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Help Topics for Banjo Players

Resonators - some guidance on fitting the "convertible bolt-on" type.

25/09/2013

For ease of working, all guidance notes use the following descriptive convention:- the banjo body, seen from the front, is regarded as a clock face with the neck being 12 o’clock and the tailpiece being 6 o-clock - the numbers run clockwise round the clock face Components You should have 4 resonator fixing plates, 8 washers, 4 thumbscrews and, of course, a resonator! Please check that you have everything to hand before starting on the fitting job Fitting the fixing plates These plates fit under adjacent pairs of nuts on the ends of tension hooks round the banjo. For 24 bracket banjos, the plates fit under the nuts of hooks 3 & 4, 9 & 10, 15 & 16, 21& 22. For 18 bracket banjos, the numbers are 2 & 3, 7 & 8, 11 & 12, 16 & 17. Remove the nuts from each pair of hooks in turn, fit a plate over the ends of the 2 hooks, put a washer over each hook and replace the nuts. You will see that the plates have slots rather than holes - this is to enable you to slide them to and fro to line up with the fixing holes in the resonator. Lining up with the pre-drilled holes in the resonator Once you have all four plates fitted, offer up the banjo to the resonator. It is quite unlikely that all four plates will line up accurately with the pre-drilled holes - so you’ll need to loosen each pair of nuts in turn to slide its plate into the correct place to line up with the relative hole. This may take a bit of time as it’s sometimes possible to get three of them “dead right” whilst the fourth one is nowhere near ........ Checking the neck fit Once you have the plates properly lined up, check that the neck is sitting neatly in the pre-cut notch in the resonator. If there is a sizeable gap below the neck, glue in an extra piece of felt - if the neck is sitting too high, remove the felt lining from the notch, carefully sand a little out of the bottom of the notch and then re-glue the felt. Once you are happy with the fit, screw in the 4 thumbscrews and the job is done

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