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Should I buy a long neck an put it on an old pot? Is that Possible? How do?

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Jul 26, 2021 - 8:00:04 AM
21 posts since 6/11/2021

How Do indeed...

Hi,

I'm currently (more like constantly) thinking about upgrading to a long neck banjo and being left handed and in the UK has left me with limited options.

To my knowledge, I can either buy a rarely sold pre owned, pay big bucks for a custom, import one from US, or buy the parts and put it together myself.

currently I am looking into the building it myself option and have come across this listing for a neck on ebay.
 

Can anyone with experience in this area take a look and let me know if its a good buy or not? I understand the 5th strings machine head hasn't been installed and this has made me hesitant but maybe that is easier then i imagine? 

What do we think gang? Buy this for about £200 including shipping and start buying the other parts or do i just accept that i'm better off just saving up £1000+ and looking for something not put together on my kitchen table?

Jul 26, 2021 - 8:05:57 AM
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csacwp

USA

2904 posts since 1/15/2014

You are better off saving up for a purpose-built long neck. Those Asian necks on eBay are poorly made and use unseasoned (green) wood. Installation on an old pot made for a dowel stick would be a fair amount of work, and you'd have to butcher an antique in the process.

Edited by - csacwp on 07/26/2021 08:06:59

Jul 26, 2021 - 8:15:46 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by csacwp

You are better off saving up for a purpose-built long neck. Those Asian necks on eBay are poorly made and use unseasoned (green) wood. Installation on an old pot made for a dowel stick would be a fair amount of work, and you'd have to butcher an antique in the process.


Ah I see. Doesn't sound like something that would last long. 

Sorry I think shouldn't have used the word "old". I think I've mislead you into thinking I've got something aged and beautiful. 

I mean the pot from my Harley Benton HBJ-25LH or the Ozark 2104GL that has been in my parents attic for the last few years. 

 

Thanks for the reply :)

Jul 26, 2021 - 8:26:50 AM

csacwp

USA

2904 posts since 1/15/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca With a P H
quote:
Originally posted by csacwp

You are better off saving up for a purpose-built long neck. Those Asian necks on eBay are poorly made and use unseasoned (green) wood. Installation on an old pot made for a dowel stick would be a fair amount of work, and you'd have to butcher an antique in the process.


Ah I see. Doesn't sound like something that would last long. 

Sorry I think shouldn't have used the word "old". I think I've mislead you into thinking I've got something aged and beautiful. 

I mean the pot from my Harley Benton HBJ-25LH or the Ozark 2104GL that has been in my parents attic for the last few years. 

 

Thanks for the reply :)


I see. Do those pots accept coordinator rods or a dowel stick? 

Jul 26, 2021 - 8:32:34 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by csacwp
quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca With a P H
quote:
Originally posted by csacwp

You are better off saving up for a purpose-built long neck. Those Asian necks on eBay are poorly made and use unseasoned (green) wood. Installation on an old pot made for a dowel stick would be a fair amount of work, and you'd have to butcher an antique in the process.


Ah I see. Doesn't sound like something that would last long. 

Sorry I think shouldn't have used the word "old". I think I've mislead you into thinking I've got something aged and beautiful. 

I mean the pot from my Harley Benton HBJ-25LH or the Ozark 2104GL that has been in my parents attic for the last few years. 

 

Thanks for the reply :)


I see. Do those pots accept coordinator rods or a dowel stick? 


coordinator rods for both.

Jul 26, 2021 - 8:37:05 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

For more context...

The pots and other parts I would likely use would be either scavenged from an old Ozark 2104GL that's been gathering dust in my parents attic for a few years or my Harley Benton HBJ-25LH or bought new from ebay.

Jul 26, 2021 - 9:02:48 AM

csacwp

USA

2904 posts since 1/15/2014

If you can find a neck that uses coordinator rods, fitting it to one of those pots would be fairly straight forward. You'd potentially have to shape the neck heel fit the pot though.

Jul 26, 2021 - 9:12:09 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14477 posts since 8/30/2006

To make a lefty, we just flip the pattern

Both of your pots will accept a longneck
A regular dreadnought guitar case will accept a longneck, but a bass gigbag has more padding

I have used one of the Asian longnecks supplied by the customer. You might have to cut the heel to the right angle
Also return policy isn’t even worth the original purchase. Tempting, huh?

Find a local cabinet shop and go play banjo for them, run their broom, get scrap, earn it, learn from them,  I get solid Cherry scrap 2” x 12” x 24” for rims and a song. Banjos make friends

You can make a fine laminated neck from thin pieces and a shadow pattern you can make from the necks you have at hand You need to extend the 22 frets to 25, that, too is possible

Good tuners, better tuners, etc are online, use a geared 5th
You can cannibalize one of the other necks for the nut and tuners and fingerboard if need be, but more fun is building
Here’s a picture of a 60 yr old 5 piece lammy neck from a barn factory called Stamm

There is a lefty neck website




Edited by - Helix on 07/26/2021 09:14:58

Jul 26, 2021 - 9:14:39 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by csacwp

If you can find a neck that uses coordinator rods, fitting it to one of those pots would be fairly straight forward. You'd potentially have to shape the neck heel fit the pot though.


 I'm not sure what you mean by "shape the neck heel to fit the pot".

or rather, I cant picture how that would be done?

Jul 26, 2021 - 9:20:48 AM
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csacwp

USA

2904 posts since 1/15/2014

The curvature/shape of the neck heel may not sit flush against the pot, in which case you'd have to reshape it using files, etc.

Jul 26, 2021 - 9:30:21 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14477 posts since 8/30/2006

At a 3 degrees slant, the neck heel needs to be cut to a 5” radius to tightly fit the 11” pot
Better if done by drum sander, but hand chiseling was done in olden days

Jul 26, 2021 - 9:31:30 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

To make a lefty, we just flip the pattern

Both of your pots will accept a longneck
A regular dreadnought guitar case will accept a longneck, but a bass gigbag has more padding

I have used one of the Asian longnecks supplied by the customer. You might have to cut the heel to the right angle
Also return policy isn’t even worth the original purchase. Tempting, huh?

Find a local cabinet shop and go play banjo for them, run their broom, get scrap, earn it, learn from them,  I get solid Cherry scrap 2” x 12” x 24” for rims and a song. Banjos make friends

You can make a fine laminated neck from thin pieces and a shadow pattern you can make from the necks you have at hand You need to extend the 22 frets to 25, that, too is possible

Good tuners, better tuners, etc are online, use a geared 5th
You can cannibalize one of the other necks for the nut and tuners and fingerboard if need be, but more fun is building
Here’s a picture of a 60 yr old 5 piece lammy neck from a barn factory called Stamm

There is a lefty neck website


wow that's beautiful. 

hmmm yeah that return policy is a bit poopy. I would ask you if that neck you put on was any good but then who knows if that came from the same place. 


haha yes maybe if i were a better carpenter I'd give building my own.

 

do you have a link to the lefty neck website? 

Jul 26, 2021 - 10:10:33 AM
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1932 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca With a P H

coordinator rods for both.


I have a feeling that these have the single co-ordinator rod and screw through the heel system and probably have a single large hole in the rim which will make standard co-ordinator rods tricky.  There are people in the UK who make necks. This person often sells banjos and necks on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294293244500

So you could buy a half decent banjo, fit a neck you have had made and then sell the right hand neck.

Jul 26, 2021 - 10:48:09 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca With a P H

coordinator rods for both.


I have a feeling that these have the single co-ordinator rod and screw through the heel system and probably have a single large hole in the rim which will make standard co-ordinator rods tricky.  There are people in the UK who make necks. This person often sells banjos and necks on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294293244500

So you could buy a half decent banjo, fit a neck you have had made and then sell the right hand neck.


yes that exactly them. One big hole and a single co-ordinator rod. 

how does it make it tricky? do long necks have 2 co-ordinator rods?

excellent. I will keep an eye on the store. 

I wonder how much it will cost to get someone to make me a neck? 

Jul 26, 2021 - 10:58:54 AM

1932 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca With a P H

yes that exactly them. One big hole and a single co-ordinator rod. 

how does it make it tricky? do long necks have 2 co-ordinator rods?

excellent. I will keep an eye on the store. 

I wonder how much it will cost to get someone to make me a neck? 


Decent banjos have two co-ordinator rods with small holes in the rim. The large hole could be in the way. The screw through the heel connection is found on cheap and often a bit nasty banjos and is weak. Some banjos have one of the better co-ordinator rods and a bolt connection instead of a rod which is OK.

Jul 26, 2021 - 11:19:10 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by Rebecca With a P H

yes that exactly them. One big hole and a single co-ordinator rod. 

how does it make it tricky? do long necks have 2 co-ordinator rods?

excellent. I will keep an eye on the store. 

I wonder how much it will cost to get someone to make me a neck? 


Decent banjos have two co-ordinator rods with small holes in the rim. The large hole could be in the way. The screw through the heel connection is found on cheap and often a bit nasty banjos and is weak. Some banjos have one of the better co-ordinator rods and a bolt connection instead of a rod which is OK.


Oh okay. That makes sense. I guess I'd have better results buying a pot made for 2 co-ord rods rather then trying rig up a new neck to my current / old pots.

Jul 26, 2021 - 11:19:52 AM
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1041 posts since 1/30/2019

Fitting the fifth string tuner isn't hard. Andy Banjo advises on the hole size for a tight fit. From memory it's 9.5mm diameter and 10mm deep.
I got my long neck off eBay for a bargain, and old pot, with an Asian neck already fitted to an old Vega Tubaphone pot. (By a uk luthier and with a dowel and Vega neck brace)
It was being played as a super long plectrum, so the owner didn't want a 5th string. I don't know where the neck came from, (except Asia...) but it's straight and true and solid.
TBH it's brilliant, versatile, and probably good for technique as it makes you find alternative fret hand fingering. Good luck!

Jul 26, 2021 - 11:29:48 AM

2750 posts since 4/16/2003

My advice:

You're in the UK, so getting any banjo is going to be a bit more difficult, especially if it's coming from the USA.

Forget about a "long neck". Aside from the "styling", they offer very little over a regular-length neck.
So...set your sights on finding a left-handed standard neck.
That's going to make things much easier.

And start looking for one that's all "put together", be it used or new.
Because its a lefty, THAT is going to be hard enough in itself.
There aren't many of them to begin with, not even in the US.

If I was in England and had-to-have a lefty-long-neck, I'd give Prucha a call in the Czech Republic. He can custom build one, as good or better than any banjo you could find anywhere else. But it's gonna COST you.

You didn't tell us if you have a budget, and what it is...?

Jul 26, 2021 - 11:35:54 AM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Andyrhydycreuau

Fitting the fifth string tuner isn't hard. Andy Banjo advises on the hole size for a tight fit. From memory it's 9.5mm diameter and 10mm deep.
I got my long neck off eBay for a bargain, and old pot, with an Asian neck already fitted to an old Vega Tubaphone pot. (By a uk luthier and with a dowel and Vega neck brace)
It was being played as a super long plectrum, so the owner didn't want a 5th string. I don't know where the neck came from, (except Asia...) but it's straight and true and solid.
TBH it's brilliant, versatile, and probably good for technique as it makes you find alternative fret hand fingering. Good luck!


 

Wow nice to hear from someone who's had a similar product. Would it be alright to ask you about the price and if you have any pics (so i can feel jealous haha)?

Jul 26, 2021 - 12:05:50 PM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by J.Albert

My advice:

You're in the UK, so getting any banjo is going to be a bit more difficult, especially if it's coming from the USA.

Forget about a "long neck". Aside from the "styling", they offer very little over a regular-length neck.
So...set your sights on finding a left-handed standard neck.
That's going to make things much easier.

And start looking for one that's all "put together", be it used or new.
Because its a lefty, THAT is going to be hard enough in itself.
There aren't many of them to begin with, not even in the US.

If I was in England and had-to-have a lefty-long-neck, I'd give Prucha a call in the Czech Republic. He can custom build one, as good or better than any banjo you could find anywhere else. But it's gonna COST you.

You didn't tell us if you have a budget, and what it is...?


you're right. Left handed is weirdly the bigger hurdle of the two. 

Currently I don't plan on giving up long necks and pretending to be cack handed Pete Seeger but that does feel like it might be the sensible choice.

I'm not sure i Know who Prucha is. Is he a forum member? or just a well known Luthier?

gosh budget... I'd planned on the Ebay build being £200 for the neck and then about £100 to £150 for rest.

If i were to buy a commercial one. I'd go £1000 - £1500 but then i'd need a couple months to set that money aside.

(I don't know how much a custom banjo costs but would be willing to have savings goals)

Edited by - Rebecca With a P H on 07/26/2021 12:16:23

Jul 26, 2021 - 1:13:33 PM

58062 posts since 12/14/2005

There's a guy here in Wisconsin, USA, who holds a right-handed 5 string upside down.
I moved his 5th peg down to near the tailpiece, so it wouldn't stick out in his way.

If you don't ALREADY play a regular length 5-string, why not teach yourself to play upside down, and then get a regular 5-string long neck.


Jul 26, 2021 - 1:21:06 PM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

There's a guy here in Wisconsin, USA, who holds a right-handed 5 string upside down.
I moved his 5th peg down to near the tailpiece, so it wouldn't stick out in his way.

If you don't ALREADY play a regular length 5-string, why not teach yourself to play upside down, and then get a regular 5-string long neck.


That is a very clever solution to your friends problem.

I already play a regular length 5 string left handed banjo and the idea of learning a long neck upside down sounds rather daunting. Kudos to your friend playing it that way. I used to play a guitar upside down when noodling about as a student and it was always a interesting challenge.

those pictures tell a very interesting story :)

Edited by - Rebecca With a P H on 07/26/2021 13:22:50

Jul 26, 2021 - 1:43:32 PM

58062 posts since 12/14/2005

The OLD joke goes like this:
"How did you sculpt such a lifelike statue of young David?"

"I just got a big hunk of marble, and chipped off anything didn't look like David."

Making your own neck isn't all THAT hard.

I've done it seeral times.

If it was hard  work, I wouldn't be doing it.

If I wanted a HARD job, I'd get my name legally changed to

Mom!   MOM!  MOMMMM!

Jul 26, 2021 - 1:44:43 PM

58062 posts since 12/14/2005

Just glue up some hardwood and saw, chisel, and rasp off anything doesn't look like the neck you want.

Jul 26, 2021 - 1:47:47 PM

21 posts since 6/11/2021

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Just glue up some hardwood and saw, chisel, and rasp off anything doesn't look like the neck you want.


A very simplified explanation but I see your point. It wouldn't be impossible for me to do it and there are resources out there to show me how and i can always ask a friend who does carpentry to assist.

Edited by - Rebecca With a P H on 07/26/2021 13:48:05

Jul 26, 2021 - 2:08:14 PM

58062 posts since 12/14/2005

If you have a friend who will allow you to use a bandsaw, a drill press, and a drum sander, DO it!

Another cheap trick:
I have been told that a bass guitar neck is pretty much the same length as a Seeger neck.
I'll go measure mine, and get back to you.
If it's close enough, just make a heel to fit your banjo, and belt-sand the neck to your desired profile.

Plug, veneer, and re-drill the peghead, and you've saved HOURS of work.

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