Work Page
10-2020

Tim's Vegavox III
22 fret plectrum
A-99968
Circa 1960s
Restore per customer instructions
Re-plate gold parts
Refinish neck

INITIAL PICS


The banjo is in very good condition for its age and amount of play time on it.
Plating has wear in the normal areas
 Tailpiece is not weak in its joint
Fingerboard has slight divoting in several placed
Inlay needs jeweler's wax rubbed into the detail lines
Finish on neck is wearing and checking normally, for this year and type of finish.
The fingerboard shows signs of dry cracking, they are linear cracks in the ebony and will be sealed when doing the re-fret.
Also a common malady for this era and make.
Celluloid is in good shape on the back, with very minimal shrinkage.
Klusons are all working well.
Frets have normal wear, and need replacement.
All parts are original to the banjo, including the Vegalon head.
I will get the  plating sent to the plater while I re-work the rest of the instrument.

Disassembly
First, the truss is extremely tight, the neck is in a  "warp" (pulled backwards) with no string tension. I took 4 turns off to get flat.
When you re-fret and forget to do that, it goes bad.
Removal of flanges, I use a tool Jim Farquhar made for me, on the armrest flange, so you do not have to remove it.
I'll still take it off to go to plater but usually its a step saver on aregular head change.
Thanks Jim, for ALL you did for me, and many others in our world.
A view without flanges/resonator, think of it as an openback, top tension banjo. They are still very playable in that guise.
Vegalon head gave up the ghost long ago, andis buried in the neck notch. I had to loosen off the neck to get it free.
Standard action adjuster hardware, 2 allen screws and a backing plate. Some hate it, I love it. If you know how to use it, its pretty keen.
Standard Tubaphone tone ring still implemented here, the last of the stock before changes came there.
After stripping the neck and adding sealer, I saw a few spots that had "fisheyes" so I will adress them in the normal method.
For those that use Fret Ease, Fast Fret, or any cleaners that have silicones  will later on, if you wish a re-finish, face a few extra steps to overcome the silicone intrusion.
Gold Parts ready to be sent to plater (Right), and what will remain original (Left)
It is not good to plate already assembled tuners the solution affects the grease and contaminates the solution.
 I saw more signs of the silicone intrusion after the next sealer coat so I dug the "Fish Eye Eliminator" out of the catacombs. I have had that can since the 1980s, still half full. It only takes a dab of it to get a seal over the contaminant, hence the pin hole opening in can.
You cannot use too much, or a cloudy finish will occur.
All it acheives is a "barrier coat", there is no method available to remove silocone from porous  work surfaces.
Fish Eye Eliminator did its job, and I am on my way.
After 2 clear coats, I mixed the first light amber tint, for the full nek.
Then a Honey amber, for the fade.
Trad Vox look, the "Double Racoon" across the tuner holes and a heel, nick sides/back of peghead fade
It looks too shiny n the pics because its still uncured, that will deepen as clear coats go forth from here. 
Fret Work
I will go back with Stew Mac 14 wire which is very close to orig.
After I tape off to lessen slot damage I will pull the old wire.
After installing by compression, I will seal the cracks in the bard, the fret wire, and the inlay.
That will be #10 Stew Mac  CA
Now that finsh is cured, it will be wet sanded to 800# and buffed/waxed
Inlay lines will be filled with Laskins engraving wax.
They are shallow, and will not take it on as well as when they were new.
When I 'tried' to oil the baord, the silicone from the fast fret  would only aloow a little.
You can see the oil pool up when I tried.

ASSEMBLY
Plating returned from Steve Caddick
Nice and bright again, so time to assemble rim
I cleaned the rim and hardware/tone ring, no refinish.
I applied a dab of adhesive to  "stick the sticker" down, where it was loose.
I use a dry carnuba wax to assist as a lube on the tension bolt threads
The tool was made for me by Mr.Jim Farquhar, it is 9/32" with a spacer inside so it does not touch the new plating.
I like the Remo Renaissance head, as the modern chioice and it has a great look and feel .
MORE TO FOLLOW