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Thread: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

  1. #26

    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    After the guys over at the Banjo Hangout advised me about the head I now have it off and can answer the questions.
    It does have a metal tube around the top, not sure of any more than that.
    The Tailpiece does clip on.
    Bob Smakula stated that I can only use a Calfskin so I just ordered one from him. Now I get to learn how to stretch one of those!

    Here are some pics, thanks again for any advice!
    Steve
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  2. #27
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    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    I am not sure why you have to use skin, Elderly has a variety of sizes for banjos, and will order a specific size if you need it. Since you have the skin ordered when you get it you will have to soak it to put it on. I like to soak them in tea, as it gives a very nice look to the skin.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    I'll trust Bob Smakula's judgement about the choice of head. He knows old banjos awfully well, and stocks probably the biggest selection of banjo heads of any store.

    If he's saying an off-the-shelf head won't work, he's got a good reason for it.

    I just visited Banjo Hangout and read his post. He explains that the flesh hoop on a pre-mounted head is too large to allow the tailpiece to be correctly mounted on this particular banjo.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    Thanks Bob, my trapdoor has a fyberskin head on it and was wondering why it would have to be skin.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #30
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    I just looked at my trap door. It has a tailpiece similar to Steve's, and it is a friction fit that hooks between the bottom of the flesh hoop and the top of the tension hoop.

    The mounting hoop on a modern head is taller than a flesh hoop. If I were to try to hook this tailpiece around a modern head, I would have to re-do the bends in the tailpiece, which would probably mangle it and possibly break it.

    It might instead be possible to cut a notch in a modern head's mounting hoop, but it might weaken it and ruin the head.

    I would have to use a different style tailpiece if I was going to put a modern head on my banjo.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    And there we have it!
    With the advice of two people who's opinion I respect rcc56 and Bob S. I am sure that I am on the right path with this Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor. Now if I can learn to make something similar to music on it....Wow would it be nice. But then how many will accept it?
    Steve

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Gibson Mandolin Banjo Trapdoor

    Steve, I’m glad you are making progress with your project! Here are some pages from the 1923 Gibson Handbook with instructions for mounting a skin head. Notice the recommendation about having some longer bracket hooks on hand when starting to install the new head. Best of luck. Be sure to give us some photos of your finished MB.

    Mark

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    Mark Lynch

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