Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Having the guts to repair a string....

I broke a string tonight while playing. Judy immediately said, "Wow, I didn't realize I could do that with my mind..." (That's why I love her)
Not a suitable gut spare to be found and not enough left on the peg to make up the difference, but I did have a baggie of random string ends. I now have a 1st string with not one, but two splices in it — one above the nut and one below the bridge. Seems to be holding so far. Three cheers for natural materials.

Views: 169

Comment by Dave Culgan on December 17, 2012 at 11:05am

I just tie a simple overhand knot, maybe its called a figure 8 knot. On the 3 banjos I have with gut strings they will all typically have a splice, often above and below. I like the way you can splice them and move the worn spots around by re-positioning or reversing the string. Broken 1st strings become with 5th strings, eventually. I think I've even finished out a weekend gig with a knot on the wrong side of the bridge just to get by. Ian, your wife's comment cracks me up. Dave.

Comment by Al Smitley on December 17, 2012 at 11:06am

Your inventiveness must have impressed Judy!.........or did it?

Yes, "splicing technique, please."  I never passed Tenderfoot.

Comment by Ian Bell on December 17, 2012 at 11:15am

The sight of me tying the string together was her cue to go to bed.   I just did a reef knot with an extra knot on top and left as much loose end as I could for slippage as it tightened up.

Comment by Joel Hooks on December 17, 2012 at 10:03pm

I'd think a bend would be a more secure choice in knots.  Square knots make great hemp jewelry and macrame plant hangers, but collapse under a load.

Try a sheet bend next time. 

Comment by Ian Bell on December 17, 2012 at 10:16pm
I'm looking for my Scout manual now.
Comment by Silas Tackitt on December 18, 2012 at 12:45am

1911 copy of the Boy Scout Handbook linked to page which includes the sheet bend : http://books.google.com/books?id=lCnwo8crqr4C&lpg=PT107&pg=...

Comment by Dave Culgan on December 18, 2012 at 7:23am

Square knot worked fine for me for 20 years. I don't know anything about hemp jewelry or macrame.

Comment by Ian Bell on December 18, 2012 at 11:02am

I can see how that would do the trick. I work in Marine Museum - you'd think I'd know it already!


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