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Oct 26, 2021 - 12:43:09 PM
14 posts since 9/7/2021

I bought an Ode long-neck that arrived with a bit more restoration work required than anticipated. Much of it will be freshening up the hooks, which have some rust on them, and replacing the armrest, but there is also a bent screw in the tailpiece and I'm wondering if it'd be easier to replace that screw or try straightening it. The rest of the tailpiece looks good, so I don't think I need to jump to that resolution.

Pic attached for reference.

On a related topic, anybody know the best way to air out an old banjo and case? The thing smells like it has been chain-smoking Chesterfields in a bingo hall for the past ten years.

Edited by - WagonWheeler on 10/26/2021 12:43:45

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:00:47 PM

182 posts since 6/5/2006

Zeolite crystals or rocks absorb odors and can be recharged in sun light. It helped remove the gas odor from my car trunk.  Its used for aquariums so its available at pet stores.

Edited by - restreet on 10/26/2021 13:03:33

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:14:05 PM

14 posts since 9/7/2021

Thanks for the tip. I'm due for a dog food run anyway, so will grab some at the same time.

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:21:09 PM

9088 posts since 8/28/2013

I'd simply replace the tailpiece screw. If you've ever tried straightening screws, you'll know what a pain it can be, and how the results are not always good (it's too easy to damage the threads).

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:26:34 PM

14 posts since 9/7/2021

I thought that might be the answer, but it looks like a fairly particular one to replace. I'm not even 100% sure how to get it out!

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:27:34 PM

12402 posts since 6/2/2008

I don't know if there's any compelling vintage value reason to straighten a bent tailpiece anchor screw. I'd either buy a new nickel plated one, with nut, from Sullivan or just go to Ace Hardware for a long, thin, stainless steel machine screw -- either US or metric -- and matching hex nut or round nut, if available. A couple of small washers, too, if needed. Save the original screw in case some future owner really cares.

I deodorized a musty The Gibson case by sprinkling lots of baking soda in it and setting out on my deck to get sun.  That seemed to work but some weeks (months?) later it was a bit smelly again so I repeated the baking soda but also sprayed vinegar into it -- from a reusable plastic pump bottle. I also wiped down the inside of the resonator (which has a thin finish) and most of the pot with one of the bathroom cleaners that contains bleach.  Wiped it away with a water-damp shop towel right away.  Did no visible damage.  All of this seems to have helped.  It's been over two years of the three I've owned this banjo and it no longer smells bad.

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:40:41 PM

182 posts since 6/5/2006

My guess is the pin in the hinge can be driven out. Let me know if you want one in good shape that I bought from Chuck Ogsbury. I tried to find the Ode factory in 1965 and ended up ringing his doorbell. He was a kind and generous person which made it possible to persuade him to sell me his 1920 Fairbanks by Vega Tubaphone #9 with an Ode tailpiece that didn't stay on the banjo long.

Edited by - restreet on 10/26/2021 13:44:12

Oct 26, 2021 - 2:16:33 PM



309 posts since 3/20/2011

Fresh coffee grounds in a sock help to reduce odors after a couple of weeks.
Replace the bolt,but keep the old one. Sometimes there's a reason a straight screw did not work. I have seen a few .

Oct 27, 2021 - 10:01:59 AM



9788 posts since 6/5/2011
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As a putterer, my first choice would be to straighten the bolt. IF that works, no plan B would be required.   One of my mammy's teachings was: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Oct 27, 2021 - 4:07:54 PM
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465 posts since 6/26/2004

Topic 1. I've had good luck straightening bolts by wrapping them in a thin piece of leather and using the vise to straighten them. Sometimes you have to rotate them around to get the rest of it straight.

Topic 2. I had a case that was very musty, or moldy smelling. I sprayed the interior, lightly, with Lysol spray and set the case, open, in the direct sunlight. It worked fine.

Oct 29, 2021 - 5:47:48 AM

1641 posts since 2/9/2007

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