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May 19, 2022 - 6:58:01 AM
349 posts since 11/9/2021

Are banjos ever made with the dowel stick and neck being all one piece? IE no lag screw holding the neck to the dowel stick?

May 19, 2022 - 7:06:38 AM

Fathand

Canada

12012 posts since 2/7/2008

I've seen gourd banjos made that way with one piece. Usually the dowel stick is round on one end then glued into a hole in the heel of the neck. I've rarely seen screwed on, except gourd banjos.

May 19, 2022 - 7:19:41 AM

5291 posts since 5/9/2007

May 19, 2022 - 8:33:20 AM
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6912 posts since 9/21/2007

The Frank Converse "strong arm" banjos were (they were made by Buckbee).


 

May 19, 2022 - 8:45:26 AM

5291 posts since 5/9/2007

This maker does that very thing.

Try again ...

https://www.johannesbonefaas.com/index.htm

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 05/19/2022 08:46:42

May 19, 2022 - 11:48:02 AM
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martyjoe

Ireland

156 posts since 3/24/2020

My latest bunch of 4 banjos were made with a single piece neck/dowel I didn’t take any photos. Carrying the bamboo reinforcement in one piece all the way through makes it super strong & I believe it to be great for tone & sustain. My next bunch of 7 banjos are going to have the same construction.

May 19, 2022 - 1:05:12 PM

349 posts since 11/9/2021

@martyjoe, thats what I kinda thought - better for tone and sustain (maybe strength too). Better then a threaded rod of metal. But what do I know - just a fiddle player learning banjo (and fiddles are nothing but wood and glue!) I have interest in your next batch of 7 !

May 19, 2022 - 3:33:31 PM

banjonz

New Zealand

11443 posts since 6/29/2003

There was a maker here in NZ in the 1920/30's who made banjos with the neck and dowel stick all one piece.

May 22, 2022 - 4:40:05 PM

176 posts since 2/20/2004

That takes a mighty long piece of neck wood

May 23, 2022 - 3:43:44 AM

4119 posts since 4/29/2012

I've got a couple of banjos by Arthur Tilley. English 1880's-90's that are made this way. I've not disassembled them recently but the neck grain pattern continues into the dowel stick and I'm pretty sure they are one piece from memories of the one I did take the neck off to re-skin.
When the neck and dowel are separate pieces the dowel is usually just glued into a socket at the end of the neck. No screws involved. You do sometimes come across a screw hidden by a heel plate - but AFAIK not on better banjos.

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May 23, 2022 - 4:03:20 AM

6912 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

I've got a couple of banjos by Arthur Tilley. English 1880's-90's that are made this way. I've not disassembled them recently but the neck grain pattern continues into the dowel stick and I'm pretty sure they are one piece from memories of the one I did take the neck off to re-skin.
When the neck and dowel are separate pieces the dowel is usually just glued into a socket at the end of the neck. No screws involved. You do sometimes come across a screw hidden by a heel plate - but AFAIK not on better banjos.


Several Clifford Essex models have the dowel reinforced by a screw. 

May 23, 2022 - 4:32:44 AM

11089 posts since 4/23/2004

I made my first gourd banjo with the dowel as part of the neck. After I had it all cut out, the dowelstick warped about 1/2" to the left. Rather than cut it off and dowel it traditionally, I simply cut an off-center hole in the gourd. The strings are tied to the right side of the protruding dowel...and are on center. frown

May 23, 2022 - 8:46:33 AM

138 posts since 2/7/2017

This is an older style of making necks, and the kind I learned to build. It does require a long piece with a straight grain.

May 24, 2022 - 5:45 AM

14590 posts since 6/29/2005

As far as I know, there are no, or very few banjos where a lag screw attaches the dowel stick to the neck— the dowel has a round tenon on the end, which is glued into a drilled mortise in the heel. The old Fairbanks ones were off-center turned so that the tenon came out at an angle so the hole could be drilled straight into the heel.  A lag screw would be a weak and ineffective way of attaching the dowel, going into end-grain on both parts and would easily twist.

I see no rational reason whatsoever why, if you had the right tools, making the neck/dowel as a single piece would be beneficial—it would just waste material and be impossible to ever reset.  I could see it on primitive banjos where the makers wanted to duplicate a primitive instrument, didn't have the tools to make a properly aligned dowel, or on a particular design where the attachment was truly a purposeful extension of the neck,or possibly a marketing differentiation ploy, creating the illusion of a better sound.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 05/24/2022 05:48:05

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