2003

The
"EagleVox"
19 fret custom banjo
Yet another Barry / Vinnie project



Late Model Vega Vox 11" rim ,by FQMS
 Inlaid "Eagle" resonator
NOS Vega "Ultravox 5" Resonator Side Overlay
from  Dave Saleh
Neck is from Tyler Jackson's 56 Vox 3 tenor
Custom Vega#9 fingerboard (Being created)
Gold plating by Barry Grant
Engraved Flanges by Steve Caddick
View the engraving process here


Banjo as it was when Dave owned it.
We got it with no neck, and the sidewall still white
He did a great job, installing it.


Now, to create another crazy tenor banjo for my even crazier friend Barry Grant.(On the Stromberg)

Dave had gotten this very late model Vox, and had a nice rim made for it at First quality, and then he stuck a NOS Vega Ultravox 5 side binding on, just like the other one we put on BG's other Vox 3, which has a Riverboat scene on the back, and I painted up the side bindings to give it flash for his casino playouts.
 



After Dissasembly


Here I am trying to burn the fingebaord off of Tylers old Vox 3 neck, since he got another one while he was here.
This one is ripped down for the addtion of a truss bar, and a new style of fingeboard and inlays.
This means some of my shabby work ethics will have to be discared, and I will have to actuall pay attention to details....
Man..that sucks!
 


Starting to give way


This is as far as I can get it up, and I have hit a snag.Glue will not release, no matter how hot it gets
So it will come off in pieces, not one piece.


I did manage to save all but one of the old inlays, and that one was no good anyway.
I had refretted this neck last year for Tyler, and it was tuff getting te board off I think, from the superglue used during the refret.
All of the hardware ,and the engraved flanges has been sent off to be replated, at BGPS, so I will continue on with the neckwork for now.



Oh, and by the way Tyler, the reason the finish was screwin up in that one spot, was because that center laminate was no longer stuck to the neck sides.
You can see light thru it, now that the board is off.
Simple glue job.
NO WONDER IT SUCKED IN ALL THAT LACQUER!!

Resonator finish

I am using a "Golden Oak", for my base coat, as I am trying to match that light wood, on the backside.
I have left it light in the middle, for highlighting.
Kinda "Vox like" that way


Now I will start the detail painting, and after that, it will all be coated in clear.
The transparent tinted lacquer, was thin enough to not hide the detail line on this one, which in the end, should look very nice.


Here, I am injecting a small amount of glue, under some veneer on the edge, that has a little bubble in it.
I will press it flat until the glue kicks.


I have begun the detail painting, and will do all of the leaves first.
That green s a little darker, than the pic shows

Adding a second coat, before I move to another color

Here we are, a little further along


Coming on around the horn

This is how it looks with the lights out.
My "Special" paints are cool huh?

Here I have removed the dowelstick, since this neck wll be on Co rods from here on out, and I have placed it on my "wall of fame"
#99307 shall live in infamy

Resonator detail completed (whew), and first coats of clear going on.

Alright, it is time to stiffen up the "spine" on this baby.
This neck is good and flat, but soft, so I will add a little "rebar", to make sure it stays this way, to the tune of a 3/16" square bar stock, and a cover stick.
Here is my hoding device, and a "buck" to go under the neck.


I have lightly super glued to guide sticks, so i can rout out he channel for the rod.


Checking once more, for proper clearances


Clamped to rout.
I will do the clamped area  last


Routing with a carbide router bit, that cus flat on the bottomside.
I am reducing in 1/32 increments


Finishing the other end, by reversing the clamping area


Clean channel, no probs.
 


Checking the fit of the rod......


........Then the cover stick


Glue in under the rod, and then on the top


Cover stick tapped into place


And clamped for 12 hrs, under light heat.
She should be steady after this operation, for years to come.



Fingerboard arrives!
And splendid work it is.
When a master inlay craftsman, world reknown, hapens to be a good buddy of yours, it tends to help out projects like these!
This reproduction of a #9 vega represents well, some of the fineries of pearl engraving, an art that is on the verge of extinction, so for those looking to keep the"old styles" alive, it feels great to be able to take this type of work forward.


 


As you can see, my pal can hang in there with the best of the best of the engravers of old.
And we even got ol Barry's name in lights, at the 15th, where it should be.
This was my buddys idea, not mine!
B.Grant already has an ego so big, that it needs no "fueling" !!
:):)


Well cut to the chase.........
Shes all glued and clamped, so lets all sit and watch it dry.
Gotta deadline to meet!


Now we know where this neck came from.
Dad gum you Barry!

Now, its starting to look like it is alive once more.
We will get down to the side markers, and frets now.
I am still comtemplating the choice of finish for it.


OK,I got the stain I wanted, which is a medium brown center, with some dark walnut edges
I even put the VEGA RACOON effect, around the peghead!


Now for a few dots.
 


Adding in the side marker pearl dots
 


I stripped the fqms rim, and dyed it to a closer match.


Pressing in the fret wires


All wire in, ends finished, and I will check level after it is installed on the rim.


The plating and engraved flanges have returned, and rim assembly begins. and I must say that Steve Caddick KNOWS what he is doing, as the gravings are sharp as a tack, and just a welcome addition, to this project.
If you missed the engraving process, view it here.


All assembled.
Flanges were precisely cut, and fit well.
Typical troublesome late model tension bolts, as always, screwy thread, but I did'nt break any!
gettin better eh BG?

Just a look with the TP and Armrest sitting on it, and the Winged Beauty, that I may "Mount" in the center
When I take outside pics, the gravings will be more visible.


Now, to get the coordinator rods figured out, and the neck will be going on real soon.
It is starting to excite me finally !


Heel lags are set in.
I will be using the Vox coordinator rods


Just a tiny bit of leveling was needed, a good sign.


..And I decided to go with the Klusons.
8:1 is hard to pass up.
Looks more correct as well


All attached very well, with neck set darn near perfect.
Thats just good luck, to get it on the first try.


Tried the 1/2" Farquhar...too low, and I am out of 9/16", so you can get one at the show.
I have an Emerson Power Bridge on it, with perfect action for BG!


I think it may be the loudest Vox I have ever heard!
 


Neck is arrow straight now.



Ready to head out to Eureka Springs.
I work well under pressure eh?
Now, if only the boss likes it.
And I will see him in Eureka Springs, in 2 days!
No time for outside glam shots.
We will take the final pics with this one in ol BEEGEE"S hands, in Arkansas.
Another hairbrained project nears completion.



Delivery in Eureka


Well, at least he is smiling (wierd for a banjo player)
Maybe he will find it playable, besides looking snappy!

Since this pic was taken, she has been out on the Riverboat circuit, and BG finds it to be a good player, albeit a tad heavier than his other RiverVox, but he says it did just fine.
Darned good way to end up, after this kind of a run!
Vinnie


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