1920's Vega Style M

11-13/16" tubaphone tone ring, 30 bracket, full resonator.
Resonator -14.5" O.D.

Convert from 17 fret to 19 fret tenor, using period parts.
Rare opportunity to own a Big rim Vega with the longer 19 fret tenor scale

The banjo will undergo restoration after fitting the new neck.
I am the first to ever disassemble this time capsule.
I think the player may have drug it behind his car by the look of resonator edge, I will hide that in the new finish!
Thanks for looking, Like, share,inquire.

Initial Pics

Original banjo, never been apart

Thanks to Mark Ralston, who just happened to gift to me the exact neck I needed on the exact day I needed it.
I will certainly hook him up with something that makes him smile too!

Resonator had a hard life

It appears that every night the musician came home drunk, dragging his banjo down the street by it's neck.
I will have to hide that with a repair and a deeper fade on the edge, and new tortoise binding in the affected area.

New neck will take Planets, by the look of the imprints.

A couple mismatched nuts, I have the correct ones.

Same amount of fret wear on both necks.
These instruments were used to make a living, not just to look at.

Ready to pull dowel

All went well

Checking the fit

Checking the angle

80 years of dust

Cleaned with acetone after washing the dust out with water.
Adding the new black dye to the top

The big rim Tubaphone pressing on the smaller version Vegaphone

The laminate in the neck was open, so I am filling that seam with #10 CA and that will keep finish from going up in there again.

Inside with fresh nitro coat

Neck stripped

Binding pulled, ready to pull frets

Taking the residue off after sealing fret slots
My table is flat metal, I can level sand on it, using 220 here.
I will not let it load up, using new paper  after each one is full

Second piece, one more to go, almost there

Deepening slots

Binding with celluloid


Adding markers

Adding new black dye to overlay and heel cap

Sealed, ready for tint

I will seal this edge and add new binding

Going with #20 Amber CA. I will flatten that with wax paper then sand smooth when dry

Building up the affected area with amber CA
Using the new binding for a dam for now

Stripped, and ready to profile that area

Added color to neck, with fade
Color to side wall

Color to back, ready for clear coats

All Vega dowels are numbered on the end,
I added my time capsule to the side.

Dowel glued into position


That is all of the metal that is in this banjo.
A mass of brass, with some class.

Coat coats done, 2 clear coats to go

After hardware all polished, time to re-assemble the rim

ready for a head

Remo 1113H, bottom frosted

Adding the tabbed flanges first

Metal cleaned up nicely

10-15/16 - 11-13/16 

Neck finish complete, resonator still taking on clear
Will add one coat of tinted finish to dowel


Stewmac 147 is my choice of wire

All dressed and ready to install


REMO head and DR strings furnished by Bedford Banjo Shop

Playing well, no fret outs, excellent projection.
A powerful banjo for rhythm and it has great single string separation.
The19 fret 23" scale opens the tone, and the use of a neck  scaled for 10-15/16, the bridge placement comes closer to center on the 1113 rim.
Making for a more full tone
 Farquhar 3 foot  Maple/Ebony Tagua nut insert 1/2 bridge


Comes in a modern case that fits it tight
Another fun project, now it needs to go make some music!

Thanks for looking