Reply To: Modifying the Victoria Vibrandoneon

Jerry Ballard

Bolt inserts flush
Bolt inserts before sinking

I took a risk (perhaps too much) and made a mod I’ve been thinking of for a while. Its bothered me that repeated removal of the back could eventually strip out the wood holes from the metal screws, so I enlarge each enough to put in metal insert sleeves that will accept 4/40 bolts.

Sadly, I made some rookie woodworking mistakes, although none disastrous.
1) I originally used brass bolts, and that combined with allowing the sleeve openings to collapse a bit during installation resulted in a very tight fit for the bolts. The soft brass then broke off for several of the bolts. I was able to extract all but one, which broke off flush with the insert. Its not fixable, and I’m going to have to drill a new hole next to the ruined one.
Fortunately, I’m able to get a good seal on the air chamber (thank god) with the one corner bolt missing.
2) In drilling said new hole, I made the mistake of using a hand drill instead of a drill press, and managed to chip off the corner of the chamber lid.
Again, repairable, but I’m angry at myself for the sloppy mistake.

I’ll eventually turn it over to a good wood craftsman to replace the corner, and the cosmetic damage is only evident to me, and the instrument is fine sound/playability wise.

I’ve switched to black anodized, phillips head screws, and a touch of lubricant to keep them movable.

I think the idea is still good, and 14 out of 15 screws are now solid bolts with metal on metal.

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