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Vega Little wonder : Wath's symbol on the neck head?

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Apr 7, 2020 - 3:57:24 AM
3 posts since 4/6/2020

Hello everyone,

A few months ago, I received as a gift for my birthday a banjo the Vega Little wonder. Great sound, a real pleasure to play with it!

But as you can see a symbol is missing on the neck head. I did research on Google, but I haven't found anything that could match..

If anyone knows what is there, it could help me because I can restore it.

Thanks for your help!

Apr 7, 2020 - 4:11:47 AM
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651 posts since 5/31/2004

Measure the diameter of the hole. I wouldn't be surprised if a previous owner simply decorated the banjo with a half dollar.

Apr 7, 2020 - 4:32:20 AM
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864 posts since 5/19/2018

Vintage tenor may be right. May not have been exactly a half dollar, but a coin or medallion of some sort.

That is the exact mark that a spade bit makes when drilling into wood. Sad thing is that is a recent type bit, so somebody did it in the past 10-40 years.

Apr 7, 2020 - 5:24:49 AM
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7057 posts since 8/28/2013

That "thing" was most likey an owner's decoration and had nothing to do with anything Vega would have done.

If it bothers you, you could remove the original peghead veneer and replace it with new.

Apr 7, 2020 - 5:40:52 AM
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5183 posts since 9/21/2007

Looks like someone attacked it with a forstner bit.

As a side note (because I don't think it was done to this banjo), I find coin inlays to look cheap. It is just off putting to me for some reason.

Apr 7, 2020 - 6:40:40 AM

651 posts since 5/31/2004

Yes, they're cheap looking to me as well. The reason I suggested a half dollar was that, whatever it was, was removed - maybe recently by a junktique dealer. Pure speculation. :)

Apr 7, 2020 - 9:01:18 AM
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3874 posts since 5/12/2010

That does look like someone "inlaid" a coin of some type.

Whether I like the look depends on the banjo, the coin and the reason for the placement of the coin on the banjo.

I built a banjo for a coin collector. He wanted two old coins put on the banjo, one on the peghead, the other at the heel end of the finger board. I was glad to comply with what he wanted, and he liked the look.

I built another for a guy who is very interested in Civil War stuff. He wanted a 1863 penny ("Nick") placed at the 5th fret, and a confederate penny at the heel end of the board. He said the conflict gave the banjo some extra tension.

I have seen a lot of Old Time banjos built for WV players with Coal Script tokens, from WV coal mines, placed in the finger board. It is a valid connection to their regional, and family history so this doesn't look "Cheap" to me.

Now, I wouldn't want to drill a hole in an old Vega or other high end old banjo for something like that, but that is a completely different thing.

Apr 7, 2020 - 9:09:50 AM



2748 posts since 2/20/2016

I don't know of any Vega that came from the factory with a large, round peghead ornament.
So you can do what you like.

If it were me, I'd take George's suggestion and replace the overlay, and perhaps inlay a Vega star.
But you could also inlay the existing overlay with the large round ornament of your choice.

Apr 7, 2020 - 12:35:42 PM

3 posts since 4/6/2020

Thank you all for your quick response and advice!

Now, I know originally there was nothing. I think I'm going to inlay a piece of wood with something that suits me, or the V of Vega, I don't know... In the rules of art of course! (I am a former carpenter).

When it's done I'll post pictures.

Again thanks, and Banjo for life!

Apr 7, 2020 - 1:52:02 PM
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12877 posts since 6/29/2005

It's one of those inexplicable things we come up against every now and then.  I think it's "Imhoff's theorem" —every man has an idea that will not work.  This one got to the point of taking a very large forstner bit and making a large circular cut, but then abandoning the project—what were they thinking?  We will never know other than that it didn't work.

Plenty of ways to fix it, fortunately.

Apr 7, 2020 - 6:12:51 PM

7057 posts since 8/28/2013

"Ideas That Will Not Work" would be a good thread topic. All of us here could submit one of their own "inexplicable things." It might be pretty amusing.

Somehow, though, I think people might be too embarrassed to submit anything.

Apr 8, 2020 - 6:08:35 AM

12877 posts since 6/29/2005

Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

"Ideas That Will Not Work" would be a good thread topic. All of us here could submit one of their own "inexplicable things." It might be pretty amusing.

Somehow, though, I think people might be too embarrassed to submit anything.

It would be a great thread!  I have plenty of them—more than I like to admit, but usually don't photograph them or post them on this forum.  I think I did post a thread a couple of years back about a "creative" way to make brass shoes and a bracket band that I will never do again, plus several novel ways to make resonators that didn't work.

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:49 AM

3 posts since 4/6/2020

It might be a good idea! Now that we know what the hole is

I don't know if I can change the subject title, but I'm going to try..

Anyway, what is certain is that I will take pictures of the evolution of this strange hole!

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