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Sep 20, 2021 - 1:45:34 PM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

@mbanza , Verne Marr of Oregon,

Thank you very much for sending me 2 banjo books regarding the history and construction of them! I just received them in the mail today, and they seem like great reads! The banjo repair book seems like it would be of great help on this long-neck build, and banjo history book will keep me well read for the next few days!

Thanks again!
Russ

Sep 20, 2021 - 3:49:15 PM

mbanza

USA

2415 posts since 9/16/2007

You're welcome, Russ.

Sep 21, 2021 - 2:55:13 PM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mbanza

You're welcome, Russ.


I am glad the message went through here on BHO! I have been having wifi issues, so I sent you a email the other day, but I am happy to know that the wifi seems to be doing okay, with how much the prices have been going up recently.

Anyway though, thanks very much again! I got a lot of HS work to complete the next week, but I am hoping to get it all out of the way so I can start learning and finishing this banjo build! As Mark Twain once said, "Don't let your studies interfere with your education".

Russ A.

Oct 12, 2021 - 11:30:42 AM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

Hey everyone! A lot of new updates to come out within this next few days, so I hope you enjoy! I will tag everyone here for now. 

Ken LeVan mike gregory Helix Enfield1858 Don Smith1959 RBuddy wizofos jacot23 mbanza @buck the banjo player Fallingwater

 

I have a quick question about carved tuning pegs that everyone here might be able to help me out on. This is my last major step with this long-neck project, so I am excited!

Does anyone here recommend a solution to keeping Wooden pegs in tune and not back-sliding due to string tension? Mr. Ken LeVan suggested Violin Rosin, so I tried that, but to no avail. I also tried chalk, to no avail also. Then, I also did Beeswax, which worked the best, in my opinion, but still slightly slips a bit too often. 

So, does anyone here have a fix for back-sliding tuners? I read online that the right way of doing these would be to ream a hole out in the peg-head at a specific angle to secure the peg nice and smoothly, but it appears to be too late for that.

With my dad, we tried thinking of things we could put on the pegs that would have a lot of resistance (but not too much, so I can turn the peg). Rubber came to our minds, and a few other possibilities, but we are still not sure.

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback and advice as usual!

-Russ

Oct 12, 2021 - 1:03:37 PM

14138 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Hey everyone! A lot of new updates to come out within this next few days, so I hope you enjoy! I will tag everyone here for now. 

Ken LeVan mike gregory Helix Enfield1858 Don Smith1959 RBuddy wizofos jacot23 mbanza @buck the banjo player Fallingwater

 

I have a quick question about carved tuning pegs that everyone here might be able to help me out on. This is my last major step with this long-neck project, so I am excited!

Does anyone here recommend a solution to keeping Wooden pegs in tune and not back-sliding due to string tension? Mr. Ken LeVan suggested Violin Rosin, so I tried that, but to no avail. I also tried chalk, to no avail also. Then, I also did Beeswax, which worked the best, in my opinion, but still slightly slips a bit too often. 

So, does anyone here have a fix for back-sliding tuners? I read online that the right way of doing these would be to ream a hole out in the peg-head at a specific angle to secure the peg nice and smoothly, but it appears to be too late for that.

With my dad, we tried thinking of things we could put on the pegs that would have a lot of resistance (but not too much, so I can turn the peg). Rubber came to our minds, and a few other possibilities, but we are still not sure.

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback and advice as usual!

-Russ


For one thing, the pegs and holes should be tapered, and you push up to tighten the tapered fit as you tune.

Oct 13, 2021 - 2:04:40 PM
likes this

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan
quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment

Hey everyone! A lot of new updates to come out within this next few days, so I hope you enjoy! I will tag everyone here for now. 

Ken LeVan mike gregory Helix Enfield1858 Don Smith1959 RBuddy wizofos jacot23 mbanza @buck the banjo player Fallingwater

 

I have a quick question about carved tuning pegs that everyone here might be able to help me out on. This is my last major step with this long-neck project, so I am excited!

Does anyone here recommend a solution to keeping Wooden pegs in tune and not back-sliding due to string tension? Mr. Ken LeVan suggested Violin Rosin, so I tried that, but to no avail. I also tried chalk, to no avail also. Then, I also did Beeswax, which worked the best, in my opinion, but still slightly slips a bit too often. 

So, does anyone here have a fix for back-sliding tuners? I read online that the right way of doing these would be to ream a hole out in the peg-head at a specific angle to secure the peg nice and smoothly, but it appears to be too late for that.

With my dad, we tried thinking of things we could put on the pegs that would have a lot of resistance (but not too much, so I can turn the peg). Rubber came to our minds, and a few other possibilities, but we are still not sure.

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback and advice as usual!

-Russ


For one thing, the pegs and holes should be tapered, and you push up to tighten the tapered fit as you tune.


Ken,

Yeah, I really wish I thought of that before I drilled the holes and carved the pegs. I guess I cannot do much now about it, though. 

Maybe using some tar would help??

-Russ

Oct 13, 2021 - 3:17:52 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15037 posts since 8/30/2006

Anything is fixable: wax and a tapered peg 
A reamer with a shadow on paper to match the angle for the pegs

Edited by - Helix on 10/13/2021 15:20:10

Oct 13, 2021 - 3:37:43 PM

58627 posts since 12/14/2005

Here's a suggestion:
Drill the holes straight through, and bigger, the right size to pound dowels into.
Pound in the dowels, saw and sand them flush, re-drill the holes nice and small.
Somebody in a do-it-yourself video suggested using 1/2 a pair of scissors to ream the taper. and then whittle and sand your pegs to that taper.

Beats throwing the neck away and starting over.

Oct 14, 2021 - 6:53:05 AM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Anything is fixable: wax and a tapered peg 
A reamer with a shadow on paper to match the angle for the pegs


Helix,

Thanks for the advice. Though, I am not sure if wax would be able to fill up the holes, if that is what you mean. I am already using Beeswax, which has gotten me 80 percent of the way there to proper tuning of the banjo, but still am losing 20 percent by backsliding.

Oct 14, 2021 - 6:59:26 AM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Here's a suggestion:
Drill the holes straight through, and bigger, the right size to pound dowels into.
Pound in the dowels, saw and sand them flush, re-drill the holes nice and small.
Somebody in a do-it-yourself video suggested using 1/2 a pair of scissors to ream the taper. and then whittle and sand your pegs to that taper.

Beats throwing the neck away and starting over.


Mike,

That is a good idea! I definitely would not throw the neck away at this point, especially after spending so much time on it with all the hours and manual labor. 

I hope that dowels would work for a softwood species like White Pine though. Like I said in the post above to Helix, do you think it might be possible to find some sort of high-tension wax/appliance to coat the pegs with? I am confident the pegs hold up to 80% of the way to proper tuning by just using beeswax. Just 20 percent is what I am confused on. 

Anyway, thanks again for the help!

-Russ

Oct 14, 2021 - 11:04:09 AM

58627 posts since 12/14/2005

Here's an idea:
NUMBER the pegs, so they don't get mixed up.
Grease up the pegs with petroleum jelly, fill the holes with an epoxy putty made for wood, push the pegs MOST of the way through, trim off the putty, let it set, then remove and de-grease the pegs.

The jelly will have prevented them from sticking to the epoxy.
And the holes, when the epoxy sets up, will be absolutely snug.
De-grease the holes, do a little final sanding, and post a video of the banjo being played.

Oct 15, 2021 - 4:05:24 AM

PaulRF

Australia

3272 posts since 2/1/2012

quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment
quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan
quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment
quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan
quote:
Originally posted by BeeEnvironment
quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

you might consider putting violin rosin on the tuner shafts to stop them from backsliding when you tune it up.


Hey Ken!

That's a very good idea! I don't know how I will be able to fit the rosin block into the holes, but my brother plays violin, so I'll try asking him! That would help we a lot, because it would help the pegs turn a bit smoother I suppose.


You just rub the tuner shafts with it.


Ah Okay, thanks! I tried it, and it seems to help a tad, but the rosin keeps on breaking or not come off onto the pegs when I try it. It did help some though.

Russ


When you actually string the banjo, that would be the time to see whether the pegs slip—if you are planning to use steel strings, you may have other things to be concerned about besides slipping.

Just as an aside, there are a lot of trees down up here from the storm last week—heavy equipment including cranes are being used.  Any trees that went down in Rickett's glen would have to be removed by helicopters because of the sensitivity of the site.  I haven't heard anything about it, so that's good news.  Most of what goes down is dead ash trees and anything with trunk rot.


Ken,

Thanks for the advice! But, just a question: What do you think I will be concerned about when I put strings on? Is there anything that I should be cautious about specifically?

Oooh, I hope most of the forests up there are doing well after the storms. Do you know if huge swaths of forest was cut from the storm??? I know of a old-growth forest in the Pocono Mountain region, called the George Childs Park (part of the Delaware Water Gap NRA), and they had MAGNIFICENT Old-growth virgin White Pines and Hemlocks along with hardwoods, and they reached nearly HUGE sizes (not the mention the many beautiful waterfalls along the creek). They were preserved, and really lived for hundreds of years, and many were in strong sturdy shape as could be. Then came a devastating winter storm in 2018, I think a noreaster. Unfortunately, after this one storm, nearly all the ancient Huge white pines and hemlocks came crashing down, destroying the trails, younger trees, and many native bushes. Looked like a tornado came through. Here are some photos:

Anyway, even though this was a winter storm, I hope that the forests there are doing all right.

BeeE

Wow.  Strong storms.
Paul
Nov 9, 2021 - 4:11:46 PM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

Hello again, everybody,

Sorry for taking such a long time in replying with this long neck building! I have been extremely busy the past few weeks, and I had trouble in getting the long neck completed. High school works seems to never end! Hah!

Well, firstly, I will tag everyone here that contributed (please let me know if you don't want to be tagged in the future): Ken LeVan mike gregory Helix Enfield1858 Don Smith1959 RBuddy wizofos jacot23 mbanza @buck the banjo player (somehow it is not tagging this user) PaulRF

Ok, so, last time, if I recall correctly, I was thinking about ways to correct mis-drilled peg-holes in the peghead, to hold the holes. I will try to keep everything in mind as I compose this post

PART 1: Finishing the Pegs, converting them, and some other parts of the White Pine Neck

A few weeks ago, I finished all 5 wooden pegs to hold the 5 strings of the banjo. However, it was then that I realized, and I tried just about everything, to get the pegs to stick and not back-slide. Well, I was lucky enough to receive 5 chrome geared banjo tuners from a cheap asian banjo, and so, despite my persistence and time spent on making the wood pegs, I decided to convert the top 2 pegs (3rd and 2nd strings), and the 5th string peg, to geared tuners. Although I thought it would not work, as it was a tight fit to make with 2 geared pegs on the narrow white pine peghead, I am quite happy with the result, and the strings stay in tune very well.

I made this decision because the pegs, although a bit cheap, they work quite well and were free, so I figured it would save me a lot of effort and time using them.
Photos are at the bottom of the page. I tried attaching them here, but I can't.


PART 2: Attaching the White Pine Neck to the Walnut-Birch Pot, and "deepening" the neck where it joins the pot.
After completing the peg conversion (well, for 3 tuners), I then moved on to attaching the White Pine Neck to the Birch-Walnut Pot! This process took a while, as I had to carefully mark and measure the neck-angle and height. In the photos, you can actually see some of the pencil scribbles I used just to mark the rough location of where the neck should attach to the pot.

Now, at this point, I realized that I made the neck joint to the pot too shallow! And by shallow, I mean 1 and 1/2 inches deep. This was a problem, because I was unable to firmly connect the neck to the pot without leaving enough room to drill my bolts into the neck. So, I "came up" with a, rather simple, idea.

I thought that, if I was to file down the BACK of the neck at the bottom of the neck, and then super-glue a DEEP block of wood onto the filed area. I decided to use a pine block instead of a hardwood block because I figured that Softwood-onto-Softwood versus Softwood-onto-Hardwood would bind together better, because they have similar wood-grain structures. Photos of this process are attached at the bottom of the page.

So, I made this deep block by simply super-gluing 2 small planks of white pine together, and then cutting (with a scroll saw), a block about 1 and 3/4 Inches deep and ~2.4 inches wide. I then filed down the back part of the neck, at the bottom, until a remaining depth of ~1/2 inch was left.

I then proceeded to super-glue (tite-bond original) that block onto the filed-down area at the bottom of the neck where it would join the pot. I made sure the glue got into every corner to ensure that it would bond very tightly, because if I used too little glue, the neck would have a very good chance of SNAPPING off the block when I would tune the strings up.

THE RESULT: I am quite happy with the result! The block really glued and bonded with the neck nicely, and is a very tough joint, maybe as strong as steel or iron.

After the glue had set for a few days, it was then the time to attach the neck to the pot via very strong steel bolts, that I got from a nearby hardware store. In this process, I received kind help from friends of ours that work at a nearby Home Depot. I needed good and strong bolts to connect the pot to the neck, and, despite the endless hundreds of types of bolts at the store, they were able to spend the time and help us out with finding the right one: 3-inch, threaded, pointed-end, bolts. I appreciate and acknowledge their help with this deeply.

Then, it was just a matter of drilling some holes into the neck and screwing the bolts in from the pot. FINALLY, after 6 months, the pot and neck were united! Photos at bottom.
I think the end result is doing quite fine, especially with string tension. To be honest, the holes are a bit crude, and could have been much better if I really spent a lot of time pre-measuring and accurately placing the bolts, but I think that for the time and effort spent, it is not bad at all. I am perfectly happy with it!

PART 3: Attaching the tailpiece, and finishing other parts of the banjo
Ok, here are some other parts of the banjo that I completed. Firstly, I attached a no-knot replica tailpiece to the pot by screwing in a small bolt to connect it to the pot. Photos attached to bottom of post.

As for the Bridge, I used a (supposedly) maple bridge from the same asian banjo I got the tuners from. It seems to work fine, but I recently carved the black-part (the top bar) from it, with my pocket knife, because it was a bit too high for my neck action and angle. Please let me know if you would like to see a photo of it.

I also removed the bottom frets of the neck, as they were too high, for some mysterious reason, and they just would not get much use anyhow. The bottom of the neck is pretty ugly, I have to admit, but I might try and clean that up with some wax soon.

FINAL RESULTS of everything:
Well, this long neck is not yet complete, as I still have to figure out what to do with the final 2 pegs, because I am not too sure I want to leave them as they are, and how to slightly beautify the instrument, but I am happy with how things are turning out so far! The neck has yet to warp also, despite the months becoming drier and cooler now.


I PROMISE everyone here that I will let you all know about the sound of the banjo at the end, and I take a video of it also! I attached, below, a final image of how the banjo looks like now!

Please let me know if you have any questions! I really am enjoying this build, even if it does not work out well in the end. All comments, feedback, and suggestions are very appreciated! If you want more photos, please let me know!

Thanks for spending the time reading this long post!
-Russ A.


Nov 9, 2021 - 5:38:47 PM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15037 posts since 8/30/2006

It looks like a longneck and plays like a longneck
I would use the other additional tuners if possible
Looks great

Nov 9, 2021 - 5:54:43 PM
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58627 posts since 12/14/2005

I feel a bit of pride that I was even ANY help to such an interesting project.

Good for you.
Let us raise our glasses in a toast!


Nov 10, 2021 - 3:51:25 PM
likes this

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

It looks like a longneck and plays like a longneck
I would use the other additional tuners if possible
Looks great


Thanks, Helix!

Yeah, I was thinking about using the other tuners, but I only have 1 left. Unfortunately the other one was "broken", in the sense that it came to pieces. I am going to have to think about it!

Nov 10, 2021 - 3:53:10 PM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

I feel a bit of pride that I was even ANY help to such an interesting project.

Good for you.
Let us raise our glasses in a toast!


Hey Mike!

Indeed! You and all the other folks here really did contribute to this project very significantly. All your combined years of building, crafting, playing, etc... the banjo really did help on this build!

Also, I get that joke with raising our glasses in a toast, hah! I will have to use that on my high-school friends one of these days.

Russ A.

Nov 11, 2021 - 4:50:25 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15037 posts since 8/30/2006

I beg your pardon, I do rim changeouts and tuner replacements, so I have a collection of lower budget banjo parts.
I probably have that tuner, if you have an address. Tailpiece?

There is a problem, once you embark on this journey, you become a member of the helix league, small case letters, from confidence.
It means you dress nice for school. Study and get good grades, you are conversant with all the other cliques and party to none.
You won't allow bullying by the strong over the weak. You will sing and play to the outer most limits of your joy and learning.
"Keep Bringing People Together" is a quote from Peter Seeger. He gave us permission to use it on our 2003 tour T-shirts for the German/American folk tour. Deutsches Amerikanishes Folk Treffen = DAFT. We were.
This is a hell of a journey and it kills death itself. We live longer, so does the music.

I got that tuner, send me an email.


Nov 11, 2021 - 5:24:23 AM

898 posts since 5/22/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

I beg your pardon, I do rim changeouts and tuner replacements, so I have a collection of lower budget banjo parts.
I probably have that tuner, if you have an address. Tailpiece?

There is a problem, once you embark on this journey, you become a member of the helix league, small case letters, from confidence.
It means you dress nice for school. Study and get good grades, you are conversant with all the other cliques and party to none.
You won't allow bullying by the strong over the weak. You will sing and play to the outer most limits of your joy and learning.
"Keep Bringing People Together" is a quote from Peter Seeger. He gave us permission to use it on our 2003 tour T-shirts for the German/American folk tour. Deutsches Amerikanishes Folk Treffen = DAFT. We were.
This is a hell of a journey and it kills death itself. We live longer, so does the music.

I got that tuner, send me an email.


Helix,

Thank you very much for your kind offer! Also, thanks for the heads up about becoming a member of the Helix league! I am trying to learn a few of Pete Seeger's sing-along-songs (like Deep Blue Sea, or Skip to my Lou) so I can sing them with friends at school, so I hope that works out well. Have not done it yet, but I made a promise to myself to do it at least once in my school year with a whole gang of people. I hope I am prepared!

I will send you that email now!

Thanks again!

Russ A.

Nov 11, 2021 - 5:58:32 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15037 posts since 8/30/2006

! I met this kid's brother, this guitar was built from parts that fell off of passing trains, it is now in a museum up in North Dakota.

The look on his face should be familiar to us all, stay curious. 




Edited by - Helix on 11/11/2021 06:00:46

Nov 11, 2021 - 9:14:57 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15037 posts since 8/30/2006

I see the problem with the thicker part of the peghead
One solution would be a 1/8” hardwood backcap after more unwanted thinning
Without thinning and strengthening it’s ok to use wooden pegs

Nov 11, 2021 - 9:59:29 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15037 posts since 8/30/2006

Here’s a photo of softer bamboo sandwiched by walnut top and back caps for 12 yrs.  It's thicker towards the end.


 

Edited by - Helix on 11/11/2021 10:02:18

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