Talk Banjo Ep 2: How to Install a Capo Spike

A picture of a capo spike fretting a string.

A picture of a capo spike fretting a string.

In this week’s episode of Talk Banjo we look at how to install a capo spike.

Click on the player at the end of this post to discover:

  • Why players use capo spikes
  • The most common places to place them (for bluegrass players)
  • What you’ll need to fit a capo spike
  • How to fit a spike safely, securely and without damage to your banjo

Don’t forget to leave your comments below and let us know if you have any questions for future episodes of Talk Banjo!

Additional notes from the show: 

In the show I mention a tapered router bit to help with the installation. You can find this on the Stew Mac website here. 

 Problems with the player?

No worries – just click on this link to listen


  1. Eric Jacobson says:

    1.) Why is a tapered router bit so important? Can one just use a drill bit on an electric drill instead?

    2.) I saw someone suggesting to use the tapered router bit with a Dremel…what’s wrong with using it with a drill?

    • Hi Eric , thanks for commenting . You could use an ordinary twist drill bit in an electric drill . I suggested the stew mac drill instead for a number of reasons but if your careful you could certainly achieve the same result with an ordinary drill bit and electric drill. My main reasons where ..
      1 . Twist drills of this size tend to be more fragile the stew mac drill is short and fairly rigid . The slight taper helps here and because this drill has straight flutes , it has less of a tendency to try and wind itself into the wood quickly . So it’s a bit more forgiving and less likely to snap off in a hand drill. The straight flutes also mean it’s less likely to try and wander when you start it off.
      2 . The reason I suggested a dremel or small mini craft drill is ease of use really. A dremel gives you the high speed required for a drill this size and isn’t as ungainly as a normal diy drill. Also, it’s not as top heavy so less chance of snapping the bit off in the finger board. This can be a real pain as the drill bit nearly always breaks flush with the surface of the fingerboard , leaving very little to grab hold of. Twist drills are the worst to get out ! 🙂 … As they screw themselves into the wood.
      I suppose another reason I suggested using the stew mac drill is most people probably won’t have a drill that small at home , so you might as well get the user friendly one that’s easy to find. Hope this answers your questions and good luck with it all 🙂 .

      • Eric Jacobson says:

        Thanks for the answers, Malc. Those are pretty compelling reasons. I think I’m sold on doing it your way!

Speak Your Mind