View Full Version : What's a mandolin "end guard?"

Jul-10-2006, 10:41pm
A current Ebay auction lists a Stradolin from the 30's or 40's with an "end guard." See photo. #What is this and why is it there? I've seen pictures of many mandolins but none of them, until now, had an end guard.

Jul-11-2006, 5:33am
Willie you put them on vintage instruments to keep string ends from scratching the finish when you restring.

Jul-11-2006, 6:55am
that thing looks like its been screwed on top of the tailpiece, almost like it's being used as an armrest.

Bob DeVellis
Jul-11-2006, 7:09am
Yeah, I think it's an armrest. Bowlback players, and by extension players of early flat-back mandolins, often held the instrument so that their forearm ran right over the tailpiece. Those kidney-bean shaped tailpieces and possibly this one, were designed to keep your sleeve or skin from getting chewed up by a conventional tailpiece cover.

Jul-11-2006, 7:30am
On the more deluxe Strad-O-Lin genre mandolins they added a matching piece of pickguard material that was attached to the Waverly tailpiece cover and was kidney shaped. They aren't just glued, if I recall they have a few rivets as well (I have one at home I'll have to check it). Basically it's almost like an armrest and it's quite comfortable to play if you don't have a strap. These are found on the higher end Strad-O-Lins as well as the other mandolins that are branded with other names but certainly made by the same builder. A word of caution. If you own one of these don't even think about pulling on that plastic to pull the cover plate off. You need to use a small screw driver under the metal to get the cover off.