Jimmy K's
Vega Style M

Initial pics

Nice example of original short scale Vega M
Original skin if good working order.
Minor stress on the Grover tailpiece, it will do the job.

Plane of fingerboard good

Heel contact good
Fingerboard level with plane of tone ring, plenty of room for head adjustment

Missing ivoroid binding on both sides
Recommend new binding/ marker dots

Original fret wire worn to maximum
Recommend replacement with Stewart McDonald 147 Modern Banjo wire

All hardware in good condition, would benefit from cleaning/waxing
Woodwork has original finish with light wear, would benefit from cleaning waxing

Tuners will be replaced with modern geared tuners

Next to a freshly bound and fretted 19 fret Vegaphone


Tuners removed for reaming / new install - Gotoh 4:1

Taped off for fret removal
This protects from chip outs during  the process

Slight leveling of board to remove some of the divotiing
Then I will recut all the fret slots to new width and depth to accept modern fret wire

Installing new binding with no  added refinish.
Tricky, but do-able.

Ready for frets and side markers

Adding markers at 1-3-5-7-12-12-15-17

Compression fretting with #147 wire

A few coats of fingerboard oil, its very dry
I also cleaned some of the scum off of the calfskin, then burnished it back down with wax paper to seal it.

New Gotohs installed

Partial cleaning rim
I will not remove the shoe band and shoe screws.
Will 0000 fine wool, polish and wax open areas
Will steel wool all hooksets to remove rust and scale


Strings courtesy of www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Setup  GDAE

Action is medium high on a standard 1/2" bridge.
I came in with a substandard 3/8 bridge and a low neckset (Typical in 20s Tubaphone)
I will shim 050 at the heel to help it run the 1/2
The neckset on Tubaphone is typically too low for higher bridges.
Modifications have to be implemented  on low neckset to elevate the fingerboard if you want to run higher bridges.
I have other restorations online that show this mod.

Up on 1/2 with decent action now, I will tweak the banjo as it settles in, cut the slots to gauge for the Nut/Bridge

Neck frets out well with the new wire, now it will be good to go for normal playing regimen.