JB's Vox Parts
Seal down delaminated back
Install new binding
Level board, install new fret wire that match old dimensions.

Celluloid has a moisture content that leaves it over time.
This makes for shrinkage.

When it shrinks and the glue bond is powerful, it will rip laminated wood to pieces.
It will even tear across laminates, for those that did not see this on the other one there is a repair page on that as well.

The only real "fix" is to pull off the back, pull the celluloid and replace it with new.
The old thin already dried out material could never be pulled and re-installed without further ruination.

The humps and valleys that can be felt in it are due to openings of the laminations making hills and vales.
It looks the same in the center as it does on the sides, I have been that deep before so I know.
This celluloid is no longer available nor is it cost effect to do such a thing to a Vox 1 if it were in my skill level and materials were readily available.
No amount of heat, pressing can help that , only new wood backing and new covering would suffice.

Resonator on right is same model.
Repairs are completed on it, ready to buff.
It was in severe condition

This is the common look, lifting in the edges and some ups and downs across the back
Sometimes the sides are even pulled inward from the shrink-pull

The places where glue are holding the binding to the back are still holding the back down.

It took a hit from I'm guessing the flanges coming into it from the inside, the lip has breakage in 2 areas, not bad.

This is how it looks all thru the resonator back, its just hidden
some places pull, others stay down.


I have a Violin style clamp that is perfect for this job, it will hook on the lip of the resonator and on the top I can hold with latex band.

This is low heat, wafting around until it all gets around 90 F to soften celluloid before I pull.
I will clamp it it off, pull it down let it cool, then loosen, add yellow glue with syringe as deep in as I can get it then re-clamp 12 hrs

All heated and pulled flat

After injection squish cleaned up and all tight

I know it does not look like much, but that is 400.00 worth of celluloid bindings.
35.00 Hazmat fee.
There is no bargains in that world anymore.

After trimming excess with nippers, filing to profile.

Getting the top lip all dressed back out and ready for new black

I will hand lacquer that top lip while I take down the excess from the outsides now.


Ready for fret wire removal

Taped off to inhibit chipping

There is always a little even with tape
Its the big chips you want to worry about

The tape gives "memory" so I can add glue and lay that right back into place.

The trained eye can look up this neck and see it lifting around the 4 fret.
I will do a heat press on it and let it cool, then lightly level board.
After that it will be check all slots for proper depth and width and rebuild any poor slots.


Board is chalked, so I can run it lightly over my flat sanding surface to see how much forward pull  is showing

You can see on the end where the paper marked and above the 3 fret.
Now I have my drill bit weight on it and the heat gun warming it to around 120F, slowly, watching for a release and then I will let it go into a slight back bow, cool it, then fret it under pressure, and with glued in wire,

Starting to see some back bow now, just a little more heat...

Now I have it as far as I want it. Will let it cool with the weight and will fret it with 147 Stew mac wire ,a very close match to orig.

Fret compression, after slot cleaning, glue in with #10 CA as I go

All in, using marker to dye the fret tops, and will pull flat bar across them to see how close I am

All sealed, ends nipped
Sweeping the flat bar from topside, with no weight placed upon it.
Marking on 90 percent of the surfaces, with normal highs and lows that I will hit lightly with the fret leveler.

After the leveling it was re-crown file, end dressing file, and fret dressing abrasives .
Then machine buffed with neck had polished and waxed

Now I will hit the frets with fret polishing wheels on my Dremel, oil the board since it is dry, and then polish it all up again.

When you are working for one of the greatest tenor banjoists on the planet, you have to really be on your A game.
JB can hear things most "regular" guys will never hear so I want to be sure I have covered all of the bases before it goes home to him for re-assembly

For those times I do not get to setup an instrument, I can only rely on how I think a neck will react after it gets back on the rim.
That comes from feeling it, its rigidity and flex,  and how it acted in the re-fret.
This one is much flatter now, and the leveling went very well so once it is under tension I am hopeful for a good outcome.

Resonator  final pics

After several hours of scraping the binding to profile I am at the wet sanding stage, which went from 320 to 1000 grit, and then on to the machine buff with 2 compounds, clean and wax.

New felt installed

There is no finish  applied other than over the new black in the resonator lip.
I think it went well for the condition, and looks good and is sealed up nicely.
There is always little things I wish would go perfect that do not but it is not for lack of effort.
What matters is that JB likes the effort and can roll with it from here.
So I will get it back to him soon, and find out the verdict.
Thanks for watching,