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Aug 11, 2022 - 7:25:37 AM
44 posts since 8/11/2022

Rescued one of these little guys at a flea market and am restoring it. The head is serviceable but kind of ugly and soiled. I'd like to put on a new white skin, but I've never taken apart a California style banjolele, with about a 9 inch head and screws around a metal ring holding the skin on. I don't want to unscrew anything I can't put back or replace. Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Dave


Aug 11, 2022 - 7:51:03 AM

3072 posts since 4/7/2010

drdaveH

Just remove the wood screws, then pry the metal tension ring away from the rim and you will see everything that's going on. The original head will keep its shape so not a problem to re-install if you so choose.

There may be rust on the head from the tension ring where you can not see it. Examine those rusty areas for holes and definitely replace the head if holes in the skin are apparent.

Bob Smakula

Aug 13, 2022 - 6:16:13 AM

drdaveH

USA

44 posts since 8/11/2022

Thanks Bob! Really helpful! Will do this last. How does the skin get re-tensioned on the rim? Do the screws somehow tighten the skin? Dave

Aug 15, 2022 - 8:23:21 PM

5 posts since 12/7/2019

I put a new skin on one of these a couple years ago, I followed this tutorial youtube.com/watch?v=w0NqCLjwEaI and it worked perfectly for me. Good Luck

Aug 18, 2022 - 2:14:52 PM

drdaveH

USA

44 posts since 8/11/2022

That's SO helpful! THANKS! Last question. Any info on setting up the nut. While I was working on my, the old nut just sort of distintegrated before my eyes. I replaced it with a bone nut that I made from a uke bridge. Is there any agreement about string spacing or height?

DH

Aug 19, 2022 - 8:38:35 AM

1908 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by drdaveH

That's SO helpful! THANKS! Last question. Any info on setting up the nut. While I was working on my, the old nut just sort of distintegrated before my eyes. I replaced it with a bone nut that I made from a uke bridge. Is there any agreement about string spacing or height?

DH


Spacing is mostly a matter of taste. 1st and 4th strings close enough to the edges of the fingerboard, but not too close... then divide the space between in even thirds for the other two.

For the height, you first need to cut the slots to suit the frets (after making sure the neck is straight and frets level), then file the top of the nut down to remove excess material (so the strings aren't sitting way down in the slots).  If you have some feeler gauges narrow enough to lay flat between the nut and 1st fret, find one that is level with the top of the fret, then hold the gauge against the nut and cut the slots until the file barely touches the gauge.  Without a gauge, push down each string between the 2nd and 3rd frets, and the string should clear the 1st fret by maybe a couple thousandths-- you should just barely see light between the string and fret. Oh yeah,  and file those slots angled back about parallel to the front of the peghead.

Aug 19, 2022 - 2:03:05 PM

drdaveH

USA

44 posts since 8/11/2022

Dan,

Again, a million thank you's! I'm learning so much from being in this group!!!!!!!

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