Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

199
Banjo Lovers Online


Apr 21, 2024 - 5:55:36 PM

sgjiii

USA

8 posts since 3/1/2014

I recently purchased a Silvertone five string banjo. It's in relatively good shape. The neck is straight and flat, and the pot is solid. The tuners are original and leave a lot to be desired.

This is a project banjo for the fun of learning more about banjos. I'm looking for the best place to buy banjo parts (tuners, nut, bridge, etc.). I'm also looking for guidance on how to adjust the neck.

Any help, comments, and/or directions are appreciated.

Thanks,

Sam

Apr 22, 2024 - 9:06:57 AM

2441 posts since 2/9/2007

Post some better pictures. From the one on your media page, it doesn't look like it needs anything but a bridge and a set of strings. Unless the tuners are damaged or VERY badly corroded, they should be quite passably functional after some cleaning and a few drops of oil.

Apr 22, 2024 - 2:51:14 PM
likes this

13132 posts since 10/27/2006

Your Silvertone apears to be a Kay.

Start here:  Frets.com Kay banjo set up

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:01:20 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

17516 posts since 8/30/2006

This is a project banjo for the fun of learning more about banjos. I'm looking for the best place to buy banjo parts (tuners, nut, bridge, etc.). I'm also looking for guidance on how to adjust the neck.

1.   StewMac, Gold Tone and Recording King all sell parts.  Ebay is another source of good/better/best

2. Adjust the neck how and why.  The neck is not adjustable, this is a spec. banjo. These necks have an embedded piece of flatbar stood up on its edge, mine is still straight after 61 years.  These are one piece necks with a shallow but adequate heel 

3. The "catalog" or jobbers' banjos also provided a "paddle" headstock that saved the company time and allowed new owners to customize the headstock themselves with a coping saw out back at home.  

This photo shows one of the STAMM necks available mail order in '63, see how they mis-drilled the tuner holes.  Our folk group mowed lawns and shoveled snow to get the $30 for our neck which is still playing with a new Cherry rim by me. 

The short necks were the Kentucky model, the long necks were the Tennessee.

Your Sears model has the original strap tuners which can be cleaned and lubricated.

The 5th string tuner is usually friction type and eligible for a back door toss.

Perhaps Mike Halloran knows what wood was used in the Kay necks.

(aside) I had the Kay Mandolin from Montgomery Wards for $15 and a Harmony Sovereign dreadnought for $5 glued by a real carpenter.

Good luck, great project, please show us later. 


Edited by - Helix on 04/24/2024 07:05:23

Apr 25, 2024 - 4:32:40 AM

16632 posts since 6/30/2020

You may also find parts, information and advice here:

smakulafrettedinstruments.com/

May 7, 2024 - 6:04:18 PM

sgjiii

USA

8 posts since 3/1/2014

I'll be turning this into a semi fretless, scoop neck banjo. This will be my second banjo to modify like this. The first one worked out well. I learned a few things and will incorporate them into this banjo. This banjo is a lot more solid than my first one.

I don't care for the original tuners. There's too much play in them. I'll be changing them out.

Any tuner suggestions?


May 7, 2024 - 6:25:46 PM

799 posts since 5/29/2015

Just buy a set of guitar tuners and use four of them. Guitar tuners like yours will require no modification, other modern tuners with the screw-in eight sided (nut-style) bushing will require enlarging the hole to about 3/8". Likewise if you want to use planetary tuners--the holes will also need enlarging. Mike Halloran pointed you above to the perfect resource for servicing this banjo. Make sure the head is tight (88 to 90 on a drum dial) and adjust the neck with the famous Kay pivoting neck heel to the highest possible angle to let you use a higher bridge.

May 7, 2024 - 6:29:10 PM

sgjiii

USA

8 posts since 3/1/2014

My picture icon does not contain the Silvertone banjo that I'm currently modifying. It does show the first one I modified.




 

May 8, 2024 - 8:59:28 PM

13132 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by sgjiii

I'll be turning this into a semi fretless, scoop neck banjo. This will be my second banjo to modify like this. The first one worked out well. I learned a few things and will incorporate them into this banjo. This banjo is a lot more solid than my first one.

I don't care for the original tuners. There's too much play in them. I'll be changing them out.

Any tuner suggestions?


The slop was caused by those tuners going dry from lack of lubrication. This banjo appears to be from the last days of Kay before the bankruptcy and no tuner made these days has that exact footprint.

That said, there are a number of tuners out there with similar plates. You may have to re-drill the holes but any of them will work. You can check Golden Age Restoration Tuners at StewMac—no idea if they well sell you only 4 but you can always call and ask.

I have these for $20 plus postage (set of 6 only)

https://www.sagamusic.com/shop/fretted-instrument-parts/golden-gate-parts/golden-gate-f-2213-vintage-acoustic-guitar-tuners-6-individual-33-nickel/

or these for $24 plus postage (set of 6)

https://www.sagamusic.com/shop/fretted-instrument-parts/golden-gate-parts/golden-gate-f-2215-vintage-acoustic-guitar-tuners-6-individual-33-nickel/

I still have an NOS set of 4 Grover V97N 14:1 and the same footprint as above. $25 plus postage. If you don't mind metal buttons, this would be my recommendation. As you can see, comes with new bushings and screws.


 

May 10, 2024 - 8:56:02 PM

sgjiii

USA

8 posts since 3/1/2014

What is the relationship between Silvertone and Kay?

May 13, 2024 - 4:04:14 PM
likes this

13132 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by sgjiii

What is the relationship between Silvertone and Kay?


Strictly speaking, none.

Silvertone was a Sears & Roebuck brand. Kay was one of many companies that made instruments to be resold as Silvertone.

May 15, 2024 - 8:37:11 PM

sgjiii

USA

8 posts since 3/1/2014

Thank you, Mike,

Do you know the rim material?

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





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.3203125