Banjo repair

Banjo repair

I’ve just bought an old tenor banjo (a Bacon from the 20s) and realized that the joint between the neck and the dowel stick was loose, causing the neck to tilt forward a little an raising action.
Reglueing the joint seems to me an easy work, but as I’m pretty new to banjos I rather ask before trying. Is there any thing I should be aware of? Do I need hide glue, or maybe other glues will do the job?

Re: Banjo repair

Disassemble

Clean out the old glue

reassemble "dry" check the fit

Disassemble

use hide glue if you can though the usual carpenters glue will work

Re: Banjo repair

While it seems simple - just glue it back on - there is the issue of neck angle. Tenor banjos need about a 2 to 3 degree neck angle which should be built into the way the neck is cut but it may not be. The neck angle determines the height of the bridge and to some extent playabiltity. To do the neck properly, you have to glue the dowel stick on while it is in place in the rim. This can be accomplished by putting the neck in a vice at a right angle to the ground, screwing in the dowel stick at the tailpiece end and clamping after you make sure that the neck fits perfectly on the rim. This is not complex, but it takes some setup and the ability to do things you have never done before. A good luthier can also do it well. If the neck is not at the proper angle, you will not be able to play the banjo.

Think about this before you just pour some glue in the dowel hole.

Mike Keyes
http://www.mikekeyes.com

Re: Banjo repair

Thank you all, I’ll do the work this weekend.

Re: Banjo repair

Ok, the job is done. No problem at all. As Mike said, I glued the neck while the dowel stick was in place in the rim. The neck is well cut, so the neck angle is correct just by fitting the heel to the rim.
By the way, I used ‘kitchen hide glue’ http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/TipsTricks/KitchenGlue/kitchenglue.html
which worked amazingly well.
Thank you all, and expect more questions!