Banjolele with holes in skin

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.

Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Tom Snape » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:24 am

I've acquired this May-Bell Singerland banjolele. There are some repairs to be made, including replacing missing dowel stick clamp, resonator mounting bolt, and a missing fret. Most daunting to me is the presence of two punctures in the skin in the bridge area. The skin appears to be the original Singerland part, and has a nice tension. My current thinking is that I should patch or reinforce the holes, and then maybe rotate the head so that the patch is not directly under the bridge (which I will also have to come up with).

Looking for any advice on this repair. Is it risky to de-tension the head, move it, and re-tension it? What is a good patch method/materials, and should it be done with the head fully tensioned?

As for the missing fret; the original frets measure about 0.036" wide x about 0.035" high. The narrowest fret wire I've found online is 0.053". For one fret I could get by filing this down to size, but I'm wondering if anyone knows of something narrower.
Attachments
MIMF01.jpg
MIMF02.jpg
MIMF03.jpg
Tom Snape
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Chris Reed » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:52 pm

I'd patch those holes. Ideally with scraps of vellum, but if you can't get those then something like heavyweight art paper should work.

If you use hide glue, you could easily remove your patches if you later found better material.

I'd patch the underside without slackening the tension. Once glue is dry, loosen and rotate the head.

Cant help with a fretwire source, 0.53 is the smallest I've seen.
Chris Reed
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:26 pm

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Steven Wheeler » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:56 pm

Jescar has a .040" wide x .039 tall in stainless.
Steven Wheeler
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:52 am

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Tom Snape » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:25 pm

Chris - Thanks for the advice. Good call on using hide glue, I think.

Steven - Thanks, I never would have found that.
Tom Snape
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Steve Woods » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:51 pm

Tom, I just bought a new calf skin for my banjo mandolin (previous topic) from StewMac. It is way bigger than I need. Would you like me to mail you a piece of scrap to use for patching those holes?
Steve Woods
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 7:27 pm

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Tom Snape » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:41 am

Steve, that would be great! Sending my address via PM
Tom Snape
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Steve Woods » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:02 pm

Got it.
Steve Woods
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 7:27 pm

Re: Banjolele with holes in skin

Postby Tom Snape » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:43 pm

Well, I goofed and damaged the original skin head beyond repair. I rotated the head so that the holes would be near the neck and thought it would be a good idea to dampen the skin a bit when I lightly re-secured the tension hoop. Only I went too far with the tension and a tear started on the tone ring which quickly went half way around the head.

I ordered a 14" calf skin head and put that on following various instructions found online and it went well. The pot now has a nice new head. I'm still waiting for some of the missing hardware parts to arrive before final assembly.

A few things I found on this instrument: There is tone ring make from 1/4" diameter steel sitting loose on top of the pot. It has some kind of rough plating on it, and it's not welded together at the ends. The flesh hoop is made from a similar material, only 1/8" diameter, and also not connected at the ends. I was afraid that the ability of the flesh hoop to stretch open would make the job difficult, but it didn't.

Thanks to Steve Woods for mailing me some pieces to patch the original holes.
Attachments
MIMF04.jpg
MIMF05.jpg
Tom Snape
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:51 pm


Return to String Instrument Repair: Practical and Political Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links • 
cron