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Thread: New Mandolin Armrests!

  1. #1
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    Default New Mandolin Armrests!

    I had Doug Edwards design 2 McClung armrests for my Gibson mandolins. He did a wonderful job!

    The armrests are very helpful since I've been playing these 3-6 hour shifts at the Salvation Army Kettle. They keep the edge from digging into my arm and keep my arm from muting the instrument; increasing volume.
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Those are really nice where can I get one or even two
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    The website is hillcountrystringworks.com

    If you call Doug on the phone he answers and is easy to work with. I told him what I wanted and exceeded my expectations. I sent him pictures of the diamond inlays on my Gibson A model and he designed it according to that. The flowerpot is obviously from the Gibson headstock. You won't be disappointed!

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    Mandolescent John Eischen's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    I like 'em, comfort and elegance

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    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    It's good to know he's full of good ideas ... an armrest is tempting, but with a `quartz' breedlove [the plain blonde wood finish] I've been going in circles trying to figure what wood/color to go with.

    Perhaps I'll give him a call, he's been through this more times than I have.

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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    He can do one in a blonde finish.

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Violin chinrests typically match the tailpiece and peg wood material. Lacking those, a blonde mandolin looks good with the armrest matching the fingerboard wood, rosewood or ebony.
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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Very nice!
    I am a convert to armrests, and like so many converts I am evangelical about them!
    They make a HUGE difference for me: better sound out of the mandolin, much easier to play for a long period of time, and most surprisingly, they have helped considerably with my newbie right hand mandolin technique (especially on tremolo!).
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    I have Doug's armrests on both of my BRWs and I love them. You will also find that in the summertime when your right arm is nice and sweaty, it will stay in place better on the armrest instead of slipping and sliding on the mandolin top.
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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Mick View Post
    The website is hillcountrystringworks.com ...snip...
    What a great website. Lots to see there, and plenty of good music files to listen to. Thanks for the link!
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  11. #11

    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Hmmm, now you have me thinking, too. It didn't occur to me that there might be benefits regarding 'unmuting' the volume by taking the arm off the body of the instrument. Is this an effect that there is agreement on, or is it another of the imponderables that draws polarised views, both supportive and dismissive?

    ron

  12. #12
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    You can do a quick experiment and decide for yourself ... play something you normally play in your normal sitting or standing position. Play the lick or piece with your arm on the mandolin and do it at the same attack on the strings with your arm off the instrument ...

  13. #13
    Registered User Malcolm G.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Mr. Edwards does beautiful work - I'm a big fan.
    Malcolm Grundy from Montreal

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    Registered User pickloser's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Is he lining the metal parts that contact the edge of the mandolin with cork or leather now?

  15. #15
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Thanks for all the kind words, I just try to do my best. Currently I use a suede leather on the bottom of the armrest secured with a white glue, much better performance.

    I'm working pretty slow these days due to work overload and more recently a shoulder injury. I slipped and fell while fishing a couple weeks ago. Still hurts enough to wake me up at night.

    Here's Ted E's rosewood armrest in progress. Hard to beat that gold MOP and rosewood look.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    I recently got a honey colored curly maple for my blonde Breedlove - it looks beautiful on it. I haven't noticed any change with the sound - I don't think I usually put any pressure on the top when playing. It sure makes it more comfortable due to the large cut back on the Breedloves.

  17. #17
    Horton River NWT Rob Gerety's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Here is a shot of mine - I love it. The best thing is it keeps the sweat off the top of the mandolin.
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    Rob G.
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Really nice Rob...Love the Howling Wolf silhouette...Perfect for blues? ...Also I really like the grain lines, the sunburst, and the rosette on your mandolin.
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    I am guessing that pickloser asked about the material between the metal and the mandolin because he is concerned about chemical reaction with the mandolin finish. The short answer is that probably any material Doug chooses will have some effect over the long term. Cork and traditionally tanned leather are both based on tree bark so I would think the amount of tannic acid might eventually cause some reaction with the finish. The alternative leather tanning technique is with chrome based acids ("chrome tanned") and I would suppose might also cause some long term reaction. I am not a chemist but I have read that it is a bad idea to leave leather straps in direct contact with the instrument finish because of the acidic nature of the leather. I don't personally worry about that as I love Doug's arm rests and regard them as permanently attached to my mandolins and the cost of playing and enjoying them is some wear and tear, and exposure to toxic environmental issues. If anyone has any information about the long term reaction of cork or leather with the mandolin finish(es), I'm sure it would be of general interest.
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Quote Originally Posted by pickloser View Post
    Is he lining the metal parts that contact the edge of the mandolin with cork or leather now?
    I got a McClung in mid-August, 2010. Lining on the underside of the wood is leather, the lining on the underside of the metal (at the rear of the mandolin) is cork.

  21. #21
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Just finishing up on a couple inlaid McClungs. The one I have shown as "Doc" I show going out to Sam Babbit, however I've lost his contact information. If anyone knows him, please have him contact me.

    It's been tough the last month. I've been behind and the shoulder injury three weeks ago has really slowed me down. The good news is my doctor told me this week it should start getting better in three to four weeks. And yes it does hurt playing mandolin.

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  22. #22
    Registered User desaljs's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Once you get used to playing with one of Doug's armrests, you will not want to play a mandolin without one. In some cases, you can get away with not using a strap. I just ordered number 4!
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  23. #23
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    I agree. I've got one on my acoustic mandolin, and hope to add one to my electric at some point.
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  24. #24
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Edwards View Post

    Here's Ted E's rosewood armrest in progress. Hard to beat that gold MOP and rosewood look.

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    Used it performing on my Clark JM this morning. Looks great and feels very comfortable. It's my third one. Highly recommend Doug's work!
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  25. #25
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Armrests!

    Thanks to whomever let Sam know about his armrest. Is this a great Forum or what?

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