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Aug 17, 2022 - 5:10:14 PM
83 posts since 7/14/2016

Hello folks, in the final stages of building my first open back banjo from scratch. I have done a lot of reading here and elsewhere to understand how a traditional dowel stick is set up. One question I can't find an answer to is length of the dowel stick as it relates to the diameter of the pot. How much space should be left between the end of the dowel stick and the edge of the pot? I am assuming it needs to have a little play in order for the neck brace to be able to adjust? Is the purpose of the ferrule so the gap between the end of the dowel stick and the rim does not show? I was not thinking of using a ferrule but I don't know how else to make it look finished, seems like having a gap between the end of the dowel stick and the rim would look a little weird?
Appreciate your insights! Thank you

Aug 17, 2022 - 5:24:40 PM
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RBuddy

USA

1731 posts since 7/2/2007

I fit the tailpiece end of the dowel stick to fit against the rim as closely as possible, no gap. It's that fit that prevents the rim from distorting under string tension.

Stewart MacDonald has a helpful install tutorial - https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-ideas/online-resources/learn-about-building-instruments-and-kits/installing-an-old-time-banjo-dowel-stick/

The ferrule is both decorative and to help prevent the dowel from splitting by the screw or by a shock to the neck as in a fall or something.

Aug 17, 2022 - 5:32:37 PM

10013 posts since 8/28/2013

No gap.

Aug 18, 2022 - 9:05:56 AM

83 posts since 7/14/2016

Thanks so much for the replies! I would've made a terrible mistake :-)

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