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jim simpson
Dec-17-2005, 2:15pm
Here is a shot of a National mandolin that I used to have. I took it apart to see how it was contructed. The neck had screws that were under the pearl dots, these secured the neck to the body. I was the only bidder at an auction ($15.00) for the National guitar. I ended up swapping it for a new D28.

berkeleymando
Dec-19-2005, 5:26pm
If possible, I'd love to see some close ups. I have always been fascinated by resonator instruments.

jim simpson
Dec-19-2005, 11:41pm
I'll try with the mandolin.

jim simpson
Dec-19-2005, 11:47pm
2nd shot.

jim simpson
Dec-19-2005, 11:51pm
National guitar close-up.

markishandsome
Dec-21-2005, 9:01pm
What are those three things in the mandolin picture between the coverplate and the body? How deep into the body does the cone sit? You're a brave person to take your instrument apart like that.

Yellowmandolin
Dec-21-2005, 9:15pm
Didn't Sam Bush play one like that? But with a slide? Were you able to play it at all before you took it apart or was really messed up?

jim simpson
Dec-21-2005, 9:51pm
"What are those three things in the mandolin picture between the cover plate and the body? How deep into the body does the cone sit? You're a brave person to take your instrument apart like that." - markishandsome

It's been quite a while since I've owned this. The wood pieces were supports that I seem to remember went under the flange for support to the rim that the cone sat in. It seems like it might have set in about a " or so. I started taking things apart when I was a little kid so I've never feared doing it. I didn't always get things back together successfully!

"Didn't Sam Bush play one like that? But with a slide? Were you able to play it at all before you took it apart or was really messed up?" - Yellowmandolin

Sam does occasionally play one of these with just one course of strings for slide work. It was playable before I took it apart. I took it apart just out of curiosity. It was really loud. I did change out the tuning gears but put the originals back in when I got rid of it. I did have a vintage dealer stop by house with a selections of amps to swap for it. I chose a Fender pre-CBS Super Reverb for it. Not bad considering I picked it up for $40.00 at a flea market in NJ. The one thing about this mando was I couldn't tune it GDAE without breaking the E string. It just seemed like it was too much tension. I probably could have tuned it CGEA but I don't think I new about that at the time.

danb
Dec-22-2005, 6:20am
I had one of those for a while (a friend in NM has it now). The bridge saddle slots on mine were horrible, that's where strings broke.. fixed those up and changed gauges.

The little wooden bits go between the dowel stick and the back, they keep the back from denting and also keep the neck tighter. With a little jiggering they can sound quite nice, but also are very easy to get a nasty piercing sound out of the E string. My friend Chipper tunes his down a bit and plays it slide (a technique that must be seen!)

Here's the national supro (their Sears brand!)
http://www.mandolinarchive.com/resonator/supro.jpg

danb
Dec-22-2005, 6:21am
And if you have broadband, this is a 30mb AVI of chipper playing it!

Windows/AVI clip.. warning! 30mb! (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/resonator/slide_mando2.avi)

Jim Garber
Dec-22-2005, 8:17am
The one thing about this mando was I couldn't tune it GDAE without breaking the E string. It just seemed like it was too much tension. I probably could have tuned it CGEA but I don't think I new about that at the time.
I have a style 2 silver mandolin. The scale length, I believe, is 15". I think they made them longer for even more volume. Remember this was before electrics came into real production and mandolinists wanted to be heard.

When I first got mine I hated the sound at std pitch so I put heavier gauge strings and tuned it like the blues guys in E with ocatve strings on the lower two courses. More fun that way and you get that nice bluesy sort of 12-string guitar sound.

Of course, I don't play it all that much these days. I will try to dig it out of the closet and shoot a few pics but it might not happen for some time.

Jim

JEStanek
Dec-22-2005, 8:55am
Dan, Way cool. That's what slide is all about. A dude playing with a dog right behind him. That thing is crazy loud with no pick. Thanks for posting. Made my morning.

Jamie

danb
Dec-22-2005, 9:41am
Chipper does that stuff on bouzouki too.. only slide zook player I know. More stuff at folk-n-roll.com (http://www.folk-n-roll.com/)

Disclaimer- friend of mine.. but you can tell he's the real deal from that clip !

Monte37
Dec-22-2005, 11:27pm
Jim,
You are bringin back some old memories with these instruments. In the early 70's I played with a person who played one of the first National Steel guitars I had ever seen. It was a etched palm tree version '20's National Steel guitar and we played alot of delta blues and hung out with Mance Lipscom.
One night before we were to play for some people I crushed a finger and couldn't play my guitar. So I played what Toni had laying around, a National Steel Mandolin...like yours. It was the beginning of me playing mandolin, I enjoyed it so much as one of the cool oldtimey bands around was R Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders. It was a tinny sounding thing, but loud of course.
Great to see these...all the best