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Sep 21, 2021 - 1:48:38 PM
281 posts since 11/22/2009

Those of you who are into vellum heads.

Looking for a quality vellum head in the UK—can you advise?

a) What thickness of vellum am I looking for?
b) What ‘colour /shade’ to go for?—pure white / off white /‘brownish’?
c) Anything else to look for regarding vellums?
d) Where to buy in the UK?

Many thanks.

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 09/21/2021 14:40:57

Sep 21, 2021 - 2:47:38 PM

284 posts since 5/25/2015

Clifford Essex sell good quality vellums. No real choice of colour/thickness though. Brown Dog and Eagle Music also sell them but I've no experience of those. Andy Banjo did sell them but have closed. If anyone knows any other sources that would be interesting.

Sep 21, 2021 - 3:28:27 PM

484 posts since 10/18/2020

there is a person that sells musical instrument skins (Heads) on Etsy they are based in Africa but sells all over the world I have purchased a skin for a Dijembe drum from them they are vary reasonable on prices
i will see if I can pull up my past purchases and send their name on Etsy

Sep 22, 2021 - 12:00:30 AM

HSmith

UK

423 posts since 12/30/2005

Hi Michael

Vellum heads are available from John Alvey Turner in London. Here's a link johnalveyturner.co.uk/accessor...jo-parts/

Regards

Harry

Sep 22, 2021 - 3:47:29 AM

1970 posts since 2/4/2013

My question would be are vellum drum heads any different to vellum banjo heads? I see that 12 to 14 inch drum heads are available for less than £10.

Sep 22, 2021 - 4:32:57 AM

484 posts since 10/18/2020

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker

My question would be are vellum drum heads any different to vellum banjo heads? I see that 12 to 14 inch drum heads are available for less than £10.


That's a good question I know the skin is purchased was a thin skin that did not seem any thicker then the ones I purchase from jeff menzies 

Sep 22, 2021 - 5:11:29 AM

226 posts since 8/25/2009

I believe drum skins will work well.  

 My first two banjos got their calf-skin heads at Jack's Drum Shop in Park Square, Boston. What I heard was that Jack's had the contract for all the high school bands north of Boston. The bass drum players were taught to hit the head smack in the same spot every time, so the head only wore out in that spot. The result was that Jack's had an infinite supply of free banjo heads. I heard that they charged by the number of hooks, since that determined the labor they had to put into installing the head. Both my heads had the label from the drum, so I figure they only used that part of the skin, and threw the rest away.

BTW, they're both doing fine over 50 years later, but Jack's has disappearedsad

How times have changed!

Note: The most legible label on the head says something like: 
  xxxxxx Calf
  National Rawhide Mfg. Co.
  Ivory
  Chicago, Ill. 
  xxxxxOYAL Quality

Sep 22, 2021 - 11:14:31 AM

1624 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by gentrixuk

Clifford Essex sell good quality vellums. No real choice of colour/thickness though. Brown Dog and Eagle Music also sell them but I've no experience of those. Andy Banjo did sell them but have closed. If anyone knows any other sources that would be interesting.


Someone recently recommended  Hobgoblin to me. Their price seemed reasonable so I've ordered one. 

Sep 22, 2021 - 1:11:33 PM

3816 posts since 4/29/2012

I've bought calf from John Alvey Turner and Clifford Essex, and goat from Andybanjo. Happy with all of them.

Sep 23, 2021 - 8:30:07 AM

2155 posts since 2/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by gentrixuk

Clifford Essex sell good quality vellums. No real choice of colour/thickness though. Brown Dog and Eagle Music also sell them but I've no experience of those. Andy Banjo did sell them but have closed. If anyone knows any other sources that would be interesting.


I did not know Andy Banjos had closed, I knew Glen the proprietor was selling off lots of stock, sadly Brown Dog Banjos will probably soon cease to be since Bob the owner died quite suddenly recently, both near neighbours and good friends of mine .

Sep 23, 2021 - 8:43:01 AM

284 posts since 5/25/2015

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed
quote:
Originally posted by gentrixuk

Clifford Essex sell good quality vellums. No real choice of colour/thickness though. Brown Dog and Eagle Music also sell them but I've no experience of those. Andy Banjo did sell them but have closed. If anyone knows any other sources that would be interesting.


I did not know Andy Banjos had closed, I knew Glen the proprietor was selling off lots of stock, sadly Brown Dog Banjos will probably soon cease to be since Bob the owner died quite suddenly recently, both near neighbours and good friends of mine .


Sorry to hear that Nick - I bought a few things off Bob and he was a pleasure to deal with.

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