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Sep 30, 2023 - 3:22:27 PM
183 posts since 3/7/2011

I purchased a circa 1925 Vega Style M tenor a while back with the intention of having a 5 string conversion done to it. Pot looked to be in great shape.. It had a Medium crown Ren head on it and the tone ring did protrude quite a bit above the head. Today in preparation for shipping it to the Luther I went about putting a High Crown Ren head on it and discovered the J hooks and nuts, although appearing original are in fact not .The nuts are 5/16" rather than 9/32" as the originals were and the J hooks are 2&1/2" long , the originals are supposed to be 2&1/4" long. I am afraid these nuts will bottom out tensioning the head, but as with these Tubaphones, it requires a high crown head for everything to sit right. Otherwise the tension hoop cutout will sit too high above the fretboard when set up properly with the Medium crown Head.
Any source for the correct Hooks and nuts that does not cost a small fortune? I have had a couple of sources quote me over $200.00 for a set of 28 originals. I can not afford that and am really stuck here now???
Thanks for any help here.

Edited by - Banjercat on 09/30/2023 15:23:17

Sep 30, 2023 - 5:22:05 PM



2609 posts since 9/16/2007

Rickard has 9/32" closed ball end bracket nuts:

You will have to trim the hooks to proper length.

Sep 30, 2023 - 6:28:14 PM

40 posts since 3/3/2008

I've bought several pieces of banjo hardware from Rickard. It's not cheap but it has all been top quality.

Oct 1, 2023 - 5:47:50 AM

183 posts since 3/7/2011

Originally posted by mbanza

Rickard has 9/32" closed ball end bracket nuts:

You will have to trim the hooks to proper length.

Thanks. After more study, I believe I will leave the hooks as is, they do not protrude past the bottom edge of the pot. I have ordered a set of Rickard open ball end nuts incase I need the bit extra threaded depth when tensioning the head. Bob Smakula has a Whyte Ladye with a Fawley neck advertized right now with modern hooks and those open ball end nuts .The hooks do not stick out of the end of the nut and it looks fine. This banjo I am building is not for collector purposes , rather a daily player so I think I have the solution!

Oct 2, 2023 - 5:02:12 PM

12934 posts since 10/27/2006

No one makes correct Waverly/Vega reproduction hardware with the correct 8-24 thread. If you're installing a 5-string neck, then 'correct' doesn't matter. Buy a whole set of the Rickard or something similar that looks correct.

There are those of us who will be glad to take the vintage stuff off your hands for the occasional ones or twos we need to restore banjos in otherwise original condition.

if you haven't removed the vintage hardware yet, please lube with a good penetrating oil first to break up the corrosion between the steel hooks and brass nuts--only the steel threads are nickel plated; the brass ones inside the nuts are not. I spray WD40 into a cap, drip it onto the threads with a Q-Tip or model brush and wait at least 24 hours.

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