Over the weekend a buying decision coalesced. The banjo refurbishment had come to a halt. Made by an obscure Japanese company in the 1970s, it appeared someone had used an automotive threaded pin instead of a lag screw to attach the neck. A threaded pin screwed into the hardwood heel of a banjo neck will not work. Yup, you guessed it. Pulls right out.
To complicate matters, while a new hanger bolt is easily obtained, the banjo connecting rod was metric. Without a solid fix the neck wobbles at whim. Its wavering notes bring to mind a Theremin. The solution is to find a piece of hardware virtually unused in the United States. A “wood screw by metric machine thread hanger bolt”. To whom do I turn?
If it is metric, you turn to the experts. Second-generation masters of all that is metric, Bel-Metric. Owner and founder Ralph Lomando incorporated Bel-Metric in 1976 after four years of apprenticeship in the metric field. He named the company after his mother Bella and set to work selling automotive hardware to dealerships and automotive repair shops from a re-commissioned mail truck. The rest, as they say, is history.
Delivery was prompt and amazingly well packaged & labeled. The banjo has regained full musical health! Next project? My Lamborghini head gasket replacement. I’ll have Bel-Metric on speed dial, in case I strip out another threaded stud.