Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stretching The Head

The brackets, hooks and tone ring have all been attached to the finished rim.

The calfskin head has been soaked in water and is now damp and pliable. The hoop is placed in the center.

 The head is draped over the banjo rim assembly, and a magic wand is waved over it.
 VOILA! A real live banjo!

OK... here are the "behind the scenes" steps:
 The head is folded toward the center and the tension hoop is placed over the outer edge.

 The hide is pulled up between the tone ring and the tension hoop, carefully removing all wrinkles.

 As the head is stretched, I make sure it is pulled down evenly all the way around.

The excess is trimmed away after the head is almost dry, but still slightly soft. The head will shrink some as it dries, so I don't want it too tight to start. I'll tighten it over the next couple days and then it's ready to string up!