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Jun 19, 2024 - 6:22:37 PM


New Zealand

12086 posts since 6/29/2003

I was given an old banjo which was too far gone to rescue. I have kept all the useable items from it but the head has a split under where the TP goes.
Has anyone attempted to repair something like this and if so, was it successful?
This is a 12" head which is hellishly expensive to import to NZ. I would value any constructive advice on this other than "toss it in the bin" (which may be the only action!)


Jun 19, 2024 - 7:40:42 PM
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23269 posts since 7/6/2005

Toss it or paint a scene on it make a clock face.

Edited by - beegee on 06/19/2024 19:45:18

Jun 19, 2024 - 9:29:32 PM

Bart Veerman


5738 posts since 1/5/2005

Yeah, international postage rates are somethings else, aren't they. Sorry though Wayne, banjo-wise it's totally toast. You should be able to find some locally-made hide heads at a sorta reasonable price though. If not local, there's plenty places in Pakistan where you can get hide heads & shipping on the cheap.
Good luck!

Jun 20, 2024 - 4:33:42 AM



23269 posts since 7/6/2005

Originally posted by beegee

Toss it or paint a scene on it make a clock face. If I had a 12", I'd send it to you for the cost of postage. Sorry. I don't....

Jun 20, 2024 - 5:28:16 AM
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3111 posts since 8/30/2012

Consider this: It's already broken. There's not much risk in attempting a repair. I've seen patched heads before, and they sounded fine, so it is possible. 

You could try to patch it with tyvek. For glue I'd probably use a flexible marine epoxy, or something that is flexible when it cures/dries. Perhaps get a big piece of tyvek and maybe experiment with a few glue options before attempting on the head.

If you were really nervous about the patch failing, you could try stitching the patch perimeter with some sort of fishing line or other nylon string. You could also patch it on both sides, rather than just one.

These are just ideas. I don't know if they'll work, or be cheaper than replacement. But the head is already broken, might as well try.

Edited by - KCJones on 06/20/2024 05:29:51

Jun 20, 2024 - 7:28:09 AM
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15407 posts since 6/2/2008

Melting/fusing the split closed is the only fix that occurs to me. Or melting/fusing a patch.

I would not expect a glued-on patch to withstand the stress of the head being stretched. I could be wrong. 

Since a typical head is mylar, maybe there's some way to obtain a piece of that to fashion a patch.

I agree the tear is fatal. First head I ever had fail (not too many years ago) split along the bearing edge like yours.

Jun 20, 2024 - 10:54:16 AM
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96 posts since 8/2/2014

Surely worth a try. As a has-been drummer of 60 years, I've never seen a tensioned head be successfully repaired. Yours split exactly where drum heads split. Give it a try but be prepared to chunk it in the bin.

Jun 20, 2024 - 1:02:03 PM

16646 posts since 6/30/2020

I would use good quality clear packaging tape. It’s tough stuff. Tape the outside as well as the inside.

Jun 20, 2024 - 2:17:56 PM
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10 posts since 6/19/2024

Just remember, every dollar you waste trying to repair it is a dollar you could put towards a brand new head that will last you 10-20 years.

Buy once, cry once.

Edited by - DerekGoodman on 06/20/2024 14:18:31

Jun 20, 2024 - 3:20:46 PM


New Zealand

12086 posts since 6/29/2003

Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up cutting off the head and kept the ali mounting band. May have a use for it some day perhaps.

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