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Jun 23, 2022 - 2:48:13 AM
5153 posts since 3/22/2008

You guys are so helpful I thought I'd pose this deal.
I've got an old but "cute" Kay tenor ready to put skin head on.
It's got a little tone hoop which has corrosion on it.
I've got a flesh hoop which has corrosion on it.
I've steel wooled them and dremeled them with sander discs.
They've still got some dark spots.
I'm afraid they're going to bleed thru the skin head and leave red or black stain on the head. Man, I hate that.
Bob Smakula suggested I use wax paper between the layers of head and hoops then take it off when dry and resinstall.
But, I'll never be able to wrestle with the head and hoops and wax paper with Kay budget zero tolerances. Like Andy FitzGibbon once said - "It's a three handed job".
This job has been sitting in case for 6 weeks and I can't get going.
The fear of the rusty head. I want a nice clean white head!!
Any ideas? What do you do??

Jun 23, 2022 - 3:54:42 AM
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2994 posts since 4/7/2010

On the tone hoop, I prefer plastic wrap over wax paper. I tape the ends of the plastic wrap to the banjo rim. Letting the tape be the 3rd hand.

I routinely replace steel flesh hoops with brass when stretching a new skin banjo head. I just donated about 20 steel banjo flesh hoops to the local metal recycling company, formerly known as the scrap yard.

Bob Smakula

Jun 23, 2022 - 5:32:28 AM

1853 posts since 1/13/2012

Electrical tape works well to protect the wet head from bleed through (either from a rusty tone ring or rim with water based dye).

Rusty flesh hops need to be sealed before use to prevent bleeding. I use shellac, but anything of that nature will work.

Jun 23, 2022 - 9:18:06 AM
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1852 posts since 5/19/2018
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Use Teflon plumbers tape. The stuff sticks to itself and to metal very well. Water proof. Will not affect the skin on any level, it’s cheap, and to me, it seems as if it makes the process just a little bit easier.

Jun 23, 2022 - 10:45:31 AM

32 posts since 1/18/2022

Bees wax.

Jun 23, 2022 - 12:14:38 PM



767 posts since 8/13/2015

Years ago (OK decades ago), I was lucky enough to find an abandoned coil of springy wire (1/8 inch thick) under an old hydroelectric line. I guess the repair folks must have abandoned it. It had no rust since it was for exterior use. I have made several flesh hoops from it. It grabs really well and does not rust. If you get a chance to go for a walk under a power line, you may find one. I’d give you a chunk of this but you’re too far away.

Jun 23, 2022 - 1:03:04 PM
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480 posts since 4/11/2019


Jun 23, 2022 - 1:12:05 PM

5153 posts since 3/22/2008

Thank you for the suggestions.
With the tape or cling wrap. Am I supposed to wrap it around the tone hoop and flesh hoop separately then put the wet head on then when dry take the head off then take off the wrap or tape from both hoops then put the dry head back on and tighten down the tension hoop then trim??
I tried the shellac once and the thing bled through anyway.
I use thin calf heads. One, because the tolerances are practically zero and; Two, because I'm cheap. Not necessarily in that order.

Jun 23, 2022 - 6:38:24 PM

61 posts since 10/23/2016

After years of repairing banjos (my own and other folks), I finally switched from using a metal flesh hoop to plastic. No rust or corrosion issues, and I can make my own up easy with no welding/soldering. I use plastic weed-trimmer cord (about 1/8 inch diameter) which I always have a roll of around for whacking weeds in the yard. I join the ends to make the hoop using electrical heat-shrink tubing. I like the trimmer cord that is not round (in cross-section), it grabs the skin better. I've used this on a number of heads with only good results. The one possible negative is that there is a limited variety of colors available (red or green, usually), and the color can show through the skin a little bit...some folks might not like that, but it's pretty subtle. Try it!

Jun 24, 2022 - 6:36:34 AM
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2330 posts since 1/4/2009

I'm pretty sure i saw Rusty Fleshhoop and his string band at the jub band festival a few weeks back,

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Jun 24, 2022 - 11:34:34 AM

12202 posts since 10/27/2006

I rub them down with a beeswax candle that I’ve used for years but I like many of the other suggestions, too.

Jun 24, 2022 - 8:15:28 PM



33 posts since 1/4/2013

Clear poly on the metal pats 3 coats.

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