Workpage 7-2017
Wheaton's Vegaphone Artist Tenor
Restore as per customer instructions


Good condition overall, replacement armrest
Early model, friction pegs, will change to Gotoh

Resonator has slight dish and wrong screw. will correct.

Some inlay and fingerboard wear, graving's worn, possible re-engraving on a few inlay's.
Medium lift in the neck, needs heat press and compression fretting, or more, will test the flex.

Presto is stressed due to improper use of retainer screw. The most worthless screw ever made.
People try to use it for down force and its original design was to use it to touch the rim to steady it.
Problem is when head is pulled, and it is a high crown head, you pull the head into the screw and then that stresses the arm on the tailpiece because it is being dragged down onto the tension hoop.
You can visualize it with that description

Screw is under the head, head is pulling the screw down, stressing the arm.

All hardware correct

Good dowel angle, tight glue joint

All of the shoes are loose from whenever it was disassembled and much of the gold gone from the pieces and others have been already brought to brass, and a coating put on them, all needs to go.
My plan would either be full re-plate, very expensive or my Nikolas gold lacquer treatment and maybe a partial re-plate, that is up to the "Kingfish"

Surprised none fell off over time

OK. one was still tight!

Taping off, ready to pull frets

Frets and binding removal complete

Heavy wear on board and inlay gravings 1 thru 7

I always seal the heel cap inlay, the Star in the peghead and the front peghead MOP before doing any fretting
History has proven that when you hammer in the frets over the heel, the jarring effect can knock any of these out.

Beginning the finish strip
Pear wood cracks in overlays all sealed

Drilled out for ABM tuners
 a little #10 around tuner holes to seal pear wood

Time to heat and pull inlay for board work.
I can see that the 17  is broken in several places.
Whoever installed it the first time cracked it , cavity was tight

Heating them out

All came out Ok except 17
That is glue in 15

Now I am going up and down the board, getting it softened for pressing
My drill is heavy enough to make the neck drop once it is hot, and then I will cool it and look it over

Resonator finish stripped

Inside re- finished, all divots in flange lip repaired and dyed

Tints added, clear coats being applied


After cleaning, buffing, saving all the gold I could on the rim parts I will assemble it
The orig flanges are in poor shape and the gold wipes off them when I clean them so I will use a nice set of nickel flanges

Hooks have very little gold, and it was plated directly onto the steel so I will go thru my hooks, and pick out 28 of the nicest nickel ones I have

Renaissance head ready to go on

Aftermarket Vega armrest added, the gold that is left reflects onto the nickel and gives it a gold  effect

Now back to the neck
I dug around and found most every inlay I needed, so that they can be used instead of having the others re-graved.
Many times that fails, old MOP that is thin is easily blown out with the pressure of the graver.

I still need the one that shattered at 17, and the 15 marker needs a few lines and blackening

I looked around more in my misc inlay drawer and found pieces and parts that may work on 15.

That is a full 1/2 of another one, and below some pieces of the old one.

This is a rough look, I think I can shape the pieces to work, then make a backing for it and insert it when I am ready.
They serve no mechanical function and many inlays are setting n banjos looking unbroken, but are.

You get the idea.
Then fix up the 15 and I'll have that ready to go