Things I wish I knew before assembling my kits

Carver Banjos: Instruments Handmade by You and Me Forums Building Banjos Things I wish I knew before assembling my kits

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  • #4785
    knoxjl
    Participant

    I’ve built 3 Carver kits now. The first was a mountain kit, the second an americana, the third a gourd. What do I wish I knew then that I know now?

    1) Use a dowel to create fret markers down the side. Without fret markers it can be really challenging to play up the neck. The best time to put in markers is when you’re first building it, adding them after the finishing has been done risks the finish looking odd around the markers. Take a small dowel, drill in the holes, cut the marker flush, sand, and then finish. I’ll be doing this for any future builds.
    2) If you’re using one of the necks where the 5th string tuner comes up from the bottom, through the neck, install some sort of pip, like a simple brass screw. Without a pip I had to reverse the direction of the 5th string tuner from what my other banjos have or else it’ll hang off the side. It’s not a big deal, but with the direction reverse from my other instruments I always have to think about which direction to crank and adding some sort of pip allows you to avoid this.
    3) On my americana kit the dowel (original, rectangular style) didn’t quite reach the rim, there was always a small gap there (probably because it fit perfectly without the head installed and the head added just a little bit). I ended up replacing the screw with a slightly longer one and it felt more secure. (I don’t know how this would related to the new neck dowel)
    4) Related to (3), if you want to use a strap one of the bent rim kit you can get a long screw and put it right on the end. My final configuration has the screw going through the strap nub, the leather tailpiece, the rim, and into the dowel. (I don’t know how this would related to the new neck dowel)

    If I come up with more, I’ll update this post in the future.

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by knoxjl.
    #4790
    swordandsphere
    Participant

    Hey mate, thanks for posting this. I’ve ordered my first kit and this post will come in super handy for me – appreciate it.

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