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Jun 26, 2022 - 7:18:09 PM
64 posts since 10/12/2018

Long story short, I let someone else play my banjo and when they put it down it fell to the floor. No damage that I can see, but it pushed the neck all the way forward. Once I realized there was no real damage, I told him no big deal and went on about the day. I've been trying all weekend to get it back to where it was before the fall. With the nuts loosened, I can get it back to the original position. As soon as I put on a wrench it spins the neck, pushes it forward, or does a combination of the two.

How do I keep it in where I want it while tightening the nuts?

Jun 26, 2022 - 8:26:44 PM
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1622 posts since 4/13/2009

define "spins the neck, pushes it forward"

Jun 26, 2022 - 9:58:16 PM
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670 posts since 1/28/2011

The Boston has a metal rim. Maybe the rim was bent or distorted when it fell over.

Jun 27, 2022 - 4:03:35 AM

3018 posts since 4/7/2010

I had a Deering Boston model guitar banjo 20+ years ago. I remember the steel rim being wonky, so I called Deering for a replacement. The rep I talked to said they routinely had to tweak the roundness on these rims with a hammer and suggested I give that a try before ordering a new rim. I do not remember exactly what I did, but the physical force I applied did make the original steel rim usable.

That may be what your banjo needs.

Bob Smakula

Jun 27, 2022 - 7:38:22 AM
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79 posts since 1/7/2021

I'm not one to question Mr Smakula, but multiple Photos of the issue might be in order before we break out the hammers.

Jun 27, 2022 - 7:44:27 AM

64 posts since 10/12/2018

From all the measurements I have taken, the rim looks to be in round still.
What happens is I get the fingerboard lined up just proud of the tension hoop. As soon as a turn the extension nut, the neck shifts slightly. Usually the bass side stands even more proud while the treble side drops just shy, but I've had the whole neck shift to where it's too far proud. This obviously messes with the action. It seems to happen no matter how tight I try to hold the neck, or how slowly I turn the extension nut. Is there a good way to stabilize the neck while I tighten the nut?

Jun 27, 2022 - 7:52:53 AM

banjoy

USA

10333 posts since 7/1/2006

Just to be clear, you *are* loosening the strings when you are trying to re-set the neck? If you're doing this with string tension, it will never happen...

Jun 27, 2022 - 7:55:28 AM

13436 posts since 6/2/2008

Right. So far, we know the banjo fell to the floor, which "pushed the neck all the way forward" (whatever that means) yet "there was no real damage."  Not sure how there can be no damage if the neck is pushed all the way in some direction or orientation it doesn't belong.  And then, tightening a nut to put the neck where it should be "spins the neck, pushes it forward, or does a combination of the two."

Sure sounds like something is damaged. But what does "pushed the neck all the way forward" mean? Pushed forward as in back-to-front, changing its angle relative to the pot? If so, how can it be in that position without something (a hanger bolt, for example) being bent or broken. And exactly how does the the neck spin when a nut is being tightened? How does a neck spin if it has two hanger bolts? Or if there's a flange in the way?

Until we see photos or have a more detailed description, we can't really know what's happening.

Jun 27, 2022 - 8:44:26 AM
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64 posts since 10/12/2018

The Deering metal pot design has elongated slots for neck adjustment, and the slots are wider than the hardware going through them. It allows for quite a bit of "slop" in the slots, and only the clamping pressure of the hardware holds the neck in place. Maybe not the best design, but it might have saved a broken neck in this case.

By pushed it forward I mean it pushed the neck forward from back to front by jamming the hardware all the way forward in those slots. The whole fretboard was standing proud of the tension hoop. It caused the action to be low enough to make open 3rd and 4th strings rattle on the frets. The angle didn't appear to change, but I could only eyeball that(I never had a measurement).

The "flange" isn't a one or two piece flange, but 24 individual flange plates. There is 1/8-3/16" clearance on either side of the neck on those last plates.

I'm at work, so I can't get pictures of the actual banjo, but I'm attaching a picture of the rim I found online. Hopefully, you can see how it's possible for the neck to wallow around in those slots.


Edited by - NewBlackDak on 06/27/2022 08:47:36

Jun 27, 2022 - 10:07:07 AM

1622 posts since 4/13/2009

Take the neck off and check how the nuts work on the hanger bolts.

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Jun 27, 2022 - 10:52:13 AM

13436 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by NewBlackDak

By pushed it forward I mean it pushed the neck forward from back to front by jamming the hardware all the way forward in those slots. The whole fretboard was standing proud of the tension hoop. . . . I'm attaching a picture of the rim I found online. Hopefully, you can see how it's possible for the neck to wallow around in those slots.


Thanks so much for the clarification and education. The elongated holes are a great feature for setting neck height.

I agree with Deestexas to take a look at the bolts coming out of the neck to make sure they haven't come loose and aren't continually spinning when you tighten the nut. If that's the problem, they need to be re-set. Others here can suggest how best to accomplish that.

If the bolts are not loose in the neck, then the only thing I can suggest is that you hold the neck tightly in position as you tighten the nuts inside the rim. The bolt holes on my wood rimmed banjos are all a little larger than the bolts, so on those times when I reassembling a banjo  I have to hold the neck securely to be sure the neck isn't tilted left or right.

If your neck won't tighten up, then it really sounds like the bolts have failed.

Good luck.

Jun 27, 2022 - 11:03:14 AM

64 posts since 10/12/2018

I haven't taken it completely apart yet. The bolts do tighten up, and hold solid(they don't feel loose at all) so I hadn't gone as far as breaking it down. I haven't figured out how to hold the neck solid. Any wood banjo I have assembled seems to have some friction from the wood interface once you start tightening it down. The wood to metal interface is really slick, and I'm finding it impossible to keep it from sliding around.

Jun 27, 2022 - 11:21:40 AM

banjoy

USA

10333 posts since 7/1/2006

Have you tried reaching out to Deering banjos? Janet Deering is a BHO member and with this post I just notified her of this thread. Maybe she can provide some insights on how to get things back in order.

My suggestion, based on what you posted, would be to clamp the neck to the rim in the position you want then tighten things up.

Jun 27, 2022 - 11:29:40 AM

79 posts since 1/7/2021

What remains unclear is how tightening the nuts causes the neck to slide upwards on the pot.

There's something out of whack if squeezing the pot between the neck and the nuts results in a sliding force, rather than just a clamping one.

 

(also, today I learned that these Bostons don't have co-rods!)

Edited by - A Drum On A Stick on 06/27/2022 11:30:40

Jun 27, 2022 - 11:41:57 AM
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banjoy

USA

10333 posts since 7/1/2006

It's the torque action happening.

If there's room, just set the neck lower than where you wish it to end up and use the movement to your favor so it ends up where you want it.

I'm out on this thread. Good luck with whatever solution you find.

Jun 27, 2022 - 12:14:38 PM

12263 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by NewBlackDak

I haven't taken it completely apart yet.…


That is the next step.

Please take and post pictures of what you do (or don't) find.

Jun 27, 2022 - 12:18:34 PM

670 posts since 1/28/2011

The curvature and angle of the neck heel cut on Deering banjos is pretty precise. With just a little wiggle as you tighten the nuts the neck should find its perfect position as originally set by Deering. You say that is not happening, so I suspect the rim has been damaged, and is no longer fitting the shape of the neck heel. You say the metal rim is slick and allowing the neck to slide into an improper position when tightened. It sounds to me like the neck is sliding into a different position than when originally built, and that would be because the rim is not the same shape as when originally built.

Jun 27, 2022 - 12:50:13 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15690 posts since 8/30/2006

Just loosen the strings a lot

Then loosen both neck nuts
You’ll be able to move it down where it belongs

and it's called a butterfly flange 

Edited by - Helix on 06/27/2022 12:51:49

Jun 27, 2022 - 1:05:17 PM
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670 posts since 1/28/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Just loosen the strings a lot

Then loosen both neck nuts
You’ll be able to move it down where it belongs

and it's called a butterfly flange 


  He has already done that, multiple times, and it is not working.  He says he gets it into position, but as soon as he tries to tighten the nuts the neck slips out of position.

Jun 27, 2022 - 1:20:46 PM
Players Union Member

steampunk

Australia

18 posts since 2/25/2019

If it doesn’t already have them, fit washers under the nuts & try again

Jun 27, 2022 - 9:32:15 PM
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64 posts since 10/12/2018

Thanks everyone for your replies. It's playing great again.
I removed the strings, loosened both nuts, and and used some creative clamping to put the neck where I wanted it. I tightened the front nut enough to keep it in place, then the rear to get the angle I wanted, and finally snugged down the front to keep it from moving. New strings, and everything is great again.

Jun 28, 2022 - 8:17:43 AM
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882 posts since 2/24/2008

I just got to my emails after returning from the CA Father's Day Festival in Grass Valley. Thanks to each of you for your input in helping solve this problem and help out another player. That's what I love about the Hangout. Well done on solving it!

Jun 28, 2022 - 8:23:14 AM

banjoy

USA

10333 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by NewBlackDak

Thanks everyone for your replies. It's playing great again.
I removed the strings, loosened both nuts, and and used some creative clamping to put the neck where I wanted it. I tightened the front nut enough to keep it in place, then the rear to get the angle I wanted, and finally snugged down the front to keep it from moving. New strings, and everything is great again.


yes

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