What-all do I need to convert from steel strings to nylon? Bridge? A different tailpiece? The banjo is theRover RB-110 OpenbackDetails11" diameter multi-ply rim with simple brass hoop tone ring…Continue
Started this discussion. Last reply by Jody Stecher Apr 26.
"Jody, I did not mean offence, and I certainly appreciate fine craftsmanship. I just think that in the case of banjo bridges it is wasted.
A "historical" bridge is 2mm or less thick at the top, not a lot of room to worry about notch…"
"A couple of additional notes: With an ebony topped bridge that is already cut for steel, I don't "cut", I sort of scrape to widen the grooves. I may cut a little to get more depth but esp once I have the width, I just scrape from side…"
"LOLOL. I've cut many, many bridge slots with an Xacto knife...a V groove with a little judicious scraping. I didn't own proper fret files until about 5 yrs ago. I use the welding tip cleaners for very fine adjustments...my set does not cut…"
"Another thing of which to be careful is the hole through which the string passes on the 5th tuning peg. Sometimes they can have sharp edges, OK for steel but they can cut through gut or nylon. I usually file a slight chamfer using a small round pin…"
"Of course you can buy excellent, hand made, bridges specially for Classic Banjo from our own Joel Hooks who is based in the USA. Joel makes the perfect maple "Morley Style" bridge.
Sorry I didn't mention Joel before but…"
"Paul Hostetter, who passed away a few months ago, never sought out customers. When they came to him he charged them a fraction of the going rate. He was the most skilled luthier I have ever met and those who had nut notches done by him all…"
"Thanks. I will look for that little-file array at the local hardware store. Is the Morley bridge available in USA? Currencies and tariffs are daunting to me. The tailpiece in your pic looks like my Waverly, and one of your correspondents said he has…"
"Yeah, that Fred Bacon had no idea what he was doing. ;-)
I’m with Ian on the fancy Luthier cut notches, I think there is a lot of fancy talk that justifies their service over do it yourself.
Heck, anyone can make banjo bridges and I recommend…"
"Oh yes it is. I have made my own bridges and filed round bottomed grooves with these files and I would bet £1000 that nobody could hear any difference in tone to a luthier cut one.
The nut is slightly different as the groove slopes away from…"
"Creating proper nut and bridge slots is not quite so simple. For one thing you've got to get the string to depart pointed in the right direction. Read here about nuts: http://www.lutherie.net/nuts.html
and read about files…"