Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Hi All:

I see the last time this was discussed was over 5 years ago, so I apologize if it is old news. I tried all my existing banjo cases and the only case that fits it in the house is a guitar gig bag. Not so bad but it seems a little too thin and flimsy.

I see that the Boulder bags are recommended for some banjos but the dimensions seem to be too short (39 x 19 x 22 inches) for that longish Boucher headstock. The banjo seems to be almost 42" long.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,

Jim

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This might work:
Gold Tone HDLN14 
Extra Long Neck Banjo Case for Openback Banjo. 

Approximate internal dimensions - 44" long, 12" diameter, 3-3/4" deep. Flattop hardshell case, padded plush interior, large accessory pocket, black vinyl exterior with Gold Tone logo.

You can call Gold Tone and they will provide you more details if you need.

The head for the Boucher is 13” in diameter. Do you think it will fit in that case with interior of 12”? I have been looking at resonator cases and some look like they might almost be long enough. I think they might even have some banjo gig bags at our local Guitar Center so I might go there with the banjo. Or I might talk to Elderly or Bernunzio which might be the most sensible.
Probably not - but maybe if you remove the foam and velvet. I’ve done this. Replacing the thick foam with thinner foam and velvet is totally easy. Call Gold Tone and explain what you need. They also have a hard shell case for BASS banjo and I bet THAT would work. You will need get handy with adhesive spray and scissors to do this right. But it is not hard. Fabric and hobby stores can help you.

I ordered a Boulder Alpine resonator banjo gig bag from Bernunzio for mine (both banjo and gig bag have recently been sold).  It was a snug fit length-wise, but I was quite happy with it.  It did stretch the bag lengthwise just a little when zipping it up.  The Bell Boucher is very light and yet sturdy, so it's not like trying to protect a Gibson or similar. 

Jim I just measured my Boulder BLUEGRASS model gigbag, and with a bit of squeezing it will accommodate a 40" max banjo.  Are you sure your Bell is 42"?  My Bell Stichter is not that long... of course they are different models.  The 13" pot width would be no problem at all, it's the length we are talking about here.

A hard shell case made for 11 or 12" pots would likely not accommodate a 13" pot.  I think they build them based on 12" pots being the largest, otherwise an 11" banjo would be swimming in it.  Soft gig bags are able to stretch/adapt more to variations in size.

I think Tim Twiss and Paul Draper had/have Bell Bouchers.... send them messages if they;re not seeing this thread.

Not having mine here any longer, I can't verify the dimensions, but my guess is that the 42" includes the dowel extension out the back of the pot.  That's easily accommodated by the flexibility of the gig bag, just like the smallish end of the peghead is easy to squeeze into the other end.

When i said "with a bit of squeezing"... I meant including jamming the tail pin into it as well.  I don't think the Boulder bag will close if the banjo is really 42" including tailpin.  40" will fit IF you are pushing the gigbag to its limit.

I did factor in the dowel extension as Parker noted. I figure a resonator banjo hard case might work but I'd rather just get a decent gig bag.

Strumelia said:

Jim I just measured my Boulder BLUEGRASS model gigbag, and with a bit of squeezing it will accommodate a 40" max banjo.  Are you sure your Bell is 42"?  My Bell Stichter is not that long... of course they are different models.  The 13" pot width would be no problem at all, it's the length we are talking about here.

That should work Strum! And I have the hard case for the GT bass banjo and most big Minstrel banjos will fit. As I mentioned before, the inside of the case will need minor modification to get a good fit. More foam may need to be added. Sheets foam are easy to find at fabric shops and the best way to cut it is with an electric steak knife. The accessory compartment usually needs to be removed (easy to do). Also adding more felt over any added foam is easy to do.

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