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Jun 27, 2022 - 11:44:10 AM
413 posts since 1/25/2012

I've got a buddy who has a Harmony Restone that's not in great shape--it's probably going to need a dowel reset, even after putting on a 1/2" bridge. It's a sentimental family banjo, so my advice to sell it and get something else fell on on deaf ears. He really wants to make it playable.

Has anybody tried getting the dowel out on these? I don't have the banjo here in the shop to check, but I have memories of there being a plug in the heel that might be hiding a pin in the dowel. Or maybe it's just glued in? Anybody know how those joints are actually constructed?

Jun 27, 2022 - 12:50:01 PM

604 posts since 5/29/2015

There is typically a wooden dowel in the heel going up into the dowel, visible as a round circle through the brown or black paint. I just drill it our a bit oversized and then remove the dowel. Easy touch up. Check the existing dowel for straightness. The necks on the Resotones are almost always straight. But I have found some Resotones that had resonators on them with bowed dowel sticks from being overtightened.
They are hard to sell for even $150 but outperform several of the popular $350 (used) current production banjos. My only issue with them is the toward-the-fourth-fret placement of the 5th string tuner.

Jun 27, 2022 - 1:03:19 PM

413 posts since 1/25/2012

I'm a huge fan too. I originally found a gold "plated" long neck at the local pawnshop and it sounds so good. Built an A scale neck for another one later on.

I'm not sure how this thing will turn out--the guy is an Irish player, and what makes the Resotones so great is their warm, plunky tone. Not sure this will be great for Irish, but he's the customer so, I'll give it a try.

Good to hear that the pin is just wooden--seems like it'll a doable fix!

Jun 27, 2022 - 1:16:22 PM

beegee

USA

23022 posts since 7/6/2005

You should be able to drizzle boiling hot vinegar around the dowel joint in the heel.It will soften the glue. In the event there is a nail through the dowel, you'll have to dig it out. The dowel should wiggle out when the glue has softened.

Jun 27, 2022 - 3:43:56 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15728 posts since 8/30/2006

I totally agree
No steam

Jun 27, 2022 - 9:16:53 PM

9798 posts since 8/28/2013

Steam, in my experience, does the job faster than vinegar and does no damage. It has to be done carefully, but so does dousing a dowel with vinegar or really anything else. Once that wooden peg has been drilled out, you have the perfect hole for vinegar, steam, or even a small firecracker (not recommended.

I have steamed out several dowels for repairs, and once repaired I have been playing these banjos for at least 10 years. The steam didn't warp, stain, or otherwise damage anything.

Maybe there is a better way, but because vinegar makes me puke, I choose to use steam administered through an inflator valve usually used for volleyballs, basketballs or footballs. I have tried vinegar and it has always been useless for loosening anything.

Others seem to have had good experiences with the vinegar. I just cite my own experiences as another option: you can certainly do whatever suits you best.

Jun 28, 2022 - 3:50:25 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15728 posts since 8/30/2006

I'm sorry, especially the puking.

Others suggest heating through the fingerboard with a new hole covered with a removed fret and drilling new holes down the side of the dowel that no one will see until the neck is removed again is definitely another way to do this.

crazybilly I had to reset a Harmony dowel with a new built longneck. I used glue. In retrospect, I would use epoxy.

Jun 28, 2022 - 4:55:39 AM

3154 posts since 9/5/2006

I got a Resotone Sovereign Harmony recently. Had a regular one in '68. Good banjos at the low end of things. Bought the one in '68 for $15. Can't do that anymore.

Jun 28, 2022 - 5:02:11 PM

9798 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Buckingham

I got a Resotone Sovereign Harmony recently. Had a regular one in '68. Good banjos at the low end of things. Bought the one in '68 for $15. Can't do that anymore.


Can't buy much of anything for $i5 theses days. Maybe a few banjo Strings.

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