Work page 10-17
1920s Fairbanks -Vega Style X No. 9 Tenor
11-13/16"  30 bracket open back
Orig. Hardware with exception of tuners


VG inlay all around

1950s Elton tuners must go.

Decent action, extension is not buried onto the head
Slight upward pull on neck starting 1 to 4

Showing the lift, more pronounced on Bass side

Then it dives at the extension, normal.
The banjo plays out fair in this shape so it should benefit from heat press and compression frets
Will find out what Mike wants done


One of my favorite methods for taking the warp (forward pull) on a neck is using my smallest (Oil Well ) drill bit, and use it for weight.
Then I gently bring up the temp of the board and neck with my heat gun until I can see the amount of "sag" I need .
It is not an exact science and all necks react differently to any method implemented.
It is not just the wood you are trying to take stress from, you are also using the heat for glue release so that things can level back out.

The dip at the end is normal on all extensions.
what you are looking for here is up top, the neck no longer has a forward pull.
I will use compression fretting now, to drive it the neck back even a bit more so when it comes back to tension it will have the relief I want from it.

Pulling the wire
 Will use 147 Wire, and leave the original wire over the extension
No one plays there anyway and if they do the orig are in fine shape, I will seal and dress when I re-fret the rest

Compression fretting

End nipping

All sealed with #10 CA and ebony getting its first drink in quite some time

As usual, and mainly a Vega trait, when hammering frets in over the heel the hammer blow either knocks off the heel cap, or knocks out the heel cap inlay.
No biggie either way, it will glue right back on.

All frets in, ready to level crown and polish

On the peghead reverse the pear shows a normal cracking and I am wicking in #10 CA until they fill.
Will wipe off excess, scuff, and shot a couple protective coats on the repair and the neck.

Frets dress and polished

Clear coats completed

After rim assembly with new REMO Renaissance, a final waxing with "Cut rite" paper, the paraffin is a quick and dry way to get protection.
Any old guy that ever used a wax cup to slick down a school handrail to slide down knows it works. :)

The 50s Elton tuners will not be re-used, they are rough and ready to go out soon.
They are 2:1 and not a good tuner as a rule.
Will be replaced with GOTOH 4:1

Fine wool to take the sheen off the neck, and I will hand polish it so it better matches the original rim finish.


Strings and head furnished by
Setup with low action and Grover 5/8 Bridge.
The Kershner gives excellent downforce.

I will let it settle in, tweak it, then get it back home to Mike
I feel it was a good outcome, I gained alot of ground on the neck and it plays VG.
Another great Vega that my Grandfather may have worked on, or tested on assembly line.

Thanks for watching,Vinnie