VAN EPS
Heirloom
#607
WORKPAGE

19 FRET TENOR
9-12



 
 


Interesting example, one has not passed thru my shop of this style


All original hardware with original skin head
Some playing wear
 


Resonator and Neck have been refinished in the distant past with a Varnish that is completely degraded and checking
 


Resonator has veneers lifting all over the back and could benefit from sealing and a fresh finish
 


The neck as well could use a real finish, and i se now that it needs a treble side celluloid binding so it may be a good time to suggest extra work
Planet tuners were added later, it came with Grovers by the old hole patterns
 


Unlike other Van Eps with the hole in the head, and a moon hubcap internal resonator, this is a removable resonator and the flanges are on the rim itself
Torsion rod neck adjuster
Archring is on top of stanchions


This banjo is one of only a few in its time to use the new space age metal, Aluminum
It is used on the neck adjuster, the tailpiece and spacer


 
 
 
 


Van Eps is one of the coolest tailpieces ever


The archring is bent on purpose in the front, to make clearance for the TP


All interesting hardware


Archring is designed to fit snugly on a land with a backstop on top of the stanchions
That device, hard to tell what it was for, it is only an anchor  for the stanchion but all others are screws.
 
 

Original plaque
 
 
 
 


Aluminum spacer
 
 
 
 


All hooks are set in the rim at this angle but it does not affect the tightening, it is by design



DISASSEMBLY
 


Rim finish is original and will be cleaned buffed and waxed
Hardware will be machine buffed and waxed


There is the pic showing how ring must rest in the stanchions to set correctly
 
 


Skirt is a perfect fit, excellent latheing
 


 


4pc flanges, retained on rim top by wood screws
 


 


3 plates where the neck attachment hits, better than many designs.
 


Hex nuts imbedded into the rim, to retain the stanchions and hide under rim skirt
 


Hardware buffed and waxed
 


Sealing the rim top only with fresh finish
 


Ready to assemble rim
 


 


 
 
 

Now it is time to think neck and resonator
 


Finish is shot and the wood could be better protected


 


Stripping the bad finish


Before stripping the resonator I sealed all of the spider cracks in the veneer.
The trick I use is secret on the sealing, I will tell you how I did it if you ask me though!
You do not want to melt varnish into the cracks before doing the seal job so now I am stripping it.


Varnish and sealer lifting
 


That's much better, ready to put down a sealer coat of shellac before Nitrocellulose finish


Nice to see the true colors of the marquetry
 


Sealing inside with a coat of shellac
 


Adding the missing binding
 


Scarping to profile
 


Trimming to height
 


After smoothing, 0000 steel wool to burnish things back down
 


Ready for finish
 


Adding in the black lines that said "Van Eps" the graving wax is for this procedure, it fills back in the graved lines after stripping
 


Now adding clear coats and using Solar power to dry.
It will be much more handsome now, Dad can be proud.



ASSEMBLY
 


 


 


AHA!
My friend Leo at IMGB tells me the little device is where the original adjusting tool lived!
Thanks Leo!
 
 


Revitalized fingerboard with Tung oil
 


String Gauges
 


Choosing a better bridge


Added new felt to the resonator


FINAL PICS
 


 

Banjo plays well, with Very good tone
Its a solid design and it has been a pleasure to have it in my shop
Thanks for watching,Vinnie


MORE TO COME
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