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Freeman Keller
12-30-2013, 10:47 AM
Hi - new member here with a question about replacing the head on an old SStewart banjo ukulele. I've installed a new head and tensioned it following several different videos and instruction on the internet but the head ring is about 1/16 of an inch below the plane of the head. I believe that it should stand proud of the head by a 16th to 8th of an inch. I'm willing to redo the head if this is correct but would like to confirm before ordering materials and going thru all the work again.

Here is a picture of what I'm talking about

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1316_zps62f10442.jpg

BlackBearUkes
12-30-2013, 02:46 PM
Hi - new member here with a question about replacing the head on an old SStewart banjo ukulele. I've installed a new head and tensioned it following several different videos and instruction on the internet but the head ring is about 1/16 of an inch below the plane of the head. I believe that it should stand proud of the head by a 16th to 8th of an inch. I'm willing to redo the head if this is correct but would like to confirm before ordering materials and going thru all the work again.

Here is a picture of what I'm talking about

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1316_zps62f10442.jpg

The top of the skin head should be slightly below the level of the tension ring, not above it. I would do it over.

Skinny Money McGee
12-30-2013, 05:03 PM
I believe the ring on mine is either even with the head or slightly below, which is the way I like it so I'm not slamming my strumming fingers up against the metal ring

TheCraftedCow
12-30-2013, 08:32 PM
If you are using a real leather skin, you should be able to soak it in hot water and take out all of the creases caused by compression under the outside ring and use it again. The second time you will have more of an idea of where the inner ring should be. Of my seven banjo ukes, six have the ring higher than the skin head. It is not going to affect the sound whether it is higher or lower. It should not affect the tone because that happens within the open diametre of the wooden body. It is my most expensive one from Brasil which has the head standing proud over the ring. How does it sound to you as it is? Does it eat into your arm like the ones with the higher rims? If you are going for an "authentic look" , you don't have much choice. If it sounds and feels good as is, leave it. It will be a long time playing before you rub a hole in that head.

Kevin B
12-30-2013, 11:46 PM
Some styles of banjo tailpieces will rub the head and wear holes in the head if they rest on it instead of the tension hoop.

Freeman Keller
12-31-2013, 07:18 AM
Thank you all for the comments. I do repair work for my local music store and this instrument was a family heirloom. The original head was torn, but also has signatures and drawings dating back to 1920. The owner wanted to preserve the old head and make the instrument playable without destroying any of its history. I've cleaned up the fretboard and dressed the frets, made a new nut for it (original missing) and will replace a couple of badly rusted J-hooks (but keep the original ones). The head is goat skin, I did think about trying to soak it and restretch, but since I trimmed the edge it will hard to get ahold of.

Because this is a commissioned repair I want to do it right - if that means a new head that's the way I want to do it. I'll watch the thread a little longer, but I'm leaning towards redoing it.

DPO
12-31-2013, 08:22 AM
[QUOTE=Freeman Keller;1454164]Thank you all for the comments. I do repair work for my local music store and this instrument was a family heirloom. The original head was torn, but also has signatures and drawings dating back to 1920. The owner wanted to preserve the old head and make the instrument playable without destroying any of its history. I've cleaned up the fretboard and dressed the frets, made a new nut for it (original missing) and will replace a couple of badly rusted J-hooks (but keep the original ones). The head is goat skin, I did think about trying to soak it and restretch, but since I trimmed the edge it will hard to get ahold of.

Because this is a commissioned repair I want to do it right - if that means a new head that's the way I want to do it. I'll watch the thread a little longer, but I'm leaning towards redoing it.[/QUOTE

Most Gbson ub2's look like yours because of the tone ring, if it plays fine leave it alone. If you do feel the need to redo it you will need a new head, once they are trimmed to size they are almost impossible to reuse.
Kind regards
Dennis

Freeman Keller
01-02-2014, 12:02 PM
I am doing some repairs and minor restoration on an old banjo ukulele and the owner has asked if I can find out more information about it. The back of the peghead says SStewart, and the neck stick is also stamped "Collegian". There are no other markings or serial number. The face of the headstock does not have a logo but might have been painted black some time ago.

The back wood and carved in a dome shape - spaced off of the pot by about 1/8 inch. I've replaced the head and a couple of badly rusted j-bolts, cleaned the fretboard and frets and made a new nut for it. The tuners barely work - I'll let the owner decide if he wants to keep the original ones on it or replace them.

I have found some information on the internet about these ukuleles but I was wondering if someone here might have more information. We would like to date it a little better (the owner thinks early 1930's) and any more information would be appreciated.

Here is what it looked like when it arrived in my shop

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1290_zps6071c8dd.jpg

and now
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1321_zpsc1c21963.jpg


http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1320_zps246f7882.jpg

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1318_zps4891a88a.jpg

Thank you for whatever you can provide and to the folks that commented on my head tension question

seeso
01-03-2014, 06:15 AM
Thread out of moderation queue. Apologies for the delay.

Freeman Keller
01-03-2014, 03:54 PM
I recently completed some repairs on an old banjo ukulele and the owner asked if I could find out some information about it. It had been in his family for a very long time and had several signatures and drawings on the head. I replaced the head, did some fretwork and made a new nut and otherwise cleaned it up so it would be playable.

The back of the headstock says SStewart as does the neck stick which also says "Collegian". I have found a few references on the internet about this model, but was wondering if anyone could supply any more information. This particularly uke does not have a resonator, but does have a domed wooden cover on the back that is spaced away from the rim. The scale length seems to be a hair over 14 inches - I strung it with concert strings.

Here is what it looked like when it arrived at my shop

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1290_zps6071c8dd.jpg

and the front, back and inside after I cleaned it up.

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1321_zpsc1c21963.jpg

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1320_zps246f7882.jpg[img]

[img]http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f387/Freeman_Keller/Banjo%20ukulele/IMG_1318_zps4891a88a.jpg

Thank you for any information and a special thanks to the people that commented on my question about the head.