John G's Vegaphone Artist
6 string guitar banjo
Repair to play
(Neck warp-loose dowel)
Repair resonator (damaged in shipment)
Refinish Neck Rim and Resonator
Buff all hardware and protect remaining gold with brass
Repair stress crack in armrest
Setup to play on Chris Sands Classical strings
A note to all:
Do not think just because a packaging service tells you
they will protect the instrument...that they will.
This is ALL of the packing that was in the
box.......that one piece.
And then the banjo in the case.
Dowel was easy to remove, glue release as well as the
impact at the heel may have assisted.
The seams in the neck are all loose, all laminations must
I will inject the heel cap and clamp off
Resonator flange takes out the lip on the resonator, I
have seen this countless times.
Inertial impact takes no prisoners.
Inside completed, ready for outside refinish
Stripping the outside
Sealed, ready for tint and clear
Armrest had a stress crack I soldered in a brass shim
After buffing and Brass lacquer
Ready to pull
I will clean the slots and go with 147 wire
Compression, with neck also under back tension
Hammering in frets over the heel loosed an inlay, common on
Vega, so all will be sealed
All in, ready for end trim-level-recrown-dress
Buffing the frets and board
Prepping the dowel
Set at good angle
A little weight to keep the angle
Neck has a crack here, I will inject with #10, and clamp
Crack in peg head veneer, this will be filled as well
All the back laminates filled with #10 clamped off and
cured with neck under pressure.
1 full oz was wicked in.
Now for the crack, I will fill it, then pull it upwards
in a special clamp jig.
Adding dye, ready for finish
New color and clear coats going on
Will take all hardware apart, buff, clean, and spray
with brass lacquer
Re-dye for the bead, before fresh rim finish
Someone has been in here had 2 homemade screws, one was not
good, I made another
Buffing all the metal, trying to leave all the old gold
that I can
Prepped for Brass lacquer, it is made for this job.
Making new screws for the tailpiece, the old ones
are gone, ill cut these down to size
Rim assembled, original head is pulled to max,
thats not good.
Will see how it sets up
Still taking on clear
Low neck set causing head to be bottomed out prematurely,
at the heel
The head is at the end of the neck notch.
This area will have to be relieved of some wood to get
elevation to make this instrument play correctly with a modern
A common problem on older banjos is a low neck set can mean
a low bridge to keep a low action.
This will remedy that.
That is the plane of the neck, steep enough angle but
fingerboard needs to rise.
With flat bar on the head, you can see at least 3/32 rise
The tone ring can be seen here, over the plane of the
Dis-assembly for new head/
The hole will be cut out on the topside, then the neck can
go up after the heel cut is made, and the heel cap is shortened.
Then a shim will go under the dowel to hold the neck up.
NEW HEAD WOES
The bottom head is brand new, and has a manufacturer
error, that crimp is terrible.
The head above came off it, you can see it losing its grip
at the crimp, alot has pulled out
Well that was the only new 1113 Renaissance I had, so I
will use a new bottom frosted 1113 H2
The tone will be close, the look will be nice and if JG
wants a Renai he can put one on if it ever needs a head
Crown is fine on this one
That is not the first Renaissance I have gotten of late,
that had problems,
I'm glad I did not install it and find out later, harder to
explain to my vendor.
I cannot stand the little bit of over spray from frosting the
head on a slick top.
I take it off with acetone, and penalize REMO by removing the
logo at the same time.
I'm childish that way.
Ok, back to the cut out, I like the head to be on so I
know how high I can go.
Chisel out the wood after removing the little brass strip from
I'll file it up, then go to the neck joint cut
That is the placement, not cut it to depth.
Take out the section
Smooth the edge, and touch up with finish.
Now you have to take that lip off the heel for the neck to rise.
Forget that and push...upwards.....pop the cap, back to work.
Not that I have ever done it.......more than twice.
Pushing in the cut out piece as the bottom shim.
Great elevation now,1/16 over the plane of the tone ring
Using Silk wound Classical's from
The strings that came on it were good, I re-used the silks and
put on the 13-10 steel with new GHS.
The resonator has not yet been wet sanded and buffed.
All up to tension, neck is as flat as a
pancake, I am pleased
Tone is Superb, plays with ease , wonderful, even I can get
around and sound good on it.
Very encouraged , even at early stages of
The action is good 3-4/32" will be easily obtainable on the
I will pull together the inside and repair the full
It has some serious damage on the peg head end that I will
deal with as well
All sealed and sanded, ready for lacquer
I will seal the handle next
Sealing the paper inside the handle with #10, and #20 black CA
The 10 will go all into the tolex and paper and this will end up
a solid handle
Sanded off, ready for lacquer
My buddy Cap Mike Moe will see I have gotten my $ worth from
that sanding block.
1999 I think I bought that one, Boats, Cars,
RVs,JetSkis...Planes.... Banjos, that block has seen some
See where my thumb stays..."_"
After machine buff, a few coats of Carnuba
Final Update 6-1
Remo head failure
Woke up with a sag on the Bass
side....well, the banjo did.
Replace with new Renaissance
Well, "Best laid plans..."etc.
Turns out that although the bottom frosted looked better, it
If it was me, I'd say so, but I have not had good luck in
the last 4 orders from Remo.
My dealer has supported me, and will again, this is not on
him, this is a MFG issue
It is not the first time REMO has had issues with the glue
and crimp design and I feel that I have experienced a bad
run of heads that have failed under minimum tension.
This one was not even to full tension, the bead shows it so
it will be returned and REMO will credit me.
I did go and look in the back and found one more Renaissance
that looks OK all around, so here we go.
Something is wrong with that plastic it has
no give , brittle.
All tuned back up, everything "seems" normal, I am a little
gun shy .
I have put on well over 2000 heads, maybe I'm just getting
stronger as I age.
Final nut cutting, bridge slotting, all good to go, sounds
Ok Mike, we got a dead soldier to ship back, I'll mail it to
12 hrs later...OK
OK, now to get this thing home to make real
music, it will not just be something sitting around and getting
JG will put it thru its paces and I will hope for a favorable
I feel honored to work on these fine instruments for such fine
Thanks for watching,