Right. If installed correctly, an arm rest should prevent more damage than it causes. That's the point.
Well, I'm up a creek again. Can't finish this mandola armrest unless I find clamps longer than any of the viola ones I've got.
Thanks, Ronnie, but I have some like that too - and they're too short. The mandola itself is already 2 1/4"! I figure I'd need them to open to around 2 5/8". The one that comes closest is this one, but the screw in it would need to be just a little longer than it is. I don't know why these come with screws that don't take advantage of the full length of the clamp's two telescoping sections, other than that you'd never find a viola that thick, but needless to say it's some very thin, hard-to-find metric machine screw that I can't find in a longer length replacement for anywhere.
Yikes, 2-5/8"? (65mm) Is that the length of the barrel or the spread itself? I assume you have access to the string repair supply wholesalers. We can get the barrels as long as 40mm, but I don't know if the thread will make the span long enough. (I went through this putting an armrest on a 10-string bandolim.)
Ted, 2 5/8" is the minimum total amount of space I figure I'd need the clamp to open to, in order to accommodate the mandola, some cork (or leather or felt) padding on top and bottom of the clamp, and to be able to make the holes in the rest high enough so I'm not boring them right at the lowest edge.
Are you still looking for an armrest for your Weber? If so, what is the depth of your mando's body (couldn't find a reference on Weber's web site)? I made an armrest for my Kentucky that has a 2" body depth using a viola chinrest bracket and 39 mm barrels. Works great.
I used the same type of design as the SIREN armrest I bought for my Breedlove. If you aren't handy with tools, you may want to contact an armrest maker and explain exactly what you want such as wood, overhang over the tailpiece, etc. I would also recommend tracing the outline of your mando so the armrest conforms to the shape of the instrument. Good luck.
So, Ted, what did you end up using for your 10-string bandolim? And how deep is it? I was just about to buy some 40mm barrels to try after I saw that none of the ones I have are quite that long. However, then I went to check if any of the myriad of chinrest hardware pieces I have stashed here are even compatible with one another. What I found out was that it would be miraculous if any two pieces of hardware (spanning various countries and continents of origin, and probably 80 or more years) had threads that would match the other, and turn in the correct direction. I played with them for about 1/2 hour, and couldn't find a single match - and I have about 20-something old chinrests here. So I refrained from buying just the barrels, as they'd be highly unlikely to fit any of the few longer threaded pieces that I have that would make a clamp long enough.
Someone should really start making some longer clamps - there must be a big market for them, with all the armrest lovers I see on here (think OMs, mandolas, guitars and anything else with a body more than 2 inches deep...)
Over the past 3 weeks that I've been playing with the armrest I've noticed that I no longer rest my picking hand on the bridge. It seems like the armrest places my hand in exactly the right location to pick and strum.
When I got my LM-400 yesterday I hardly even tried it without my Dudenbostel armrest. My little "pancake" had a very short distance from tailpiece to bridge which put my hand in an OK position with no armrest and I think slightly better with it. On a more conventional carved top, ff-hole instrument my arm position without the armrest would have my hand sitting on the bridge which absolutely doesn't work for me (although Roland White among others do it that way on purpose). So the armrest seems not even optional for good picking.
With the armrest on there the side of my palm just barely grazes the top of the bridge once in a while but generally misses it by just a hair. Perfect freedom!
i picked up a doug edwards mcclung armrest on my recent visit to the states - forgot i'd ordered it - looks great on my loar LM-600 and feels really comfortable. if you do order one, tell him what kind of mandolin you have. i mistakenly tried this new one on my big muddy M-0 and it wouldn't fit.