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Calling All Luthiers

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If there are any Luthiers on this list, I could use some help with my prize
$20 Flea Market Banjo.  Please reply to me personally, Pbjrun@AOL.com, so as
not to bore the other members of this list.
I am attempting to lower the strings on my flea market find..  It's an
"Audition" 5 string banjo.  I know it's not a valuable antique, but it will
serve my purpose; namely, having some fun plucking out folk tunes.
After I cleaned it up and put some new strings on it, I noticed that the
strings were terribly high off the fret board.  There is a set of threaded
screws which run diametrically across the banjo rind, from the end of the
banjo to the heel of the neck.  They are connected by a long hexagonal nut.
 (My other banjo has the same arrangement)  There is also a large phillips
head screw in the heel of the neck.  What do these things do.
I turned the long hexagonal nut and was surprised when I found  that the
strings seemed to come down.  But what I found was that the banjo head was
all wrinkled.  It seems that all I did was make my banjo head oval.  What is
the purpose of this nut?  And what is the function of the phillips head
screw? (I'm afraid to touch that).
Thanks for any help you can provide!

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