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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:23 pm
Posts: 2
First name: Steve
Last Name: Dickerson
City: College Place
State: WA
Zip/Postal Code: 99324
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
I'm restoring a John Grey banjo ukulele and need an 8" low-crown head. Anybody know where to get one? I struck out with Stew-Mac and Musician's Friend. The only thing I've been able to find is a drum head for bongos. It's 8", but no specs about crown height. I'd appreciate any help or suggestions you might have. I am aware that it's possible to re-skin the old head, but I'd really rather not go there.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:26 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 169
First name: Chris
Last Name: Reed
City: Stowmarket
State: Suffolk
Zip/Postal Code: IP14 2EX
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
If you can't find one, fitting a natural skin is not very hard. I fitted one to my tenor banjo and it took an hour in total, going very carefully - I could do it in 30 mins now. But you need to let it dry overnight before tensioning.

Ask and I'll post how I did it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 217
First name: Bob
Last Name: Gramann
City: Fredericksburg
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 22408
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Try Smakula fretted instruments. Smakula.com. You might have to wait until next week to call him, but you will like him.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 10040
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Many of these were built in the Chicago area and the midwestern US is flooded with them. People pick them up at yard sales and then show us what they "won" and want to invest an entire $20 in making them playable...... :?

They can be fraught with issues but someone who is not doing billable hours can make it a labor of love.

Try Elderly instruments for a head, other parts are not available meaning you fix what you have.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:23 pm
Posts: 2
First name: Steve
Last Name: Dickerson
City: College Place
State: WA
Zip/Postal Code: 99324
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Thanks for all the replies. I've considered a new skin. Dan Erlewine has a nice video of replacing one (on the Stew-Ma website). I hadn't considered Elderly Instruments. I didn't know they had parts. I'll check it out--as I will with Smakula Fretted instruments.

This instrument isn't worth much, but it belonged to the father of the guy who brought it in, and he's willing to spend what it takes to put it back like new. It's actually kind of interesting, being one of the few banjo ukes with a resonator, and it actually has evidence of having been played! It's in pieces now, but I'll post a picture when it's done.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:01 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1371
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I know the thread is a few weeks old but I just saw it and had to comment. I replaced the head on a banjo uke with one from Smakula and it went very well. The owner wanted to save the old head 'cause it had a lot of history

Image

Image

Image


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