Some of the Parts


By John Fisher

(Jon Tirone)


Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.--Henry Ford


I realized that in doing this articles it is important to at least label a few parts otherwise some people might not know what I am talking about. I must confess that I had to research a few of the names myself as I wasn’t sure of all the detailed names either.

Most of the hardware that was not practical to make I got from “Stewart MacDonald”




Here is the wooden rim. All the hardware is screwed onto this. This I got from “Stewart MacDonald” which is made of 3 ply maple. I stained and lacquered it. I have made one of these myself in the past buy gluing pieces of hardwood together an then turning it on a wood lathe. This one is strategically made to fit the tone ring and the flange and to accommodate the coordinator rods and the neck.



This is the tone ring that I used. This slips on the wooden rim and then the plastic banjo head goes over this. This helps the banjo sound brighter and crisper. There are banjos that exist without a tone ring. There are other styles of tone rings besides this but this is my favorite.



This is the flange that is used to connect the banjo pot, which is the rim and all it’s parts to the resonator. It is also used to hold the hooks that hold on the tension hoop that hold the head on.



This is the tension  hoop that holds on the plastic head with the hooks.



These are the hooks used to hold on the tension hoop and the head.



This is a coordinator rod that is used to maintain the wooden rim round. I made my own and used 2 in my banjo. You will also see in the picture the lag bolts for the neck and tailpiece bracket.


This is the tailpiece bracket that is connected to one of the coordinator rods and that also connects to the tailpiece. This is a part that I forgot to buy so I made mine from an L bracket that I got from the hardware store. It’s not rocket science!


Here is the tailpiece. There are different styles that exist but this is the one I got.



These are different parts used to hold the resonator onto the banjo pot. This is something else that I forgot to buy and for now I just made my own.



This is the plastic head. This is just like the plastic head on a drum. They come white like this or clear.




Here is the whole thing put together which is called the “banjo pot”. Ain’t she a beauty?! I bought this complete pot which turned out much cheaper then if I would have bought it piece by piece.


Here is the armrest in different styles. Sad to say this is another thing that I forgot to get. This is a definite help for comfort in playing. As of the writing of this article, I will have to still get one or possibly make one.



This is the resonator that you can buy unfinished. I made my own, but after you see what I went through to make one you would probably want to buy one if needed.




Here are the tuning heads. The ones on the left are for the head, which are the ones I bought. There are the friction type which is the more simple traditional kind that are also cheaper, but I like these better which have a turn ratio of 1:4. The ones on the right are for the fifth string . They come geared like these or there are friction types. I like the geared ones much better but for now I am using the friction type which still works good.



Here is the bridge, which is “usually” made of maple with an ebony strip on the top. One is compensated and the other is just straight. I made my own.


The shortest distance from where you are to the place where you would like to be is a plan.


The Neck


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