Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Mar 8, 2021 - 11:41:23 AM
5 posts since 12/23/2019

Hey folks,

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:


Mar 8, 2021 - 12:11:13 PM

289 posts since 11/29/2012
Online Now

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.

Mar 8, 2021 - 8:33:37 PM

5 posts since 12/23/2019

Good to know Mark. All three of my banjos have dowells or rods, so I just took it for granted they were necessary.

Mar 8, 2021 - 9:30:22 PM

3667 posts since 5/29/2011

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.

Mar 9, 2021 - 1:46:54 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


24578 posts since 6/25/2005

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.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories