Tubaphone Deluxe
17 fret extended, elevated fingerboard

Repair as needed
Change dowel angle, to correct high action
Repair neck from improper side marker installation
Fingerboard loose, neck has relief 1-3
Pull all inlay, pull fingerboard, seal all laminates
Re-install fingerboard
Re-install inlay (Worn gravings)


The dowel should dip to a 1 degree downward angle, and the flat heel must be angled as well.
These were made to have high actions so that when skin heads sagged in humid climes, you could still have the strings off the fingerboard.
That still works if you want an authentic sound when banging out a rhythm on a skin head.
Many players had to work HARD, to play single string on old setups if they did not adjust an instrument to do low action playing.


After pulling binding I can see that was all that was holding down the lower half of the board.
This is all loose, free,  and will be sealed

Frets out, ready to heat and pull inlay

Inlay out, this  is how far up the fingerboard was loose.
I will heat the rest off

Sawing it free where laminate goes under peghead

Came free pretty clean, that is just pear wood dust

The maple extension is thin, will repair the chippy tip.

Since the side markers ruined these laminates, I will order a new maple and I have the ebony

Heating out the dowel

Ready to seal center laminate and extension

Will fill those marker drill outs with amber #20

Pushing apart the center to get glue into it all the way up, I can wiggle the blade and see it is loose all the way to peghead

OK, its full now, ready to piece in some laminate and clamp

Wax paper under the tip, making the repair with amber #20, the wax will release when dry

Will smooth it, good to go

Surface prepped for new laminates

Ready to pull heel cap, and reduce heel angle

Add engraved flanges
Created  and engraved by Steve Caddick
Raw brass, polished, and prepped for Nikolas Lacquer

3 thin coatsfor protection from oxidation.
This product is what Trumpets and Saxophones are coated with.

Also getting some on the new brass plated steel hook sets

All the large parts were cleaned and coated as well.
Planet tuners lubed, and MOP buttons polished and waxed.
If you run MOP buttons, clean them, and you will have a high luster.

Now to find the proper resonator
No easy task, but I am committed!

More neck work

Repaired the edge of the lamionations where the rhinestone pockets gouged it.
I plan a darker finish than original anyway, to make the ghold pop, so many of these little defects will be hidden under the new finish

Board pinned in position. glued on, banded tight for 12 hrs

Clamping the tongue with the vise

Popped off the front overlay, it was as loose as the rest.
Since it has a very thin binding and none of it left to show topside, I will enhance that

Here I am wicking #10 in the Pear Wood (Not Ebony)
"Ebonized" I think was the catalog term.
None is going on the inlay, just around it

Now to dye it all black again, and fill the gravings with black

So thin you cansee the wood, making it look green

Mixing a bone color acrylic and I will razor cut the inside line sharp.

One side done with a shot of clear to show a before/after view
Will do the other side when that dries

Stripped neck, brushed out all carving residue, time to pull heel cap
One tap, its off

And as on the top side, more need of glue and clamping
This baby was dried out to the max!

OK, a shot of the color and clear to give me a look
Carving too dark, will back that out and go again
All maple was scraped clean to show the lines well.

Stripping back, leaving some in the Bas Relief
Will change heel angle 1 degree now
Ready to set dowel, add black to the heel cap lines.

Dowel cured and angle reset

Checking the fit, then back off to adjust

Tip of heel cap removed to get the angle. You will pop off the cap if you pressure up on it.

That is the clearance needed under tension

Back off, tint adjusted, ready to bind

Ivoroid, .020"

I will not use 3 pieces, I will use 1 and hear/bend around the extension

Binding profiled .
Markers added, head stock overlay re-installed

One more fit check and then prep for inlay / frets

neck angle good now, ready to go

Prepped for 147 Stewmac wire, cavities will be cleaned for inlay

All ready to re-set, back out final prep

Adding black for the lines
Some are worn, we will see whats left.

At least most will have decent color

Going one at a time, then after three, I will fret a few, keeps me from getting bored with repetition.

All inlay / frets installed

Board oiled, ready to level fretwork.

Since I can only add 2 -3 coats of finish per day,with wet sanding between I have moved on to the setup.
  I can be done with that by the time its Nitro time again so I will do all this, then pull it back down for final finish.

First, new bridge for the new neck angle/action
27/32, 3 footed, ebony insert, normal spacing, extra long.
I like to exponentially lengthen bridges when I get over 11".
A standard bridge, or a nice custom one like Steve Caddicks here, work well for me until I start getting into bigger rims and then I always want a wider stance.

Setup is GDAE, Bronze wound
13 steel
GHS Strings and REMO head furnished by Bedford Banjo Shop

Instrument is playing well up and down, easy to note, nice full tone

Replaced MOP nut with bone

4/32 action at 17

I especially liked the fact the head has "Enoch" written on it, since I have been studying  the Biblical Enoch for the past 3 months.

OK, good to go, ready to take back down, and finish the finish.
  I will search the world for a pie section resonator for this big boy now that I am this far along.
I will use one I have here on another banjo, 2 piece back, to show how it looks and I can hear how it will sound.

I have sourced a Pie Section in excellent condition,  with a tight grain Maple (Deluxe grade) and a perfect dome
From a unit in stock, that will now become an open back.
Sometimes I just have to dig thru what I have, to remember what I have.

It will get an edge fade to match the neck, and the sidewall will be dark