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Thread: How difficult of repair is this?

  1. #1
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    Default How difficult of repair is this?

    is this something i should attempt myself? Ive just got a couple hundred dollars in this old Gibson and i want my grandaughter to use it to learn to play on, so being restored to new is not my goal, just playable.
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  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    The failed glue joint itself is not too bad to repair, other than needing some sort of jig to get good alignment (something you probably wouldn't have good luck with without some experience), but it looks like someone has put some sort of gunk (wood filler?) in there, and that complicates things because it all has to be removed in order to get a good glue joint, and that is a pretty serious complication.
    Also, is the finish stripped? Is the back binding missing or was there none?

  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    I would also check for other issues like loose braces and top sinkage. Obviously this mandolin has been through some dire circumstances.
    Jim

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    I'd suggest taking it to a luthier for an estimate and prognosis. If that's the only problem the repair shouldn't be all that expensive and spending some $$ on a Gibson would be worth it.
    OTOH- another route might be to sell it as-is to someone willing to do the work and use the proceeds to buy your grand daughter a decent mandolin in ready to play condition.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    My thought is since i have it, and the top does not appear sunken, and poking around with a light and little mirror shard (dont tell my wife, she’ll ask where i got the piece of mirror) indicates the braces and insides are ok, i might as well fix it. It had strings on it and seems playable (i play a little mando). If she indeeds does have enough interest to stick with it, ill pick up another more suitable for BG. When im done, ill have a cool ol mando to hang on the wall, or pick on now and then. But sometimes my thought processes are a little wacky..so my wife says.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    Timbro- you should heed the advice you have gotten here so far. Glueing a failed joint like that without a specialized alignment jig is really tough, and likely to turn out wrong. Sunburst (John Hamlett) has such a jig of his own design, he has shared pictures of it before. And there are other issues. There is obviously at least one crack in the back that needs to be addressed, and it does appear someone has sanded off at least some of the finish. There are some obvious sanding marks there. And the question of binding has yet to be answered. In fact, all we know is that it’s an “old Gibson”. We haven’t been told what year or model, so it’s impossible to determine whether there should be binding or not.

    Please take this advice in the spirit in which it is intended. Not trying to be a downer here but just trying to help you to avoid disappointment and potential disaster. You don’t seem like a guy with a lot of luthier experience. If you did have such experience, you would not have performed your inspection by “poking around” with a “mirror shard”. There are proper tools for that. I’m guessing that if you don’t possess those tools, then you probably lack other luthier’s tools as well as experience. My recommendation is to take it to competent shop to be evaluated and repaired properly by someone who knows what to do. More expensive than the do it yourself approach? You bet. But a nice instrument deserves a better fate than the treatment it has obviously received up to this point.

    Update: just noticed the mandolin was identified in another thread as a 1913 A style. That doesn’t really change my above advice, though.
    Don

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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    I absolutely have no luthier experience, so i appreciate the time those more knowledgable than I have taken to respond. Yes, it has been stripped of the finish, and another kind soul on the info forum identified it as a 1913 A. There is no binding on the back. You have convinced me that it is deserving at least a look over by a competent luthier. If anyone is interested, ill update this thread after that happens and thank you all for your thoughts.

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    Anyone interested? Are you serious? Of course we’re interested! Please keep us updated! We love stuff like this. Maybe another member who lives in your region can recommend someone?
    Don

    Weber Custom Bitterroot F
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    From what i see, the jig or something similiar shown on this page is what is needed. Her description of the separation of the back near the tailpiece is exactly what i'm seeing. As well it looks like a little shrinkage has occurred in the back piece so that the edge of the back and the side does not quite line up. I find the luthier's craft fascinating. Makes me wish i had these skills.

    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/r...racks.php#nogo

  11. #10

    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    This is a good instrument that is worth taking the time and money to fix properly.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    Thanks Carl. That seems to be the consensus.

  13. #12
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: How difficult of repair is this?

    For those advising Timbro, be aware that the instrument is discussed in this thread in the Mandolin Information forum, and there are several more pix of it there.

    Seems to be a 'teens Gibson A (just "A," not A-1, A-2 etc.) that's been sanded; appears to have original pickguard, tailpiece, tuners. Could be a nice instrument if fixed up and made playable.
    Allen Hopkins
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