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Jul 29, 2022 - 12:23:01 AM

darryl k.

Canada

736 posts since 1/12/2006

I was given an open back banjo today. Nice pot with a brass tonering. No markings of any kind anywhere. It may have been a kit build. Multi ply rim and good quality hardware.
The neck is a one piece mahogany with a darker fretboard. Ebony? It has a quite a concave bow in it. The truss rod is accessed through the heel upon removal of the neck. But here it gets wierd. Turning the adjustment Alan bolt clockwise increases the concave bow. Turning it counter clockwise decreases the bow. I have yet to put enough pressure on it to straighten the neck. Advice?? This is wierd right?

Jul 29, 2022 - 1:16:09 AM

2488 posts since 2/4/2013

I guess it depends how you are looking at the neck. Normally looking down the neck clockwise tightens but from the heel you would be looking up the neck and things are reversed so clockwise would loosen.

Jul 29, 2022 - 5:15:39 AM
likes this

192 posts since 5/27/2008

The rod may have been installed inverted(upside down). This will make it work backwards from standard.

Edited by - notty pine on 07/29/2022 05:17:06

Jul 29, 2022 - 5:49:28 AM

14847 posts since 6/29/2005

The "Martin" style of truss rod that is a U-tube with a rod inside can easily be installed upside down.  It still works that way, just backwards. 

It's always a mystery to me why people install truss rods where you access them from the heel end.  A 5-string banjo neck will only bend from about the 2nd fret to the 12th, so that part down at the heel is not going to be affected and that's not where you want adjustment anyway—I guess it's a conceit of builders who don't want their beautiful pegheads sullied by a truss rod cover.

Jul 29, 2022 - 7:17:38 AM

4577 posts since 5/29/2011

I started putting my truss rods in from the heel after several careless bunglers messed them up by cranking on them when there was no need for it. I figure that no one is going to go to the trouble of taking the neck off the banjo to adjust the truss rod unless there is a genuine need to do so. And several people have brought banjos to me asking if I can replace a broken truss rod. That is one repair I won't touch. It would be about as easy to make a new neck.

Edited by - Culloden on 07/29/2022 07:29:13

Jul 29, 2022 - 8:28:54 AM

darryl k.

Canada

736 posts since 1/12/2006

Thanks all. I wonder whether it isn't a one way truss rod installed upside down. Clockwise Turning increases the bow. Slacking it right off leads to a few turns with no resistance and then an immediate tightening up which feels more like hitting the end of the threads rather than bending the opposite direction.

Jul 29, 2022 - 8:35:47 AM

beegee

USA

23055 posts since 7/6/2005

Is this a home-made neck/?

Jul 29, 2022 - 9:06:57 AM

darryl k.

Canada

736 posts since 1/12/2006

I don't think so. It has a Stelling style headstock with a nice overlay. Star motif. One piece mahogany neck appears to be oiled. Not varnished.

Jul 29, 2022 - 12:11:12 PM

darryl k.

Canada

736 posts since 1/12/2006

I have it clamped with a slight convex curve in the sunshine under a peace of glass. Supposed to get up to get up to 32 today. Maybe 95f. It will get hot....we'll see

Jul 29, 2022 - 2:43:38 PM

darryl k.

Canada

736 posts since 1/12/2006

I'm pretty sure, on further scrutiny that the fretboard is rosewood. The headstock overlay is rosewood. It's pretty.

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Jul 30, 2022 - 3:01:46 AM

4915 posts since 11/20/2004

String tension affects relief. When you must remove the neck to adjust the rod, it becomes difficult to be accurate and turns a 10 minute job into potential extended time. I had an older Stew Mac neck with heel adjustment. After 20 years, I attempted to adjust it and it broke from rust seizure on the rod. I did the replacement with a two way rod that adjusts at the nut. As stated above, probably not worth doing for a customer, due to time required.

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