View Full Version : $500 to reglue a seam?

Feb-16-2009, 1:34am
Is there more here (http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-GIBSON-MANDOLIN-A-Series-1921-RESTORED-New-Case_W0QQitemZ110352250831QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item110352250831&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A10|39%3A1|240%3A1318) than meets the eye?

Why doesn't a full restoration include a new endpin?

Any chance that truss rod cover is original?

It is cool to see one of those bridges with the extra thumbwheels.

But most important, does it really take $500 and months of labor to fix a slight seam separation, or does this seller not really understand the extent of the repair? When I hear the term "Gibson-itis" or "Gibson disease," it usually refers to top sink -- and if THAT's what was fixed here, that would explain the long expensive repair job.

Feb-16-2009, 8:57am
mrs_dumpy probably isn't goingto get any bids at that price.

Feb-16-2009, 12:09pm
Right, I'd think $1400-1500 would be tops for an early truss-rodded A that's had $500 worth of repair, doesn't have the original case, and is missing the endpin.

Feb-16-2009, 2:02pm
Right, I'd think $1400-1500 would be tops for an early truss-rodded A that's had $500 worth of repair, doesn't have the original case, and is missing the endpin.

The missing endpin isn't an issue. They fall out.

The thing that would drive me away from this one is the $500 in repairs requiring "months of careful restoration work". That makes me think there was a lot more wrong than just a slightly separated back seam.

Feb-16-2009, 2:10pm
I didn't say the endpin was an issue. Obviously they are easily replaced. Why it wasn't replaced is my question. Or maybe it was, and just fell out before the seller took the photos.

I'm with you on the repair question. It's not adding up. A pronounced seam separation could require steaming/reshaping the sides and possibly the separated plate, but I don't know about a slight separation. Luthiers: is there a rule of thumb here? When is a separation a mere matter of regluing and clamping, and when does it become a major issue?

Gail Hester
Feb-16-2009, 3:27pm
Here are a few comments from the peanut gallery. First of all this is not a mandolin that I have worked on, I would have turned a new end pin for it.:)

The mandolin looks great and appears to have had the back realigned and glued. The work appears to have been done very well. Sometimes these simple seam repairs are not as simple as one might think and this mandolin may have spent some time in a reshaping jig to get the alignment as good as it is here. Most repairs of this type are not done nearly so well. It also appears that the original aluminum bridge was replaced, maybe at the same time. The cost of these repairs will vary allot depending on who did the work, shop costs so itís hard to make much from the $500 repair cost. Typically when I get a mandolin in for work it will also need a fret job, maybe a new nut so that may be part of it but donít under estimate the work involved with realigning a separation that could have been there for sixty years. In this case, it looks to me like the work was top notch and the price of these old Gibsonís has been going up recently.

Feb-16-2009, 3:32pm
Well, that certainly sounds reasonable, Gail. I doubt many of us could distinguish one of your endpins from an original, anyway.

Are you sure that's a replacement bridge? Aren't there other examples of 4-thumbwheel ebony bridges, or were all of them aluminum? If it's not original, it can't be a recent replacement, since AFAIK nobody makes 4-thumbwheel bridges any more.

Gail Hester
Feb-16-2009, 3:47pm
Martin, I should have said replacement saddle. That hardware and base go with an aluminum saddle which which they used that year along with the aluminumm TR cover. I don't care for the sound of aluminum and have on occasion put them in the case and installed ebony.

Feb-16-2009, 4:07pm
I don't know if that shop has the capacity inhouse to do that work. That could have contributed to the cost and the timeline.

Feb-16-2009, 9:26pm
So Gail, some clarification here please,,, are we to understand that you are NOT ! the infamous Mrs Dumpty???
and,,,, that "Chuck" is not a clever alias for "Humpty"?

Hmmm, this may require some independent investigation!

Gail Hester
Feb-17-2009, 3:00am
Correct, we are not. :))