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Watch the Trade Secrets Video, How to install a skin banjo head
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 286 June 01, 2017
How to install a skin banjo head
How to install a skin banjo head: Dan Erlewine shows his friend Lauren how to remove and replace a natural skin head on this old banjo-uke, or banjolele.
How to install a skin banjo head Product Instructions I-0522
How to install a skin banjo head
Dan Levenson explains how to install an unmounted, skin banjo head.
Stewart-MacDonald Super Glues Product Instructions I-5180
Stewart-MacDonald Super Glues
An explanation of the characteristics and applications of different instant adhesives.
Inside Story on Instant Adhesives Product Instructions A-INSTANTADHESIVES
Inside Story on Instant Adhesives
Dan Erlewine explains the ins and outs of working with instant adhesives and "super" glues.
ColorTone Liquid Pigments for Waterbase Lacquer Product Instructions I-5360
ColorTone Liquid Pigments for Waterbase Lacquer
Directions for using ColorTone Liquid Pigments for Waterbase Lacquer.
Top Deflection Gauge Instructions Product Instructions I-5253
Top Deflection Gauge Instructions
How to use the Top Deflection Gauge for neck resetting and saddle routing, banjo head tensioning, and assessing and adjusting neck relief.
Single Rim Rod Set for Banjo Product Instructions I-0271
Single Rim Rod Set for Banjo
Installation and adjustment instructions for a Single Rim Rod Set for Banjo.
Dual Rim Rod Set for Banjo Product Instructions I-0280
Dual Rim Rod Set for Banjo
Installation and adjustment instructions for a Dual Rim Rod Set for Banjo.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Banjo setup tips
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 214 April 10, 2014
Banjo setup tips
How do you set the tension on a banjo head? If you're more familiar with guitars than banjos, Dan Erlewine has a few quick tips for you.
Schatten Banjo Pickup Installation Instructions Product Instructions I-3919
Schatten Banjo Pickup Installation Instructions
Installation and general operation.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, EMG ACB Banjo Pickup System featuring Tim Weed
Online video available
Video
EMG ACB Banjo Pickup System featuring Tim Weed
Tim Weed stops by EMG Studios to discuss the new ACB Banjo Pickup System.
Banjo Building Instructions Product Instructions A-BANJOBUILDING
Banjo Building Instructions
Comprehensive, downloadable instructions for building an open-back banjo.
Five-Star Banjo Pickup Product Instructions I-3250
Five-Star Banjo Pickup
Installation instructions for the Five-Star Banjo Pickup.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Do-it-yourself banjo bridge lifter
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 184 February 14, 2013
Do-it-yourself banjo bridge lifter
Dave Collins at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan shows an easy-to-make tool for swapping banjo bridges.
Banjo 5th Peg Drill Jig Instructions Product Instructions I-1691
Banjo 5th Peg Drill Jig Instructions
How to locate and drill a 5th peg mounting hole for banjo.
EMG ACB Banjo Pickup Installation Instructions Product Instructions I-3547
EMG ACB Banjo Pickup Installation Instructions
Installation and general operation.
Installing an old-time banjo dowel stick Trade Secrets! Issue 12 January 11, 2007
Installing an old-time banjo dowel stick
This week, Don MacRostie invents a new technique for an old technology: he shows how to accurately install a banjo dowel stick. Also, Bart Reiter sends a dowel-stick tip.
Setting up a banjo's 5th string: nut, capos and peg Trade Secrets! Issue 53 January 24, 2008
Setting up a banjo's 5th string: nut, capos and peg
Todd Sams shows how he sets up a banjo 5th string using railroad spikes, a block of wood, and a camless clamp.
Banjo Killer? The scoop on forward X bracing for greater guitar volume. Trade Secrets! Issue 51 December 27, 2007
Banjo Killer? The scoop on forward X bracing for greater guitar volume.
Todd Sams gives a simple and clear explanation of how to position dreadnought braces for the sound and volume of an early-30s Martin.
Fixing a 1965 Gibson Firebird with holes in its head! Trade Secrets! Issue 167 June 21, 2012
Fixing a 1965 Gibson Firebird with holes in its head!
Dan Erlewine fills holes in the peghead of a 1965 Gibson Firebird.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Get a grip with Screw Removal Pliers
Online video available
Video
Get a grip with Screw Removal Pliers
Stripped out screw head? No problem!
Removing stripped out screws is always a pain. Use this handy set of pliers to grip and remove screws with stripped or damaged heads.
Using the Binding Router Bit and Bearings Product Instructions I-1298
Using the Binding Router Bit and Bearings
Tips for routing binding ledges using the Binding Router Bit and Bearings, including how to choose the correct bearing, hand routing and using router tables.
Waverly Planetary 5th Peg Product Instructions I-3452
Waverly Planetary 5th Peg
How to install a Waverly Planetary 5th String Peg.
Peghead shaping Product Instructions I-4026
Peghead shaping
How to copy or design your own headstock shape with a blank peghead guitar neck.
Lubricating guitar tuners Trade Secrets! Issue 20 March 08, 2007
Lubricating guitar tuners
This week, we're in Dan's Guitar Garage for a Tune-up Special: how to clean and lube old guitar tuners, and get them working smoothly again.
StewMac HeatStick for Neck Removal Product Instructions I-0551
StewMac HeatStick for Neck Removal
Guitar Screw Rescue Kit Instructions Product Instructions I-1709
Guitar Screw Rescue Kit Instructions
How to use the Guitar Screw Rescue Kit to remove small damaged screws.
Slotted Peghead Drill Jig Product Instructions I-3898
Slotted Peghead Drill Jig
How to use the Slotted Peghead Drill Jig to install classical and steel string tuners.
Tuner Pin Drill Jig Instructions Product Instructions I-4857
Tuner Pin Drill Jig Instructions
How to install tuners with set pins (as opposed to screws) with the Tuner Pin Drill Jig.
Waverly Mandolin Machines Product Instructions I-6050
Waverly Mandolin Machines
Tips for installing Waverly mandolin tuning machines.
Safe Slot Nut Guard Instructions Product Instructions I-1795
Safe Slot Nut Guard Instructions
When dry air makes fret ends stick out, here's the fix Trade Secrets! Issue 122 September 16, 2010
When dry air makes fret ends stick out, here's the fix
Years of hot dry storage caused the fret ends stick out on the sides of this banjo neck. Mark Hyatt found that it's easy to file them back into line!
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, The HeatStick: remove glued necks with no damaging steam
Online video available
Video
The HeatStick: remove glued necks with no damaging steam
The traditional way to release a glued neck joint is by piping steam from boiling water into the joint. That much water damages delicate finishes, and can loosen braces and neck blocks. That's why we've developed the HeatStick.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, How to fix a Gibson truss rod
Online video available
Video
How to fix a Gibson truss rod
This job used to be so hard that guitar necks got thrown away as "unfixable." Dan Erlewine shows that it's now pretty simple with StewMac Truss Rod Rescue Tools.
Custom Peghead Decals Product Instructions A-DECALS
Custom Peghead Decals
Tony Nobles of Precision Guitarworks in Austin, Texas shares his tips on making custom peghead logo decals.
Hot Rod Adjustable Truss Rods Product Instructions I-0975
Hot Rod Adjustable Truss Rods
Installation and adjustment instructions for Hot Rod Adjustable Truss Rod.
String Mounting Instructions for Locking Guitar Tuning Machines Product Instructions I-1954
String Mounting Instructions for Locking Guitar Tuning Machines
Instructions for stringing Locking guitar Tuning Machines.
Waverly upgrade: replacing the factory tuners on your Martin Trade Secrets! Issue 56 March 06, 2008
Waverly upgrade: replacing the factory tuners on your Martin
Erick Coleman responds to a question in the online lutherie forums: What's involved in replacing Martin factory tuners with a new set of Waverly machines?
Rubber bands as clamps: super-useful, and cheap! Trade Secrets! Issue 125 October 28, 2010
Rubber bands as clamps: super-useful, and cheap!
Erick Coleman has a simple tip that saved a lot of time at the recent Purdue Guitar Workshop: rubber binding bands make great clamps! They're for lots of things -- check out the examples in this issue.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Repairing a broken-off tuner screw
Online video available
Trade Secrets! Issue 181 January 03, 2013
Repairing a broken-off tuner screw
In this Trade Secrets video, Dan Erlewine extracts and replaces a broken screw in a Fender peghead.
Target Waterbase Spraying Lacquer Instructions Product Instructions I-1730
Target Waterbase Spraying Lacquer Instructions
Directions for using Target Waterbase Lacquer.
ColorTone Waterbase Lacquer Instructions Product Instructions I-5570
ColorTone Waterbase Lacquer Instructions
Directions for using ColorTone Waterbase Lacquer.
ColorTone Waterbase Sanding Sealer Instructions Product Instructions I-5573
ColorTone Waterbase Sanding Sealer Instructions
Directions for using ColorTone Waterbase Sanding Sealer.
Rugged and road-ready: replacing skimpy parts Trade Secrets! Issue 143 July 07, 2011
Rugged and road-ready: replacing skimpy parts
Erick Coleman finds that a 1970s Hondo is really well built, but the parts weren't road-ready. A couple of fixes, and this guitar's ready to tour the world!
Hiding an "evil smile" peghead break with the Razor Blade Trick Trade Secrets! Issue 161 March 29, 2012
Hiding an "evil smile" peghead break with the Razor Blade Trick
After gluing a broken peghead, Dan Erlewine still a finish repair to do. In this Trade Secret, he shows you how to save time by using amber super glue and his favorite razor blade trick.
Watch the Trade Secrets Video, Why Golden Age Restoration Tuners are Perfect for this Old Mandolin
Online video available
Video
Why Golden Age Restoration Tuners are Perfect for this Old Mandolin
Period-correct spacing and the proper look! Dan Erlewine explains why our Restoration Tuners were the perfect choice for this old Regal mandolin.