Banjo Repair?


Hey all, I’m trying to help my uncle get his banjo set up and he lives in Kyle, TX. Looking at pictures of his banjo he is going to need a new head and bridge. (It has been stored for 30+ years under tension.) Is anyone here from the Kyle area that could recommend a shop?


There are a bunch of good luthiers in Austin. If you don’t get some specific guidance, I can reach out to some friends from that area and see if they have any specific folks in mind.

What kind of banjo is it?


It is a Harmony Reso-tone with a steel reinforced neck.


I think you can do it yourself if that’s all it needs. I have everything on the site that you’ll need, including parts and videos on how to repair it. Check out my heads and bridges in the store when you get a chance.


If I can replace a banjo head, replace a bridge, fit new strings and do a basic setup from watching YouTube videos anyone can.


Ha, I don’t know about that Archie. I still fight with the strings no matter how many videos I watch. They still come out looking a tangled mess of knots, oh, and slip some too. Lol


Thanks @BanjoBen I sent him links to the parts he needs from your shop but failed to find the instructions on how to change it. Would it be possible to get a link on how to change the head? Or does he have to be a member to view it?


It’s really easy to change the head. Here’s a free video showing how to do it by my friend John:


Thanks so much!


He might also consider purchasing one of these to get the new head set just right:


Dude, those drum dials are the BOMB! My banjos have never sounded so good. I’ve used my drum dial on some banjos for friends, too. One of them was an old 60s Harmony, not exactly known for their quality sound, but by the time I got done with the drum dial, it actually sounded pretty darned good!


@BanjoBen is right. It’s good to learn how to do the basics. I’ve learnt to change a head, tap tune it or use a drum dial to fine tune it, change a bridge and even sand one thinner to get the tone I want. Also I can adjust truss rod and coordinator rod’s if need be. I think if your a banjo player and especialy for us UK folk, it’s a necessity to learn these things as good luthiers are thin on the ground and usually a fair distance away over here.
As Ben said, watch the videos and I would just say take your time. You can do it! :wink:


@jonathanplymouth, I’m trying to get help for my uncle. I know I can do all these things myself. My plan is to go to luthier’s school when I get out of HS. My uncle lives on the other side of the country from me and I’m really not able to help him other than find the parts he needs and send him YouTube videos. He is not really all that handy either. He tries, but would really like a pro to set up his banjo to begin with. Thanks for your encouragement!


Wow do they have Luthier Schools? That would be an awsome trade to learn.


This guy John is a friend of mine and one of the best in the country. You can come spend time with him at an academy or workshop: