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Aug 12, 2022 - 5:23:06 PM
1 posts since 4/10/2020

I recently acquired a Gibson Trap Door tenor banjo. The hinges on the trap door are broken (which I gather is common on these). I’m wondering if folks have ideas about how best to repair or replace the hinges.

Photos (hopefully) attached.

Aug 12, 2022 - 8:14:49 PM

10009 posts since 8/28/2013

Replacement will be tricky, as the wooden pieces holding the original hinge need to be removed. You then have to make your own hinge.(you just can't buy parts for a 90 year old banjo!) The hinge is spring steel and has several bends and curves, so that it's not just a hinge, but also a spring.

I measured the stub of mine, once, and, lo and behold, it was the same diameter as one of those old coat hangers.

've seen one or two Trapdoors "repaired" with cabinet door hinges. t's an ugly repair, the door doesn't work well, and part of its function (to adjust the banjo back for tone variation At any plce betwwen full open and full closed.

I gave up on fixing mine, as it not only had the broken "springe" but a missing latch. I usually play open backed, fot have also made some clips that hold the door completely closed.

I wish I could give you a "How-to," but that will have to wait until I fix one myself. I do hope my hints at the difficulty of doing the job right, may be of some aid. These can be fine banjos, and, in my opinion, worth the best efforts to keep them as original as possible..

Could you possibly post some pictures of this banjo?

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