Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

344
Banjo Lovers Online


Dec 10, 2023 - 11:01:09 AM
26 posts since 10/2/2019

I'm working on an old no name (posssibly Buckbee) banjo.

I posted some pics back when I got it:  Original Post

     It was dirty and missing many parts but the bones (and price) was good. Anyway, I got it all cleaned up, stretched a new skin head, carved a new nut from a bone blank, and unbent about half the hooks.

     I was given a few parts that a friend had lying around but now that I'm at the stage where I can actually start using them, they are not going to work. One is a repro No Knot tailpiece. The existing tailpiece mount (which also holds the dowel in place) is too far from the rim to use this style of tailpiece.

Any suggestions? Doesn't have to be period correct or even pretty, I'm just interested in a nice sounding playable banjo.

Also any suggestions for a good low (1/2" ?) bridge? I was given a 5/8" but the action is sky high and unplayable.

Thanks in advance for any input


 

Dec 10, 2023 - 11:10:33 AM

6167 posts since 12/20/2005

What you have described indicates you are pretty good with working with your hands.
If you have some suitable wood, I believe making a bridge is within your skill level.
If you would prefer to purchase one, there are custom bridge makers, who are active here. All are skilled beyond incredible, and prices are very reasonable.

Dec 10, 2023 - 11:46:26 AM
likes this

3278 posts since 5/2/2012

Would think you would be able to find a longer bolt at a your local (well equipped) hardware store to replace that "too short" one currently on the tailpiece. Sourcing a brass one might be tricky, but then you said "period correct" wasn't an issue. If you can't find one with the correct diameter and pitch for that banjo nut, then a regular nut would get the job done. Not pretty, but functional one would think.

Dec 10, 2023 - 12:28:12 PM

Owen

Canada

14597 posts since 6/5/2011

I could be 'way out in left field*, but it looks to me like the bolt in the pic is longer than need be, or the nut needs threaded on a further 3/8" or 1/2" so the 90 degree bend in the tailpiece sits/rests on the edge (?) of the head??   

* = What else is new?  wink

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:31:51 PM

26 posts since 10/2/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Owen

I could be 'way out in left field*, but it looks to me like the bolt in the pic is longer than need be, or the nut needs threaded on a further 3/8" or 1/2" so the 90 degree bend in the tailpiece sits/rests on the edge (?) of the head??   

* = What else is new?  wink


The piece that is holding the tailpiece in place (still learning names for parts, sorry) is basically also a wood screw that holds the dowel portion of the neck in place inside the rim. It just seems a hair too long to ever get the tail piece a proper angle to sit on the rim. I could probably replace it but I really like the way it looks and seems original to the banjo.

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:39:22 PM

26 posts since 10/2/2019

quote:
Originally posted by thisoldman

Would think you would be able to find a longer bolt at a your local (well equipped) hardware store to replace that "too short" one currently on the tailpiece. Sourcing a brass one might be tricky, but then you said "period correct" wasn't an issue. If you can't find one with the correct diameter and pitch for that banjo nut, then a regular nut would get the job done. Not pretty, but functional one would think.


The bolt on the tailpiece is okay, It just seems the offset created by the length of the fastener attached to the banjo is making it impossible to get the tailpiece to sit right.

Please pardon my ignorance of terms. I'm trying to learn as much as possible and I welcome any and all criticisms and corrections. I could probably just have a pro do it but I'm really loving the whole process of learning how my favorite instrument in the world works.

Also thanks to all who took the time to chime in, I really appreciate the sharing of knowledge.

Another Also: If anybody wants the tailpiece and/or bridge it's yours for the price of shipping or pick them up in NYC.

Edited by - Bklyngeezer on 12/10/2023 13:42:13

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:56:06 PM

Owen

Canada

14597 posts since 6/5/2011

...aligned like this [in relation to the rim], no?

Edit: I'm not the voice of experience, and don't know the names of all the parts, but re. "The piece that is holding the tailpiece in place (still learning names for parts, sorry) is basically also a wood screw that holds.... " could it be that the "neck" (?) section of that "piece that's holding" is too long [i.e. mis-matched so far as the tailpiece is concerned]?  

What Is A No Knot Tailpiece

Edited by - Owen on 12/10/2023 14:10:16

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:16:51 PM

Owen

Canada

14597 posts since 6/5/2011

Too late to edit:  Ooops .... on re-reading I see you've already mentioned ^^ that  "could it be" possibility.  

Edited by - Owen on 12/10/2023 14:17:58

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:51:08 PM

Owen

Canada

14597 posts since 6/5/2011

Dec 10, 2023 - 3:10:22 PM

3278 posts since 5/2/2012

Bklyngeezer I wondered the same. Given how far the endbolt sticks out and the distance to the hoop I was thinking that the geometry for a no-knot tailpiece was not going to work in your favor. I have a banjo with a no-knot tailpiece and it is connected to the pot with an L-shaped bracket. StewMac carries that as a "tailpiece bracket". Hardware store might have something that will work?

Dec 10, 2023 - 4:29:09 PM

26 posts since 10/2/2019

ENDBOLT! Thank you Owen. I'm learning new stuff everyday. It would definitely seem my endbolt is not compatible with this tailpiece.

I should have known just by the fit of the two parts. Endbolt hole is way bigger than tailpiece bolt and also extends much further out than the bracket shoes




Dec 10, 2023 - 5:19:44 PM
likes this

8085 posts since 9/21/2007

Your banjo could have had any of a seemingly infinite number of tailpiece patterns... and none of them were the Fred Bacon "no knot" you have on it. (BTW, tying the strings on defeats the whole "no knot" concept of attaching strings with no knots, sadly those red strings might be too thick to fit on properly as they are much thicker than anything used at the time of your banjo's construction, or when the no knot was designed).

That shape of end bolt looks to be correct for your banjo. Mark Ralston (Yellowstone) makes replica tailpieces that would be more correct for your banjo. I recommend tracking him down and getting an era proper tailpiece.


 

Jan 14, 2024 - 3:52:36 PM
likes this

26 posts since 10/2/2019

Thanks to everybody for the info and suggestions.

Lots of great people here who are patient and helpful and also generous with their time and knowledge.

Getting this old banjo to play again has been a real education.

Got a beautiful reproduction tailpiece from Mark Ralston (Yellowstone) and a brand-new minstrel style 1/2" bridge (made from old barnwood) from Don New (stringbean45).

Both are beautiful and have given the banjo a great look and sound. Action is still a bit too high for my liking, so Don is working a 3/8" bridge right now. I will post some pics as soon as I get it installed.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.296875