Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Crummy deal on my instrument

So I purchased an OB 250 several years ago when deciding to take up the Banjo, again. Out of high school I had purchased a very inexpensive one. Took some lessons but ended up selling it to buy a better bike. Anyhows…after I got this pretty Goldtone machine home and realized the gloss and glitter wasnt that great. The fret decorations are not up to par. Ok, i got jipped on aesthetics. Should have looked at it better before putting my cash down. For the past year I have struggled with tuning. Granted some days I start out and it is pretty chilly and after the wood stove gets going well things warm up. So I was hanging my hat on that being the problem. But now I am noticing that the gears seem to slip when tuning and it will all of a sudden jump up or down. Well now last night i noticed that the nut is not set square. The top part is sticking out rather significantly more than the bottom side. Does that make a difference in it staying tuned?
Of course, the only place to take it within 100 + miles is where I purchased the thing!


could you post close pictures of the tuners and the nut?

tuners might jsut need a screw or nut tightened a bit
you’d have to define “top part” & “Bottom side” on the nut and “sticking out” from where?

It might help with some diagnosis.


Hi Peg, Sorry to hear about your problems. Just to reassure you banjo’s need constant returning especially when there are huge temperature changes. if you have worm gear tuners then they have a tendency to wear quickly because you have a hard metal (steel) rubbing against a softer metal (brass) The good thing is it’s fairly easy to replace these types of tuners. As Dave points out there is a wee screw in the centre of the gear wheel which often works loose so try nipping these up and put a spot of 3-1 or gun oil just enough to ease the friction. As for the NUT it would help to see a piccy. Might be an easy fix to clean out the slot and re-glue


Sorry to hear about you problems, Peggy. From your description, though, it doesn’t sound too bad.

First, if your tuners are noticeably slipping after you know your strings have been properly stretched, it probably means the screws at the end of the pegs need to be slightly tightened. There’s a sweet spot on those screws. Too tight and it gets hard to tune. Too loose and you get the problem you’re describing. Usually a screw driver and some patience is all you need.

As for the nut, it sounds like it’s glue popped loose. If you loosen then strings, can you slide the nut around? If so, take the strings off of the nut, make sure the back side of the nut is clean, then put a couple of drops of glue on it and put it back in place. Some say super glue. Some say wood glue. I’ve used both and both seem to work, but super glue will probably make it easier to remove the nut in the future.

Hope that helps.