Tyler Jackson Project

Original archived page was lost, I'm rebuilding a part of it at a time
Here is a pic of it with his Fiancee Kristen playing a tune on it.

This is a rim assembly I made for Tyler from NOS  1960's Vega Parts comprised of an "Eddie Peabody" rim and tone ring that I had cut to convert the factory parts from a shallow resonator to a deep walled  Vegavox style resonator in an effort to build a banjo from Vega parts that is Vox like in comparison in look and feel but have a rim with no rim penetrations.
The banjo was together and playing fabulously, but Tyler wanted more bottom end so we opted to build into it a Tubaphone internal tube, adding weight and brass to the assembly to give it the boost he wants.

So he ordered a Tube from bill Rickard and I will cut it to fit the modern Vega spun over skirted ring the Modern Peabody banjo used in some cases.

So let's get to its retrofit!

1930s Vegavox, from Mike Cicora


Used 1940's VEGAVOX I
From Mike Cicora
Rare Model, Ivoroid Colored Celluloids, Engraved





getting ready to cut the rim for the Tubaphone ring

It goes up into this outside shell of a modern Vega which is actually heavier brass than Bill's skirt so I'll need to reduce the square tube a bit

That is the reduction

prepping to add only a bit of solder, I have a wish for an interference fit that will require outside shell to heat and expand to get it in.

Heated, and pressed into place

Cooled and back to original expansion

Now a dab of solder here at the joint, that's it

Cleaned up and ready to go

Weighs in at 2.25 lbs...

Rickard's is 2 lbs precisely, our heavier skirt gave us a bit more mass


Seeing how far to go...

Basically the thickness of the added tube

Rough cut to close to terminus on bet sander, now for some flattening on the table

That's how close I  am with the belt

80# paper glued to table

Finding the highs and lows, like on a Bass bridge :)

Pretty flat now, ready to cut to final depth

That should do it

Went thru existing outer skirt hole the square tube, no way around that with the added tube, should be just fine on remount.

New stampings, after cut

Wiped and buffed up a bit, going together

The head that is on it is too far pulled and seems like 11" high crown, I'll check with TJ to see.

... for now, I cut a little of the band so the neck can mount and he can get a new head

Tightened and holding, looks nice and flat to me

The lags should still go thru OK and the washer will ride right on the new cut... lets hope...the neck is not here with me right now.

I making some shims for the upper bolt to make that snug..


A big piece just to show how it looks in there

That will push in evenly

A new set just in case

And a look setting in Jeff's Vox 3 resonator, that's about it for now, more later

REFRET - Brass Lacquer  2012
Just so everyone knows, Tyler is quite capable of working on his own banjo and now he is ready to learn a little about fretwork.
And we will also refinish the neck as well as clean all the brass hardware and lacquer it with a fine instrument lacquer made for brass.

Pulling the old frets

Tapping in the new wires


All hardware cleaned buffed and acetone washed

Starting with the gold Nikolas lacquer and then will be clear coats

Its a nice affordable alternative to the ever incresing Gold plating costs and is very durable.
This finish is used on Horns like Trumpets and Saxs

Neck refinished

Reinstalation time


Setup on a skin head for now


With Nikolas Brass Instrument Lacquer over raw polished brass
Renaissance Head

MOP BUTTONS on the tuners

New neck refinish

Kristen checking the new mute out
We will remove the nickel plating from it, and do the brass lacquer treatment