12/21/2011

Workshop: Skin Heads Drying


Here's a sight for sore eyes! Three banjo uke rims just received new skin heads this morning (I should say, received old ones, as I re-use torn heads from antique 5-string and tenor banjos when mounting new skins on old banjo ukes when I can, as they look oh-so-much cooler with a vintage instrument). They're drying up in front of the pellet stove in the kitchen at the moment (hence the nice orange glow).

I usually let them dry to the touch in front of the stove in winter and then simply air-dry them through the next day before stringing. As far back as SS Stewart's time there were folks telling folks what to do or not to do when mounting a new skin head. All I say, is: as long as you mount it evenly and have enough wrap above the flesh hoop, who cares how you dry it, if you put shellac on it, coat it with eggs, inscribe runes, or dance a devil's jig around it while you do it?

And as far as what note to tune such banjo head to so and so... don't even get me started.

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