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Dec 4, 2021 - 8:47:53 AM
1 posts since 12/4/2021

I have a 1926 model 5 Gibson that has been totally refinished including the gold plating and wood finish. The truss rods are smaller than my model 3 and am wondering if the truss rods are original or not. Does anyone know if Gibson truss rods were different sizes between models?

Dec 4, 2021 - 9:44:50 AM

1661 posts since 5/19/2018
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I have truss rod covers on three pre war banjos From the 1930’s that all appear the same. Three different models. I did not put a micrometer to them, just eyeballed. They are original to the instruments. All the same size in appearance.

The two on my Ball Bearing banjos look a little smaller. Again, just eyeballed it. Maybe one banjo has a mid 20’s truss rod cover on it, the other a 30’s. Again, two different models.

My understanding is that the truss rod covers size would be the same through the models as it would be stamped from the same die.

I also have a few orphan truss rod covers from the 20-30s in a box. Don’t know which are which except for a style 2/11 cover. They are all the same.

Never gave this a thought before.

Now for the real experts to weigh in on this.

Dec 4, 2021 - 10:26:09 AM

4721 posts since 11/20/2004

I expect the question applies to coordinator rods, not truss rods, which are not visible.

Dec 4, 2021 - 10:33:47 AM

4074 posts since 5/29/2011
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Mark, are you sure you are referring to the truss rod? It sounds to me like you are referring to the two rods inside the rim which are coordinator rods, otherwise known as rim rods. Or are you referring to the truss rod cover like Alvin states?
If you are referring to the truss rod in the neck, I have no idea whether they were the same size.
If you are referring to the truss rod cover, I am still not sure if there were different sizes or not. I do know that banjo and mandolin truss rod covers were smaller than the ones on guitars.
If you are referring to the rim rods, the rods used on the ball bearing models in 1925 and 1926 were smaller than the ones used from 1927 on. Not only were the rods smaller but the lag bolts that hold the neck were smaller, too.

Dec 4, 2021 - 10:39:32 AM
like this

1450 posts since 10/5/2006

Ball bearing era (1925-1926) coordinator rods were 1/4" diameter, later production were 5/16"diameter.
Lag screw threads also changed from 8-32 thread to 10-32.

Dec 4, 2021 - 11:23:27 AM
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1166 posts since 4/12/2004

The original poster uses the plural phrase "truss rods" a couple of times. Since most banjos have only one truss rod, I too suspect that his actual intent was to ask a question about the size of his coordinator rods. It's the quicksand of banjo component semantics.

Dec 4, 2021 - 11:53:19 AM

1661 posts since 5/19/2018
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Good thing I’m not a lawyer. One word makes all the difference.

Dec 11, 2021 - 1:40:10 AM
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15031 posts since 8/30/2006

Rim rods, I'm glad they don't need rod covers.

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