1920s Vega Style X No. 9 Tenor
19 Fret
30 bracket-11-13/16 Rim

Restore as needed per customer instructions


Strip rim and resonator, care on the celluloid sidewall is needed, keep the stripper off it

Re-dye of the black areas

Re-tint back to the Vintage Amber

Hardware buffed and waxed, rim refinished

REMO white bottom frosted head will give it a nice look and full tone.
Decisions must be made on what we will do on the friction tuners
Leave or change out

Resonator ready for clear
Will start on the neck next

All 3 30 brackets taking on heat and finish

3 big boys take up the whole bench!

Will do 4 Vega's at one time, get in a groove, pun intended.
So if you are watching multiple pages you will see a few repeats.


Pulling the wire

Dam Building

All binding removed
All of the necks are dried out and need the fret slots rebuilt.
This is Teflon, available from my supply company and it is gauged at the proper thickness for fret slots
So they have all been sawed out with a fretting saw dams inserted and I am adding #10 CA for the filler.
Its added to both sides until full. watching for overflow.
It will wick in all the cracks and seal the teflon in, and then after it cures you slide out the teflon
Basically forming a new slot from Acrylic , to the proper gaude for re-fretting.
It has been in use here over 3 years, and it gives dry old boards a new grip.

After pulling tape, strips, cleaning the glue residue,  I will heat the neck to 120F to soften the glue add my weight and keep it hot until I see some sag

Its the worse from 1-3 fret so Im working here with the Oil Drill bit making everyone wince.
It's done alot of work even after its down hole job, and "re-purposing" is a good thing.
  I may even frack the thing too if I am not careful, who knows!

Ready for the clamps to cool

New binding on, now to get it trimmed up

Adding markers

Slots cleaned and ready for 147 wire

Sealed with #10

Leveling, crowning, polish, end dressing.

Fretwork complete

Cracks sealed, dye applied

Coming up the line.

Peg head reamed for the new tuners
Neck stripped and ready to prep for clear

All of the residue from orig finish on pear wood still needing more than stripper took off.
So its handwork from here All inlay will be cleaned, blackened, sealed and all overlay's will be dyed and refinished after neck re-tint.

All correct,  tint completed taking on final clear coats 

Wet sanding resonator, 2 more coats to go on the neck


When a brand new REMO head pops under normal tension at the crimp, I suspect a bad batch of epoxy.
It's not often, but in modern times, more often than it used to be.
So we will go Renaissance out of a fresh batch

All seems fine, like that look better anyway :)


I like the way the Amber buttons look on these Gotoh's, and thank Bob Smakula over at
He keeps a good stock of parts and pieces.

All tightened up

The tailpiece that came on it is missing an adjuster and is a little bent, so I decided to pull a stamped  one from moth balls and gift it onto this banjo.
That way, if Mr W. ever wants to use it as a five string TP, it already has the posts.
They did not drill a center hole in these like presto but you can.
Same 1920s period piece so we are good to go.

Blacking inlay with wax

Time to get a nut in it.

Strung up CGDA on DR's furnished by Bedford Banjo Shop

I will dial in the action after she settles in, and she will be ready to ship out
 The big rim sound in full 19 fret tenor is formidable, yet can be made to play and sound off nice and quiet.
I have always loved these and this is the second in my time, that has had a full 19 fret neck, the other was a Style M  without the fanciness.
It's been a pleasure to have so many 30 brackets at once!

Thanks for watching,Vinnie