doubt that my rim is in danger of cracking in its current state. But, I could be wrong.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:09:48 AM

4602 posts since 11/20/2004

A shim would go outside the rim where the neck meets the rim. The neck bolt would go through it, so no to it affecting the rods in any way. Shim at upper bolt lowers action. Shim at lower bolt raises action. Just watch for too much shim at the bottom bolt pushing the end ot the fingerboard against the tension hoop.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:19:11 AM
like this

2770 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

Egging a rim has a few negative residuals. Tightening the head is very difficult. The stresses are focused at the 180 and 0, specifically between hooks 6 and 7 with 16 and 17. The flange no longer has uniform contact with the rim. Any tone ring fails to make contact with the rim. Basically, why put unnecessary stresses on a perfectly operational banjo?

Get some sleep. Measure what the banjo was first. Then make changes gradually. Measuring frequently to ensure the desired results are being addressed by the actions.

With the nut near the end of the thread, why push the neck away from the rim? Destabilizing the neck makes the assembly less payable. Shims are problematic. Got a rattle? Answer: Are you shimming the neck?

Typical classical playing action is not egregiously different than clawhammer or Bluegrass styles. High action is not what this site is filled with suggestions for.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:20:05 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by lightgauge

A shim would go outside the rim where the neck meets the rim. The neck bolt would go through it, so no to it affecting the rods in any way. Shim at upper bolt lowers action. Shim at lower bolt raises action. Just watch for too much shim at the bottom bolt pushing the end ot the fingerboard against the tension hoop.


I do understand where the shim would go.

The coordinator rods are also the "neck bolts". Because of this, a shim would bend the coordinator rods (neck bolts). And, they would put tension on the pot next to where the rods travel through to connect to the neck.


 

Edited by - westsideryan on 02/25/2021 04:21:10

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:24:30 AM

KCJones

USA

1444 posts since 8/30/2012

Watch this video before you do anything else.

youtu.be/UY50OCE-ki0

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:25:49 AM

2770 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

The washers prevent to assembly from dishing out the rim by making a new hole. The other end of the coordinator rod contains the neck adjustment. Only the lower coordinator rod has the neck adjustment. The outside nut keeps the assembly in place.

With the Banjo upside down, the lower coordinator rod is the first one in the picture. This one contains the neck action adjustment. 

Edited by - Aradobanjo on 02/25/2021 04:28:22

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:33:03 AM
like this

13472 posts since 6/29/2005

you should never use coordinator rods to adjust the action more than a tiny amount—it will cause more damage than just "egging" the rim—it will put the laminations of the rim into shear stress which will cause the rim to delaminate. We hear about delaminated rims on this forum constantly.   I'd be willing to bet that Deering's warranty wouldn't cover a delaminated rim caused by maladjustment of rods.

If you want a higher bridge, shim the heel where it fits against the rim, but not where it fits against the tension hoop.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:34:55 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Aradobanjo

Hello,

Egging a rim has a few negative residuals. Tightening the head is very difficult. The stresses are focused at the 180 and 0, specifically between hooks 6 and 7 with 16 and 17. The flange no longer has uniform contact with the rim. Any tone ring fails to make contact with the rim. Basically, why put unnecessary stresses on a perfectly operational banjo?

Get some sleep. Measure what the banjo was first. Then make changes gradually. Measuring frequently to ensure the desired results are being addressed by the actions.

With the nut near the end of the thread, why push the neck away from the rim? Destabilizing the neck makes the assembly less payable. Shims are problematic. Got a rattle? Answer: Are you shimming the neck?

Typical classical playing action is not egregiously different than clawhammer or Bluegrass styles. High action is not what this site is filled with suggestions for.


I am speaking of "classic" not "classical" playing.

I need a high action to accommodate the the nylon strings. I am not sure what action heights clawhammer or bluegrass players prefer, but I need a string height between 3/16” to 1/4” (at the 12th fret). Right now I am at 3/16" which is really the bare minimum. I am fine with being at 3/16" though.

I do not have a flange. And, I do not have a tone ring.

I also have had no issues whatsoever tightening the head.

The banjo wasn't perfectly operational until I adjusted the coordinator rods.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:39:51 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

you should never use coordinator rods to adjust the action more than a tiny amount—it will cause more damage than just "egging" the rim—it will put the laminations of the rim into shear stress which will cause the rim to delaminate. We hear about delaminated rims on this forum constantly.   I'd be willing to bet that Deering's warranty wouldn't cover a delaminated rim caused by maladjustment of rods.

If you want a higher bridge, shim the heel where it fits against the rim, but not where it fits against the tension hoop.


What's does a tiny amount equate to?

I am honestly not too concerned with any warranty. 

Shimming the neck will bend the coordinator rods and put tension on the pot where the rods travel trough to attach to the neck. Is this tension acceptable?

Edited by - westsideryan on 02/25/2021 04:43:51

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:49:44 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Aradobanjo

Hello,

The washers prevent to assembly from dishing out the rim by making a new hole. The other end of the coordinator rod contains the neck adjustment. Only the lower coordinator rod has the neck adjustment. The outside nut keeps the assembly in place.

With the Banjo upside down, the lower coordinator rod is the first one in the picture. This one contains the neck action adjustment. 


I do understand how coordinator rods work. That's not my issue.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:50:15 AM

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

The ideal "setting" of the coordinator rods is neutral, meaning that when they are snugged up that there is no distortion of the rim one way or another. As mentioned above, a very, VERY slight distortion is okay, and I'm thinking not even 1/2 turn of the bolts level of distortion.

I can't count how may old Gibson banjos I have picked that sounded like total crap, only to pull off the resonator and see a seriously distorted rim from some adjustment made 50 years ago... once the rim gets distorted and is never relieved of that pressure, it takes it on permanently (over many years) and is basically trashed IMHO.

To raise the action that much you a small shim between the heel and rim is all it needs. No shim where the neck meets at the tension hoop. A very thin shim moves the neck A LOT. So, a shim as thin as the cardboard cover from a pack of matches is probably all you will need. Or, a piece of chipboard (which is the thicker cardboard backing from a pad of paper). In fact, I've seen plenty of cardboard or chipboard shims before.

A few days like this won't cause any damage, but leave it like this, and yeah, you got some future problems. So, best to correct this now.

Feb 25, 2021 - 4:57:47 AM

3036 posts since 2/18/2009
Online Now

It sounds to me like you need a taller bridge. To add 1/16" at the 12th fret you'll need a bridge that's 1/8" higher than your current one. Some of my cello banjos have bridges about 1" tall, for instance, and they work fine.

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:00:25 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Watch this video before you do anything else.

youtu.be/UY50OCE-ki0


Thanks. I watched the video, but didn't really help much. I already know how the coordinator rods work. My rim is currently "egg'd" as he says, a little under 1/8" (I purposely put it that way). I guess my question is, what is an acceptable amount?

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:07:52 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy

The ideal "setting" of the coordinator rods is neutral, meaning that when they are snugged up that there is no distortion of the rim one way or another. As mentioned above, a very, VERY slight distortion is okay, and I'm thinking not even 1/2 turn of the bolts level of distortion.

I can't count how may old Gibson banjos I have picked that sounded like total crap, only to pull off the resonator and see a seriously distorted rim from some adjustment made 50 years ago... once the rim gets distorted and is never relieved of that pressure, it takes it on permanently (over many years) and is basically trashed IMHO.

To raise the action that much you a small shim between the heel and rim is all it needs. No shim where the neck meets at the tension hoop. A very thin shim moves the neck A LOT. So, a shim as thin as the cardboard cover from a pack of matches is probably all you will need. Or, a piece of chipboard (which is the thicker cardboard backing from a pad of paper). In fact, I've seen plenty of cardboard or chipboard shims before.

A few days like this won't cause any damage, but leave it like this, and yeah, you got some future problems. So, best to correct this now.


So, it's alright that the coordinator rods bend a tiny bit from the shim being there?

Wouldn't cardboard deaden the vibrations between the neck and pot? Plus, it seems that with cardboard, the upper part of the neck heal would loose contact with the pot altogether.

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:11:46 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Hoyt

It sounds to me like you need a taller bridge. To add 1/16" at the 12th fret you'll need a bridge that's 1/8" higher than your current one. Some of my cello banjos have bridges about 1" tall, for instance, and they work fine.


That is a high bridge! I am no cello banjo expert, but I would guess that a bridge on a cello banjo could get away with being that tall because (I assume that) the strings on a cello banjo have more mass than the strings on my banjo.

Edited by - westsideryan on 02/25/2021 05:13:30

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:18:55 AM
like this

banjoy

USA

9413 posts since 7/1/2006

Well, nope.

You ask if 1/8" distortion is too much. Yes, it is. Remember, 1/8" distortion translates into 1/16" changed action at the neck heel. You only get the benefit of 1/2 your adjustment using coordinator rods.

And no, a tiny cardboard thin shim will not adversely affect sound. If this is a concern, then use a thin shim of hardwood like maple instead.

Based on what I'm hearing, a shim as thin as 1/16" or less at the heel is all you need. Or, the thickness of one layer of chipboard :). 1/16" shim is a whole lot, actually, and probably too much for the adjustment you need. 1/32" might do the trick.

Just to comment, you seem a bit defensive about your decisions here. No need to be and if I am perceiving that wrong, I apologize. Already plenty of amazing banjo builders have chimed in this thread and are guiding you in the right direction. Whether you heed the advise is totally up to you, it's your banjo. But you asked. And these are the answers and guidance you're getting back.

Just relax and take a breath. It's going to be okay. yes

Edited by - banjoy on 02/25/2021 05:22:22

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:32:42 AM
like this

13472 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by westsideryan
quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

you should never use coordinator rods to adjust the action more than a tiny amount—it will cause more damage than just "egging" the rim—it will put the laminations of the rim into shear stress which will cause the rim to delaminate. We hear about delaminated rims on this forum constantly.   I'd be willing to bet that Deering's warranty wouldn't cover a delaminated rim caused by maladjustment of rods.

If you want a higher bridge, shim the heel where it fits against the rim, but not where it fits against the tension hoop.


What's does a tiny amount equate to?

I am honestly not too concerned with any warranty. 

Shimming the neck will bend the coordinator rods and put tension on the pot where the rods travel trough to attach to the neck. Is this tension acceptable?


A tiny amount would be the amount needed to fix a minor buzz on one string at a couple of frets if the action was low and rods were already neutral when you did that.  1/16" is not a tiny amount.

the rods will not bend appreciably if you shim the heel half a degree— any more than that, and the heel angle should be recut or shaved, which is the best way to adjust the neck angle anyway.

Using co rods to change bridge height is a fool's errand, as has been mentioned by others.

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:36:42 AM

KCJones

USA

1444 posts since 8/30/2012

quote:
Originally posted by westsideryan
quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Watch this video before you do anything else.

youtu.be/UY50OCE-ki0


Thanks. I watched the video, but didn't really help much. I already know how the coordinator rods work. My rim is currently "egg'd" as he says, a little under 1/8" (I purposely put it that way). I guess my question is, what is an acceptable amount?


Zero is an acceptable amount. No amount of egging is acceptable. Any amount of egging will, eventually, permanently distort the rim and probably cause delamination.

It's been said before but bears repeating: coordinator rods are not designed to adjust action. That's not their purpose and you shouldn't use co-rod adjustment to change action. 

This is another line of thought... It's your banjo, so it's up to you to decide how to treat it. This isn't a prewar flathead rim. It's not a collectors item, there's no rule that says you need to treat it like one. Lots of people run their equipment hard and put it away wet, and they just replace it when the time comes. There's no banjo law that says you can't do that in this situation. I think it'd be years before any damage actually set in. In 5 years, will you be playing this banjo still? When the rim is eventually ruined, you can always just replace it. 

Edited by - KCJones on 02/25/2021 05:49:42

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:42:35 AM

561 posts since 5/14/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan
quote:
Originally posted by westsideryan
quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

you should never use coordinator rods to adjust the action more than a tiny amount—it will cause more damage than just "egging" the rim—it will put the laminations of the rim into shear stress which will cause the rim to delaminate. We hear about delaminated rims on this forum constantly.   I'd be willing to bet that Deering's warranty wouldn't cover a delaminated rim caused by maladjustment of rods.

If you want a higher bridge, shim the heel where it fits against the rim, but not where it fits against the tension hoop.


What's does a tiny amount equate to?

I am honestly not too concerned with any warranty. 

Shimming the neck will bend the coordinator rods and put tension on the pot where the rods travel trough to attach to the neck. Is this tension acceptable?


A tiny amount would be the amount needed to fix a minor buzz on one string at a couple of frets if the action was low and rods were already neutral when you did that.  1/16" is not a tiny amount.

the rods will not bend appreciably if you shim the heel half a degree— any more than that, and the heel angle should be recut or shaved, which is the best way to adjust the neck angle anyway.

Using co rods to change bridge height is a fool's errand, as has been mentioned by others.

 


Thanks for the input. I didn't adjust the rod to change the bridge height. I did it to get a higher action.

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:42:43 AM
like this

8380 posts since 8/28/2013

You are overreacting to the use of shims. First, the stress on the rods is too negligible to be a concern, unlike the stress you are now putting on the rim. Stress on the rim can lead to damages that others have already elaborated upon, whereas shims have been used by countless pickers without any problems at all.

Second, the shim doesn't affect the upper part of the neck heel. A shim simply pivots the neck a tiny bit, so the contact at the top would essentially be the same.

I do agree that cardboard is not the best shim material, but wood veneer or a plastic credit card would be acceptable.

In your banjo's current configuration, with the coordinator rod maxed out, you will eventually need a new banjo, and that may be sooner than you think. However, it's your instrument, so you can destroy it if you want to.

By the way, get a new luthier. Anyone who tells you that your set-up won't harm anything hasn't enough experience with banjos.
 

Feb 25, 2021 - 5:43:40 AM

4602 posts since 11/20/2004

I am not understanding your bending the rods. By any chance are your neck lag bolts stuck in the end of your coordinator rods?

Page: 1  2   3   4  ...   Next Page   Last Page (5) 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.328125