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Nick Triesch
Jul-02-2009, 11:49pm
My old Gibson A is in great shape for it's age. But the original case is an old smelly, nasty, smelly case with two broken latches. It still works kind of but the mandolin is in a new case. Does anyone know a place or store or shop that can fix the latches on a old case like mine? I just think it would be cool to have it all working again. Did I mention smelly? Thank's, Nick

f5loar
Jul-03-2009, 5:53pm
Look into a big city having a luggage repair shop. They can replace latches,locks and reline if needed. Probably can help with smell too.

Paul Statman
Jul-04-2009, 9:57am
But the original case is an old smelly, nasty, smelly case with two broken latches.

Hey - the bad smell never bothered Dewey Cox..:cool:

Brian Aldridge
Jul-04-2009, 11:21am
Lowell Levinger at Players Vintage Instruments http://www.vintageinstruments.com/ used to offer refubishing vintage cases.

Ed Lee
Aug-11-2009, 5:12pm
Smelly? In my brass cases I once encountered real step backs when I opened a case and likewise pinched my nose when many others did likewise. One remedy mando owners cannot do is give their instruments a bath, but I do believe the diligence of a soft cloth wipe after performances would be a great help to remove the accumulation of body scale and sweat from an instrument.
Otherwise, a vacuum now and again of case interiors would reduce but not eliminate odors. What I do is punch holes in a zip-lock type bag and insert laundry dryer sheet with a fragrance AND I place cedar balls to chase mites and other insects that nest in cases and in instruments. Them little bugs CAN get in cases ... and inside the body of stringed instruments quite possibly do lots of damage let alone generate obnoxious odors ... plus there is also the development of mold.--- Ed Lee

Bob A
Aug-11-2009, 8:23pm
This is the best time of year to rid your case of vermin. Put it open in the hot sun all day. Repeat. That should kill most anything living inside (unless it's particularly humid. Dry is best). This will take out bow bugs as well, if you're a fiddler.

Jim Garber
Aug-11-2009, 10:59pm
My old Gibson case had the same problem. I tried baking soda, Lysol spray and leaving it outside in the sun. Still had the smell. There was a thread that said mildew is killed by boric acid. I have not tried that as yet, tho washing my shower curtain in 20 Mule Team Borax seemed to rid it of mildew.

barney 59
Aug-12-2009, 1:51pm
The smell is probably caused by stale beer, cheap bourbon and cigarette smoke....The end result of being a good instrument and therefore being in the environment that the good vintage instruments found themselves. You could market that smell but if you find it offensive get a box of Arm and Hammer baking soda cut it open so that it's like a big tray and set it in the case for a while. The baking soda will absorb some of the odors and then toss it out. Repeat if necessary. Make a lavender sacchet(sp) and keep it in there. Sun will help with mold and mildew and a good vacuuming afterwards-- but mold and mildew are really resistant and hard to get rid of and chemicals that will kill it might not be something that you want to then snuggle your mandolin into.
Hinges are hard to repair sometimes as they were usually not that great to begin with and even if everything is there trying to bend them back onto the pins the metal is usually so fatigued that it doesn't last or breaks in the attempt. Suitable replacements can be found through places like Stew-Mac or even by cannibilizing another case. There is a guitar show that passes through here twice a year and there is a vendor at that show that has cases and cases of replacement hinges and handles and tuners etc. new and old and I'll usually hunt through his stuff and find stuff I need. The point of that is there are people who specialize in that kind of hardware and I would bet an internet search would turn something up.

Zigeuner
Aug-16-2009, 10:37pm
When I first received my 1917 Gibson A3, it came with the original case. The leather-covered handle was still there but heavily rotted. The inside of the case smelled terrible and about 50% of the lining was gone so that the instrument was rubbing on raw wood inside.

I was mainly concerned with protecting the instrument but also removing the smell. I finally had to remove the reimainder of the lining and let the case sit outside in the sun for a week. I replaced the lining with some nice felt and that took care of the smell.

The handle was replaced with a leather buckle-on handle from a vintage hardware store in Sacramentio. These handles are available on eBay from time to time. I used one on my 1923 Gibson TB-4 Tenor case, too, since that handle was missing when I got the instrument.

I mentioned what I had done to a collector friend once and he told me that I had seriously devalued the instrument since it no longer had the original case lining or andle. (What case lining? What handle? - most of it was missing or rotten. LOL ) While that may well be true, it's not for sale so the value is a moot point.

It sure smells better now, though. Instead of smelling like an old burial crypt, it smells of nice clean felt and cement - a definite improvement even though it's now been 25 years since the repair.

allenhopkins
Aug-17-2009, 8:34am
I mentioned what I had done to a collector friend once and he told me that I had seriously devalued the instrument since it no longer had the original case lining or handle. (What case lining? What handle? - most of it was missing or rotten. LOL ) While that may well be true, it's not for sale so the value is a moot point.

Not so sure your friend was right. Having the original case for an instrument of that vintage, is a "plus" in itself. Making the case usable doesn't "seriously devalue" the mandolin, if the instrument itself has all original parts, hasn't been refinished, etc. You might find a collector here and there who'd prefer a torn, mildewed, smelly lining, as long as it was original, but I think that person isn't the norm.

Zigeuner
Aug-17-2009, 11:12am
Not so sure your friend was right. Having the original case for an instrument of that vintage, is a "plus" in itself. Making the case usable doesn't "seriously devalue" the mandolin, if the instrument itself has all original parts, hasn't been refinished, etc. You might find a collector here and there who'd prefer a torn, mildewed, smelly lining, as long as it was original, but I think that person isn't the norm.

Well, I guess that makes me feel a little better. I do think it's important to protect it and prevent any further deterioration. When I got the instrument, the original pickguard had basically crumbled to dust inside the case. The original "sprue" or backbone to the pickguard was present as was the original side clamp. I looked and looked for an original pickguard but they are pricey when found on eBay. I finally had to cut one down from a replacement tortoise shell plastic material that I found on ebay. Other than that, the instrument is very original.

I first saw it in Columbus, Ohio in 1967 and my Uncle promised it to me at that time. I didn't receive until after his passing in 1980 and, as I said in the post above, I'm not in this for the money. I'm only the second owner as my Uncle purchased it new in Ohio in 1917 and played it in Shriner events for many years. It was well broken in when I got it. At this point, it's just a lot of fun to own it and play it.

marymeyer
Aug-17-2009, 11:38am
My old Gibson A is in great shape for it's age. But the original case is an old smelly, nasty, smelly case with two broken latches. It still works kind of but the mandolin is in a new case. Does anyone know a place or store or shop that can fix the latches on a old case like mine? I just think it would be cool to have it all working again. Did I mention smelly? Thank's, Nick

How old is the mandolin?

Nick Triesch
Aug-18-2009, 9:52pm
It is a 1923 Snakehead A . Nick