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Jun 19, 2021 - 6:04:42 AM
218 posts since 5/25/2004

As a favor, I said I would look at and possibly set up a Hondo banjo. Here's the deal. It's a single co-rod with a turning bolt. Question I have is if you notice there's a screw/bolt at the heel. Does one fine tune the action from the bolt or go after that with a co-rod adjustment. BTW, the resonator is attached to flange with wood screws.
Thanks for any help!


Jun 19, 2021 - 6:42:13 AM



2863 posts since 11/29/2007
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You didn't say whether the action was high or low so not sure which way you think the action needs to go. Many of these real inexpensive banjos were limited with the adjustments. I am not sure they even had a co-rod in the neck. Could have a cover where one would but for cosmetics. In any event, based on what you need to do I would start with another bridge. If it is low you might try raising the action by tightening the head a bit. I don't think the bolt you mention would do anything regarding the action.


Edited by - BobbyE on 06/19/2021 06:43:02

Jun 19, 2021 - 7:19:16 AM
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Players Union Member



5515 posts since 10/12/2009

Check out the link shows everything you'dealing with, except the screw in the heel.

See the short, completely threaded rod/bolt ?  That piece is basically your neck "lag" bolt.

On the rounded end is a hole drilled thru it. The end of that bolt, with the hole, goes into the neck heel, and the screw you're asking about, goes thru the hole, just to anchor that bolt in the heel. 

DO NOT mess with that screw in the heel, here is no "adjustment" associated with it, and those screws are notorious for breaking when you try to do anything with it.

Loosen the big nut up against the rim, the neck should move "up or down", giving you alittle bit of action adjustment. You may ned toshim the neck heel, to get a little bit of angle on the neck.

Good luck, not much you can really do with this type neck attachment  system.

Jun 19, 2021 - 10:37:02 AM

1521 posts since 2/9/2007

It's easy to adjust the action by using that long nut to distort the rim-- TOO easy, and besides the danger of destroying the rim, it will hinder the sound of a banjo that needs all the help it can get in the tone department.

Make sure the neck is tight on the rim, and that the tailpiece end of the rod is neither pushing nor pulling the rim out of round. As Scott said, the hole in the rim at the heel is usually lengthened to allow a bit of up-and-down adjustment, but you might well need to shim or reshape the heel-to-rim surface to get the action right.

Jun 19, 2021 - 1:52:09 PM



218 posts since 5/25/2004

Thanks all. I'm use to Mastertone style double co-rod pots where I can raise and lower the action the Trad way. This configuration is an odd one.

Jun 19, 2021 - 3:30:46 PM

8722 posts since 8/28/2013

It's not really odd. Kay used a somewhat more sophisticated version of the setup starting in the early 1930's, and it's been the norm on bottlecap banjos and other cheapies such as this Hondo since at least the 1970's.

You are darned lucky not to have encountered one of these earlier, because they can be a real pain in an unmentionable portion of a person's anatomy. The worst thing you can do is to attempt any adjustment using the screw in the neck heel. At bwst, the screw will chip the heel; at worst, the screw will break off. The scond worst thing would be trying to adjust the action too much using that long nut. The rod could bend, or the eybolt in the neck heel could break. The best way has been explained by Scott and Dan, although they did not mention that adjsutments can also be made safely by changing the bridge height.

Jun 20, 2021 - 11:46:04 AM



218 posts since 5/25/2004

Thanks George, the issue was that this action was way too high. I'm going to get it to a point where get it to specs. And then if I need to, go to shims.

Jun 20, 2021 - 5:11:30 PM
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11867 posts since 6/2/2008

You've got some ugly looking rim delamination happening at the heel resulting in the bumping out against the bottom of the heel, which could be the cause of the high action. Before adjusting the action by any conventional methods I'd put some glue on the gap and try to clamp the rim back into shape.

Jun 20, 2021 - 8:10:08 PM

8722 posts since 8/28/2013

I hadn't noticed the rim delamination earlier. That complicates everything, and I doubt that gluing and clamping will fix it entirely. Something like this could not only cause action issues, but might also move the neck to one side, making it difficult to align the neck, bridge, and tailpiece properly. I would recommend the owner look for a better banjo.

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:41:17 AM
Players Union Member



14221 posts since 8/30/2006

Some people know these really well, I have 3 different ones with me now, like orphans. One is the fine quality Madiera by Guild. Iida and Washburn,

The new Recording Kings use a right-handed screw that simply attaches to the rim rod, easy and simple.

The one you are lookin at is very likely left-handed hook bolt, spec. banjo bull crap.
That's why the phillips head is boogered.

Why are there shims?

To do the shims right, you need to remove the neck. they had lossened the neck to shim. But aluminum banjos still adjust by using the turnbuckle, you can watch it happen with a 9/16" or 14mm end wrench. Same.

So if you have to drill a new hole along side the old one, it can be patched, if you need a series of small holes to get a grip on the screw head, then do it.

A small chance you have to do this correctly, then replace the old hook bolt with a new right-handed screw ala RK and you have solved their spec problem.

It was damaged before you got it, easy to see. Of course you would tighten the rod nut, loosen the little back nut to adjust the action.

I did this years ago without knowledge nor experience, after fighting the left-handed, I tried to loosen it the other way and it came right off.

You shouldn't leave it alone, you should fix the darn thing and enjoy a new banjo for someone who needs it.
The delamination can be glued on this weaker rim
And thank you for getting in there and doing something for someone else.

I copied this from another thread, if you need to confer off forum, be doing that.   I've never seen nor heard of shims on aluminum nor "one rods" before. 

Edited by - Helix on 06/21/2021 06:44:58

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:49:33 AM
Players Union Member



14221 posts since 8/30/2006

Let's answer your question.

The heel bolt only holds the neck on. Probably left-handed.

You tighten both nuts on the rod, then a 9/16" OR 14mm endwrench will let you adjust the action with the turnbuckle, no shims.

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