%>
Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

139
Banjo Lovers Online


Sep 25, 2022 - 10:08:28 AM
12 posts since 5/4/2022

Hey all, so I’m putting together my first banjo build and I wonder if more experienced builders and players can give me your thoughts.

Original plan 11” pot to be 3” deep.

Long story short, my neck billet has ended up a little undersized at the heel so I’m looking at having a rim more like 2.5” deep.
Secondly, due to another little mishap I’m now going with a 12” rim. I was thinking of using a Dobson tone ring.

So my question: Will a 12” x 2.5” rim benefit from the Dobson ring? I feel like the loss of depth might lessen the efficacy/point of a Dobson ring, but on the other hand it might really help out!

What can those with more years under their belts tell me?

Cheers,

Ben

Sep 25, 2022 - 10:53:13 AM
like this

712 posts since 7/10/2012

Hi Ben,
Sounds like a nice banjo in the works. One question is, how undersized is the heel part of the neck? The heel certainly does not need to extend all the way to the bottom of the rim, especially if you go for something like a boat heel design. I also think 2.5" is a perfectly reasonable rim depth and that a Dobson will sound lovely on a 12" rim (one of my favorite configurations). The Dobson does benefit from a thinner rim, are you doing laminations or a block rim design? The laminated rim allows you to go thinner without worrying about compromising integrity.

Good luck!

David

Sep 25, 2022 - 11:42:53 AM

12 posts since 5/4/2022

Thanks David, the heel will be 2.5” in height or thereabouts. Based on what you’re saying I guess I could still go 3” on the rim. It’s a decision I’ll have to make soon as it will dictate the width of the rim strips. Yes, laminated rim, not block. I’m planning a Dobson heel too, rather than boat.

Sep 25, 2022 - 11:59:20 AM
like this

martyjoe

Ireland

218 posts since 3/24/2020

I would say stick to the original plan & go for 3 inches. That gives you comfortable space for your J hooks.

Sep 25, 2022 - 12:32:14 PM
like this

59710 posts since 12/14/2005
Online Now

There have been hundreds, possibly thousands, of necks built with a glued up heel block.
IF you need or want a block as far down as the bottom of the rim, there are dozens of OutHangers who can suggest the one and only PROPER glue for the job.

Their opinions may vary.

Best wishes for a huge success.

Sep 25, 2022 - 12:55:14 PM
likes this

4659 posts since 5/29/2011

If you are going to use a Dobson style heel then you don't really need the neck as deep as the rim. Go with your original idea of a 3" deep rim and keep building.

Sep 25, 2022 - 7:30:27 PM
like this

14974 posts since 6/29/2005

The heel not going all the way to the bottom of the pot is not a problem. Plenty of banjos have the heel shorter than the rim.

Assuming that "pot depth" means the distance from the bottom of the head to the bottom of the rim, 3" would be my absolute upper limit for the depth of an 11" banjo, and I would go down to 2  3/4, or 2  5/8" for a 12".  Why? (quoting David Politzer here)  You have "growl" and "sparkle"  A deeper pot or greater diameter pot will enhance "growl"/ bass.  A shallower pot or lesser diameter will enhance "sparkle"/ treble.

you gain one at the expense of the other, so a three inch deep pot or a 12" one is going to have a better bass, but a lesser treble—a 2 1/2"pot or an 11" one is going to have a better treble, but less bass.  It's  trade-off— 11" Vega Tubaphone pots, which are iconic, have a depth of 2 5/8".

Meanwhile, the height of the heel related to the pot is not an issue unless it extends beyond.

Sep 26, 2022 - 7:42:44 AM
likes this

10153 posts since 8/28/2013

You mention going from your original 3 inches all the way down to 2.5. There are lots of sizes in between (if uou measure in eighths, there are 3 other possibilities (5/8, 3/4, 7/8 inches).

I would probably go with the original 3 inches, though, as others have suggested. If you think it looks odd, you could use a heel cap to lengthen that short heel.

Sep 26, 2022 - 9:17:42 AM

12 posts since 5/4/2022

Many thanks everyone, all further opinions happily received, but I feel more confident to perhaps go with the original 3” based on the above advice.

Sep 26, 2022 - 9:18:39 AM

12 posts since 5/4/2022

I’d rather not start messing with a heel cap. Hopefully all will be fine.

Sep 27, 2022 - 5:28:56 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16104 posts since 8/30/2006

How thick will your rim be? No one mentioned thickness. Check out the Borons and Bhoudrons , they are shallow and very thin.

Hearing about growl and sparkle made me grin. Do you mean to tell us that there is tone in the rim?

I suggest you stay with the 11" and 3" for depth.

Note that resonator banjos have the heel just above the bottom of the rim.

Your rim thickness choice would also allow the use of Fresnel ledges giving three different-sized chambers INSIDE the rim.

Sep 30, 2022 - 8:42:14 AM

12 posts since 5/4/2022

Hi Larry,

I did neglect to mention I am building and open back not a resonator banjo.
I’m having to slightly shorten the neck, hence the decision to go with a 12” rim. I guess the thickness will be about a 1/2”.

Oct 1, 2022 - 4:54:58 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16104 posts since 8/30/2006

1/2" thick, 12" rim is a good recipe. You have to learn what a 12" will do when being played.

Thickness helps determine the size of your chamber. Set up will allow you to choose your thunder, bright or cloudy.

Some people think that using a 12 is like driving a 4 x 4 everywhere. I'm not one of those. People have choices.

Shortening the neck won't be a crime.

What about the case? Note that a 12 sits inside a resonator case just fine.

Oct 1, 2022 - 7:42:24 AM

12 posts since 5/4/2022

Haha yeah, I wondered what I’d do about a case. Good tip on the resonator case there, thanks. I have to build the thing first and see about that after!

Oct 4, 2022 - 5:37:48 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16104 posts since 8/30/2006

Have fun with it. We built a case rack at our coffeehouse. We found out that most cases are 6" deep, we never thought of that before.
So don't let case mfr's dictate how deep your rim is. You can build your own case, Ogsbury ran over 'is with an auto, all three survived.

I haven't built a 4" rim, but by slanting the grain at a 45 degree angle, I get 4.25" virtual depth on the rim. I did build a 3.5" @ 12", she has 8 hooks and 4 teaspoons. At the Saturday market over by White Chapel, he puts it in his lap and plays off the street.

Good luck, Ben, of the Taylor people.

Oct 4, 2022 - 7:40:04 AM

12 posts since 5/4/2022

Duly noted. Thank you, Larry of the Hill clans.

Oct 4, 2022 - 12:47:35 PM
likes this

martyjoe

Ireland

218 posts since 3/24/2020

I started working on a rim with the grain slanted at a 60 degree angle a couple of years ago. Worth a revisit!

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1953125