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Mar 3, 2024 - 3:50:14 PM
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8 posts since 3/16/2013

Hello! I’m new to building banjos but have been playing off and on for a few decades.

I am building a longneck from a bunch of parts and need some help.

I purchased a nice looking neck on eBay. I have a new set of double rods which I prefer so I can attach one of those double rod pick up sets. I have an old aluminum pot that I want to use for sentimental reasons.

I did not know until after the fact that folks don’t normally double rod aluminum pots, but I think I want to anyway.

So I need to drill new holes in my pot and several pilot holes in the neck for the lag bolts that the rods will attach to. How far apart / where on the neck base should I be drilling?

Thanks for the help or any point in the right direction.

Ryan

Mar 3, 2024 - 5:39:13 PM
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13071 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Oliphant


I did not know until after the fact that folks don’t normally double rod aluminum pots, but I think I want to anyway.



Ryan


Hi Ryan,

No reason not to but use the two rods to make a nice, rigid assembly. It is not recommended to try to make minor action adjustments like you can a wooden pot. If you need to adjust the neck angle after you are done, use tapered shims between the pot and neck.

StewMac Neck Shims

If the need arises, folks here can help you with the calculations so that you need to purchase only once.

Mar 4, 2024 - 4:23:17 PM

8 posts since 3/16/2013

Cool thanks! Do you know where I might be able to find measurements for how far apart to drill for each rod anchor? And how far back/down into the neck from the fret board?

Mar 25, 2024 - 9:50:16 AM

8 posts since 3/16/2013

Here’s the new head after disassembly, scrubbing the pot and ring down well with aluminum and vinegar, slapping a new skin on it and tying it all back together.


Edited by - Oliphant on 03/25/2024 09:50:50

Mar 25, 2024 - 9:58 AM

8 posts since 3/16/2013

Ok.. I’ve got an issue I noticed a while back but figured an answer would seem obvious once I’ve got this far. The depth of my assembled pot and the depth of the heel of my neck where In plan to drill in for connector rods, are not the same. The heel of The neck is slightly deeper than the depth of the pot. How do I account for this?

Mar 25, 2024 - 10:06:58 AM

8 posts since 3/16/2013

Here’s the photos of my perceived issue.


Mar 25, 2024 - 10:48:07 AM
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61908 posts since 12/14/2005

What I did with one pot, was to get a used aluminum pan (thick better than thin) from the charity thrift store, cut a hunk out of it, and use it to cover the long oval hole in the body.

If yours doesn't have a long hole, loosen all the J hooks, remove the tension hoop, and lat the pot face down on the table, with masking tape over where the neck will attach..
Lay the neck next to it, and mark where you want the holes to be.

Punch a nail through the marks, take the tape off, stick it to the neck, and punch a nail through the same marks.

The holes will line up.
If I wasn't so lazy, I'd undo my resonator and measure the distance between rods.
But I trust that somebody with a 2 rod open back will spring into action, and post that info.

Mar 25, 2024 - 11:00:46 AM
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15065 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Oliphant

The depth of my assembled pot and the depth of the heel of my neck where In plan to drill in for connector rods, are not the same. The heel of The neck is slightly deeper than the depth of the pot. How do I account for this?


I think you either slice off enough of the heel to reduce its depth (and consider re-adding a heel cap) or ignore it and let the heel extend beyond the bottom of the rim.

Something else to consider: If you make the holes for the lag bolts vertically oriented oblongs you can give yourself a bit of up-down adjustability for string height.

The previously linked Stew-Mac tapered shims are great for setting neck angle without tools. I've lightly affixed thin wood shims with glue stick. Strong enough to hold it in place, but weak enough to pry off if necessary.

As to distance between lags: If you don't need the neck to be compatible with some other rim in the future, I'd say put them where you want them.  In this discussion people describe 1-1/4-inch and 1-5/16-inch spacing. It would not surprise me if Asian aluminum-rimmed banjos have something else.

Mar 25, 2024 - 11:01:45 AM
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2401 posts since 2/9/2007
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The usual is to have the fingerboard end level with the head, but it's not necessary. Some banjos do have fingerboards extended over the head, which puts the neck right about where it looks to be in photo #2.

Mounting it that way would look better than having the heel projecting in back (IMO), and would be easier than shortening and re-capping the back of the heel.

Mar 25, 2024 - 11:07:51 AM
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15065 posts since 6/2/2008

Also look at photos of different banjos to see where the plane of the fretboard is relative to the plane of the head. I think the fretboard being a bit higher is good. It promotes low action with a 5/8-inch bridge. Setting the neck angle becomes important in this. I don't know how to do that. Again, this is done for you with Stew-Mac tapered shims: Instant neck angle. Not cheap, and you need to use multiple shims to get an angle over 1 degree. But easy.

Good luck.

Mar 25, 2024 - 1:52:12 PM

8 posts since 3/16/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Oliphant

The depth of my assembled pot and the depth of the heel of my neck where In plan to drill in for connector rods, are not the same. The heel of The neck is slightly deeper than the depth of the pot. How do I account for this?


I think you either slice off enough of the heel to reduce its depth (and consider re-adding a heel cap) or ignore it and let the heel extend beyond the bottom of the rim.

Something else to consider: If you make the holes for the lag bolts vertically oriented oblongs you can give yourself a bit of up-down adjustability for string height.

The previously linked Stew-Mac tapered shims are great for setting neck angle without tools. I've lightly affixed thin wood shims with glue stick. Strong enough to hold it in place, but weak enough to pry off if necessary.

As to distance between lags: If you don't need the neck to be compatible with some other rim in the future, I'd say put them where you want them.  In this discussion people describe 1-1/4-inch and 1-5/16-inch spacing. It would not surprise me if Asian aluminum-rimmed banjos have something else.


Thanks that's super helpful to know what's been done before. I feel confident that as long as it's going to work, then it won't be wrong.lots of good advice 8n that thread to get me there. My favorite thought from that link Best thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from! 

I think I'm not confident enough to want to shave of the depth of off the heel, so I think I'm going to just let it stick out a bit and see if it bothers me. I can always change my mind on that later.

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Mar 25, 2024 - 1:54:01 PM

8 posts since 3/16/2013

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Lay the neck next to it, and mark where you want the holes to be.
Punch a nail through the marks, take the tape off, stick it to the neck, and punch a nail through the same marks.

The holes will line up.


Perfect, that sounds like an easy pre-drill marking system. The jhooks aren't tightened down yet either, just finger strength.

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