View Full Version : Nifty Arm Rest

Jul-07-2004, 6:16pm
Heres my cool little armrest.

Jul-07-2004, 6:39pm
Take a look at the King Brown ones:

I especially recommend the one that wraps over the tailpiece. Very slick and definitely a help to my finish and volume.

Jul-07-2004, 8:00pm
That arm rest looks similar to a old time fiddling chin rest. How did you come accros it? Or did you make it?

Jul-07-2004, 9:47pm
It is made by Martin Brunkalla

mad dawg
Jul-07-2004, 11:30pm
Dem: Sweet --- how much do they cost, and how did you acquire it? (I could find neither violin chinrests nor mandolin armrests on Brunkalla.com.)

Jul-08-2004, 7:20am
Hey dawg glad you dig the armrest, he's building me a mandolin so thats somewhere in the cost. He also made me a great pickguard.

Jul-09-2004, 8:20am
Does anybody else have an armrest they like to post a pic of?

Joe F
Jul-09-2004, 8:52am
Here's the King Brown armrest on my Freshwater deep-box mandolin.

Jul-09-2004, 11:17am
Here's one that I made. #I made mine a little bigger than the one's that I've seen.
There's also another one that I am making with a slightly different shape and angle.
Also, the ivory top bridge piece that I made.

mad dawg
Jul-09-2004, 11:36am
Joe: the King Brown looks good on your Freshwater. I have been afraid to order an armrest for mine since most armrests---as with the King Brown---seem to be made with standard Gibson body shapes in mind, but the King Brown nevertheless seems to follow the curve on the Freshwater quite nicely (and the ebony color works with the body trim). How do you like yours?

Jul-09-2004, 7:05pm
Oh thats great

Jul-09-2004, 8:51pm
How are these things attached without marring the back of your mando. Is the hardware covered in rubber or what?

Bill Snyder
Jul-09-2004, 9:31pm

Jul-20-2004, 8:02pm

Pretty nice rest. I've got a similar one on an F-9. Bought it from Cumberland Acoustic. Also put on a matching ebony truss rod cover and an abbreviated ebony pickguard. (Forgive me folks, I like pickguards.) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Joe F
Jul-21-2004, 6:45am
mad dawg,
When I first received the arm rest, I had trouble keeping it on the instrument because of the radius between the sides and back. #The bottom plate of the arm rest (which is actually a chinrest clamp for a viola) is designed for a sharper corner. #I mentioned this to David, and he sent me another bottom piece, specially modified with a wider plate that fits perfectly. #It works great, and gives me a noticeable increase in volume (and the Freshwater is pretty loud to begin with). #I also no longer have to worry about damaging the finish from my sweaty forearm, or irritation from my arm resting on the sharp corner of the top binding.

If you order one, mention that you have a Freshwater with the edge radius on the back, and he'll take care of you.

Jul-21-2004, 7:32am
i've got me a siren arm rest....i love it and now have a hard time realizing how i use to play with my arm resting on the mando. it was a great improvement. chris thile is even using one. here's a link...ARM REST (http://www.sirenstringworks.com)

Jul-21-2004, 8:04am
Love the design of the King Brown arm rest. It's the only one I've seen that goes over the tailpiece. For me, the tailpiece is what bothers me the most and I used to drape a piece of cloth over it to keep it from digging into my arm. Very cool indeed!


Jul-21-2004, 10:47am
I tried a Siren armrest on my F-9 and my 1915 F-4, it didn't follow the contour at all, so I threw it on my ###### old Oscar Schmidt that I use when I go camping (Doesn't really fit there either but it works).It really is a good looking armrest though....maybe mine was just an anomaly? I'm thinking of putting a blonde armrest on my new blonde F-5.....feels weird playing without one now. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

mad dawg
Jul-21-2004, 11:09am
Thanks for the tip Joe! (I had wondered if that would be a problem.)

Jul-21-2004, 8:01pm
Heres one on the Brunkalla mandolin

Jul-21-2004, 8:09pm
I have a Gibson F5-G and have found the side to be very sharp and uncomfortable to play on. Are these arm rests very comfortable and do they dampen the sound any?

Jacob Hawkins

Jul-21-2004, 8:16pm
ok ill let you know tommorow

Jul-21-2004, 8:20pm
Not at all. I was surprised that my playing was louder and more annoying than ever with the armrest. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

jim simpson
Jul-21-2004, 8:27pm
I have one on my F5-G and it is very comfortable and does not dampen the sound. If anyone the opposite is true! I copied the Siren design. I bought the Viola chin rest and ground down the plastic and glued the ebony on top. It works! The other one I made looked the same but it was all wood and I had to rout out the underside so the wood would only touch the rim. I just got another mandolin and I can't wait till I can put one on it.

Jul-21-2004, 8:28pm
There are some armrests like the siren that cost $45 and then there is one at Gregboyd.com (http://www.gregboyd.com/ShoppingCart/ViewItem.asp?ProductCode=MandoArmRest&Quantity=1) for only $30. #Is there that much of a difference between them?

Jacob Hawkins

Dec-03-2005, 9:42pm
I just ordered myself a King Brown Handcrafts arm/back rest combo with the over the tailpiece option in maple to go on my blond Mancus Martini f-5 copy. I'll post pickture and post a reveiw when it gets here.

Dec-04-2005, 12:33am
i have a siren, but whichever you order, you can't go wrong, it adds such comfort to playing, and truly something to the resonance of the mando as well. enjoy!

Ira Chavis
Dec-04-2005, 5:49pm
Steve from Cumberland Acoutics built me this custom armrest
for my 1920 Gibson A3


He used ivorid binding on the face which closely matches the A3's white ivory face. #The body of the #arm rest is maple which is subte and rreally looks good. #This armrest is way cool!

Dec-04-2005, 8:12pm
These are all nice looking armrests. There's a guy selling armrests on eBay for about $22--a decent price. The nice thing about them is that they have single feet, rather than two joined feet, so they work well with a tone guard. The bad part is the they are not properly shaped for a mandolin, so they look ugly, and the finish on the wood is very disappointing. I'm tempted to get an ebony violin chinrest and see what I can do with it.

Bill Snyder
Dec-04-2005, 9:00pm
With the violin chin rest you will probably have to get longer barrel nuts. Might go for a viola chin rest instead.

Lane Pryce
Dec-05-2005, 3:06pm
I have one of the Kingbrown over the tailpiece arm rests in ebony. It was pricey for what it is but the design is perfect for my arm placement. When the varnish is hard enough on my Kelley A5 I'll put the armrest on it just because it looks cool! Lp

Dec-05-2005, 3:13pm
Check out this all wood armrest that Brian Dean made for a mandola he built... he used matching woods, and a mechanism that somehow does not require the metal clamp hardware.

Dec-05-2005, 3:31pm
Karen, that is one nifty arm rest... do you have a bigger picture of it somewhere? It looks like an idea I had but couldn't quite work out in my head. It may be on Brian's Website, but he's got so many incredible pics there that it might take me awhile to find it!

Paul Doubek

Dec-05-2005, 3:54pm
Brian has dedicated most of his picture space to newer stuff, so I don't think there's another one of that on the site... however, I bet if you email him, he has more and could send 'em.

On his "options" page, he has these listed at about $150 USD, but I don't know if those prices are up-to-date.

I asked once, and he explained that the mechanism has to do with a sliding wedge shaped piece of wood...but more than that, we'll have to hear from the man directly.

Dec-05-2005, 4:15pm
Thanks Karen... maybe I'll drop him a line. From the way you describe it, it sounds a lot like what I had in mind... I was thinking along the lines of sliding dovetails. His execution looks a lot nicer than what I had sketched out; mine was looking a little clunky. I like the way the flamed maple mimics the sides of your 'dola and the top and back mimic the binding. Beautiful.


Dec-05-2005, 4:40pm
Just to be clear... it's not MY 'dola, though I wish it was...and I agree that the thing is beautiful. IMHO an elegant meeting of form and function.

Dec-05-2005, 5:16pm
it's not MY 'dola
OOPS! I see that. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif I wish I were in the market for something like that... I'll be doing well if I can afford some of the Xmas presents my family wants (my 9 yr old daughter wants a baby Taylor sized guitar and a 1/2 size fiddle, another loved one needs a bluegrass mando). I'd love to oblige them all and satisfy my own MAS.


Bill Snyder
Dec-11-2005, 11:27pm
Here is one I built today installed on my International Violin Co. kit from this past summer.

Dec-21-2005, 7:51am
My King Brown came in yesterday. My Mandolin has never sounded better. I'll post picks as soon as I can get the darn new camera to work. An added bonus with this back-rest armrest combo is that it makes me hold my mando in the proper position instead of bein lazy and resting it on my gut.

Dec-23-2005, 9:30am
Here are some pictures of the King Brown arm and back rest combo. Sorry for the quality they are off of my camera.

Dec-23-2005, 9:31am
wide angle front

Dec-23-2005, 9:33am
wide angle back

Dec-23-2005, 9:34am
close up back

Dec-23-2005, 9:36am
side view

Dec-24-2005, 4:57pm
If you'd like to see the humble beginnings of the mandolin armrest, you can see the very first one, here.

Tim's mandolin armrest (http://medianet.kellercrescent.com/Tim/armrest/index.html)

The design is large and crude, because at the time I wasn't sure how it would work and where my arm needed to be. Keep in mind that this is the very first one, made more than six years ago, and the designs that followed from various builders and craftspeople are certainly more refined and finished. I posted a link to my design on the Comando mail list, and the rest is history.



Dec-26-2005, 8:12pm
Here's my Dudenbostel arm rest, this has accomplished just what I wanted - got my arm off the top. And that's a James tail piece, which I love. Mandolin is a Stinnett.