Bob Flesher Minstrel Banjo Kit

Mounting the Shoes

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Finally the finish is dry enough that I can mount the shoes on the pot. The shoes on this banjo are a clever little contrivance. Here is a photo of the hardware:


It looks like the shoes are made from some rectangular brass stock which has been cut at an angle and then drilled and tapped for the screw. All of the hardware supplied with this kit is uncoated solid brass. It is shiny now, but it will all eventually darken to an antique patina.

Since the brass is very soft and easy to break, I decided to put some oil on the threads before I did anything else.


I put oil on all of the hooks and nuts as well. Here are all the pieces scattered around the table. There are 10 shoes on this banjo. The holes have been pre-drilled for the shoe bolts, so all I have to do is screw them on.


Oops. Not so fast!

I got part way around the pot and found this:


One of these things is not like the other!


A similar thing happened to me when I was building my Goldtone banjo. In that case it was a screw that had no threads. Look here Mounting the Resonator. In this kit it is a screw with no slot in the head. Well I could not cut those threads before, but I think I can cut a slot in this screw head. Fortunately I have some needle files.


I put the screw into my small vise and started filing a notch. Fortunately, the brass is soft so I was able to make good progress.


Once I had that screw fixed, the rest of it went together easily. The screws and shoes were all perfectly sized and tapped so I had no problem with the parts fitting together. Here is a photo of the finished pot with the shoes mounted on it.


This took a bit longer than I thought it would because I had to cut that slot in the screw. This step took me about an hour and a half.

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Last updated September 14, 2012