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Home : Hardware, parts : Banjo: Heads : Skin Banjo Head

Skin Banjo Head

Read 18 Reviews   |   Write a Review

For a truly original mellow banjo sound, a natural skin head is first choice. Unmounted calfskin; fits rims up to 12" in diameter.

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Skin Banjo Head
Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
0522 Skin Banjo Head Yes
3 or more $20.43  
6 or more $15.31  

Quantity prices apply to multiples of the same item number Selected currency  


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Installation instructions included.

Choosing the right size banjo head
Measure your banjo for the correct head diameter
Your banjo's rim may be slightly out of round, so take at least three diameter measurements at different points on the outside of the banjo's tone ring or rim top. Use the average diameter to the nearest 1/16" to order the correct size.

Most modern banjos use an 11"-diameter head. Modern makers of "old-time" open-back banjos usually use 11" (and sometimes 12") heads. Vintage banjos, however, may have a range of rim diameters from 10" to 12".

Choose the correct crown height
Crown height is the vertical distance from the top of the head's mounting band to the top surface of the head. A banjo with a flathead tone ring (or a flat-topped banjo) requires a medium or high crown head. A banjo with an archtop tone ring requires a low crown head. The correct crown height prevents the banjo's tension hoop from pulling down too far, and ensures the hoop won't be so high as to impede the strings.
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 Ratings and reviews
Skin Banjo Head
Skin Banjo Head
5 out of 5 stars
Based on 18 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 1 – 10 1  2 >
5 4-01-2014

If you want your banjo to sound like all banjos used to, then put one of these on. Make sure your instrument has a "flesh hoop" before you order one, or just be prepared to make one when you're head material arrives. They come with great instructions that are good even if you've done a bunch before. You are working with actual animal skin so during the soaking and stretching there is a slight odor, but it smells like old times and good tunes!

Pacific North Coast Guitars  Washington USA Read my reviews (39)
5 2-20-2014
Natural Skin

This is my second calf skin from Stewart-MacDonald. I was so happy with the first, I bought this one as a backup. Decent price and good quality.

Paleotool  New Mexico Read my reviews (2)
5 2-17-2014
Good material, easy installation

Had no Idea StewMac stocked this product. Glad they did. Happy to turn around a job and make a customer happy. Even if it was a mando banjo! Just kidding mando banjo fans!

Al Watsky  Leonia NJ Read my reviews (2)
Customer supplied image for review
5 11-17-2013
Another reliable product from StewMac

We do a lot of vintage banjo restorations and a source of good, consistant quality skin heads is critical to our business. We do ring them out a couple of times when wet to get rid of the white powder. But, no complaints with the skins or the ease of installation.

banjoworks  Sandwich, MA Read my reviews (3)
5 10-17-2013
First time's a charm

I had never installed a skin banjo head before, but the project came out perfect. The instructions were easy to follow and the product was great. Thanks again , StewMac.

Karl Wagoner  Burlington, Washington
4 9-28-2013
Banjo Parts

Am moving slowly on this, having never worked a banjo before, and this is a 100 year old instrument that was gifted to me by a friend. I do all my own work ref my instruments, which are all vintage from my days as a pro musician. Any time I have ordered parts from your outfit, I have been totally satisfied with my purchases. Ordering, easy, delivery, first class, parts, as advertised. NO problems with any of my requirements. Will get back to you with proper reviews when I have completed the work on this instrument. Would really appreciate some tips on banjo work. I follow all your workshop tips with interest and ALWAYS learn something. Keep up the good word, good service, and, hey, just keep it rockin' people, it works for me, every time. Thanks StewMac people, I WILL BE BACK. Billy Harrison (THEM)

bILLY hARRISON  North Ireland Read my reviews (2)
5 4-18-2013
Skin banjo head

It's not often that you get instructions that are easy to read, easy to follow and absolutely bang on. I thought that because I was fitting to a Windsor Zither banjo (1890) that I might have a problem or six. No way the whole operation took 2 hours, no blood, no tears and one heck of a lot of fun. Sounds good too. Thanks Stew Mac and Dan Levenson. Brilliant. Regards Mike

Mike Foyle  Kinscote, S Australia
5 5-07-2012
skin banjo head

after searching for a head for a 1926 gibson banjo ukelele i found out i would have to use the calf skin head.the directions at were excellent my project turned out great.thanks,

jay langan  clarks summit, pa
5 3-27-2012
Calfskin heads

I have just finished reparing 2 banjos a tennor and ukulele. Both were over a hundred years old,so modern head's would not fit,I had to use skin.The instructions were a relief to say the least and made for a successfull reheadding

calfskin heads  Ontario Canada
5 12-09-2011
Skin Banjo Heads

I've personally used Stew-Mac skin heads for more than thirty years. For their consistency in color, thickness and ultimate tone, it's the only skin we use here in the shop.

Jane Hamel, Luthier's Co-op  Easthampton, Ma
Displaying 1 – 10 1  2 > /\ Top of Reviews

Shown on page 81 of our latest catalog.
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