View Full Version : banjo uke metal joining question

Pukulele Pete
07-06-2016, 03:20 AM
I'm going to attempt to make an 8 inch tension hoop for a banjouke
by reducing an 11 inch hoop to 8 inches and I wondering how I can rejoin the hoop after I've cut and rebent it. Has anyone done this before ? Will solder work? Epoxy ?
Should I use pop rivets or a screw or welding ? Thanks for any info.

07-06-2016, 05:07 AM
Depends on the material its made from.

07-06-2016, 05:24 AM
I was wondering the same thing the other day. In my case I was thinking in terms of brass.

07-06-2016, 05:34 AM
If brass or steel a low/medium temperature silver solder will do the job.

07-06-2016, 05:53 AM
Good to know. For steel I'd have waded in there with the MIG welder and ended up with a deformed circle with a large snot of weld joining it.

07-06-2016, 06:06 AM
thanks Ken. good to know.

Orangeena ... I suspect my soldering will result in a deformed circle with a snotty join regardless ... but then I ain't no master craftsman :)

07-06-2016, 06:09 AM
as well as solder I did come across people who have bolted them together instead. an example: http://www.tredwellinstruments.co.uk/homemade-tension-hoop/

either way I reckon any dodgy join can be hidden by strategically placing to at the neck or tailpiece.

07-06-2016, 06:59 AM
An idea I got from Rudy on this site and of Bluestem Strings, when I made one of my banjos and made a tension hoop from a bar of brass. Works well and is most covered by the tailpiece when finished.


07-06-2016, 07:26 AM
I have always brazed (silver solder) brass, but that's with an eye for future nickel plating.

I make sure to clean the joint very well, flux carefully, and use a big box store MAP gas torch. I've had no problems with tone rings or tension hoops deforming. Don't be in a rush to heat up the hoop - it takes a little patience.

07-06-2016, 07:41 AM
it might be interesting to post this question on banjohangout.com as well. They have a forum section for banjo builders.

07-06-2016, 07:47 AM
I have built a number of banjos (full size) and have made my own tension hoops because I really like a style where the holes are in the side of the hoop leaving the top of the hoop smooth. (see http://jupiteruke.com/banjos/leafy-sea-dragon/ and http://jupiteruke.com/banjos/little-cat/ for some pictures).

The hoops are brass which I bent with a ring roller and then silver soldered using a silver solder kit (solder and flux) from hardware the store. If the joint is placed on some firebrick to give a little heat reflectivity you can silver solder it with a regular propane torch though you need to get it as hot as possible. Running MAP gas as opposed to straight propane gives a hotter flame, so you are not right up against the heat requirements of the silver solder as with propane.

Once the solder is done the joint is easily smoothed off with a file and the scale is easily cleaned off with little emery paper. I have not had a warping problem. I like the raw brass look, but I have taken a ring to a local plating company to have it nickel plated to match some other components (not cheap!).

Pukulele Pete
07-06-2016, 08:12 AM
Thank you all for the advice . I am trying to do this cheap . I found a source (Gold Tone banjos ) but it's 44 bucks plus postage. I bought an inexpensive hoop ( $14 )
And I'll attempt to turn an 11" into an 8" . What will probably happen in the end is I will buy the 44 dollar hoop and will have wasted the $14 and have a much better hoop in
the end. Thanks again.