I was looking at the Washburn tenor banjo in the hangout classifieds. It looks like a beautiful instrument, but it doesn't have a dowell stick. I was wondering if just bolting the neck to the rim without any dowell or rod is as structurally sound?
Here's the posting:
I have a 60's Vega Folk Ranger 5 string open back that was constructed without a coordinator rod. Also, the 70's Stewart McDonald Eagle 5 string open back kit banjos had bolt on necks with no coordinator rod. No dowels for either. My Vega FR-5 is 57 years old and remains a solid instrument.
Good to know Mark. All three of my banjos have dowells or rods, so I just took it for granted they were necessary.
Andrew, I also like to have a dowel or a set of rods in the rim but, this banjo was made without either. It has a heavy metal frame around the wood rim. It looks to be around eighty or ninety years old. If it has not developed any problems by now then it is probably a safe bet that it will hold up for a lot longer.
Bill Rogers (Moderator)
I have a Vega Folk Ranger like Mark’s. Stable for 20 years or so..... I also have a no-name 19th c. openback with a bolt-on neck. It’s also solid. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the Washburn if i needed it.
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