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Thread: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

  1. #1

    Default Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Whats your opinion on the best shop to work on Mandolins in Chicago? I mostly play fiddle but am being called to play mandolin more so a little new to the complexities of frets and tuning double strings. I bought this old guy, built circa 1925, and it has a sweet tone but is hard to keep in tune under the best of circumstances. It needs new tuners but the head stock faces are not parallel. I bought a set of Kluson's for it. I'm being told that when you tighten down the plate for a set of plate tuners on that convex curve of the bottom face it will angle the posts and the tuners won't turn easily. Need good advice in Chicago on that issue plus the groves in the nut and the frets so I can end up with a good, in-tune, playable instrument.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Give Jim at Hogeye Music a call, he can likely help you out. The shop is in Evanston on Central, so... not not Chicago.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    A violin shop but Bein and Fushi might be able to guide you in right direction !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Another possibility would be the Old Town School of Folk Music. They have a shop, plus half a dozen mandolin teachers so even if the shop can't help you can probably get some recommendations from the teachers.

  6. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Who did the work that's been done thus far? Had you purchased the Stew Mac replacement tuners they would have dropped right in.

    http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_..._Mandolin.html
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Andy Miller at Third Coast Repair is a Cafe member and mandolin guy.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    It was Jim at Hog Eye who sold me the Kluson tuners but said he was not set up to do the wood working he saw a being required.
    Likewise, Andy Miller said he wasn't set up with the right tooling. He said it sounds as if a tuner would a
    looser fitting bushing might work better. He suggested Third Coast Guitar Repair.

  9. #8
    Player, luthier, tech Andy Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Hi all - just a side note. .. . I don't work at Third Coast any more but I do recommend them!

    In this case I haven't seen the instrument firsthand. Sounds like Jim (Hogeye) thinks the back surface of that headstock is curved enough to splay the posts off-center and cause binding problems. If that's the case it could be a challenge to get them to work well even with a more forgiving type of bushing.

    If further woodworking ends up being required, Third Coast has the woodworking and finishing skills/resources to tackle it to whatever cosmetic level you deem necessary.

    Andy

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Andy, your picture is still prominently displayed on their website. Sorry bout that.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Good Mando Luthier in Chicago for a Gibson junior

    Thanks to all on the suggestions. I had sent Third Coast a shout online but they hadn't gotten back to me by the time I put the mando in the car and headed out. I went to two places with the instrument. The Fret Works on Lincoln: Dan and Steve were very interested and helpful and after some back and forth felt that the best solution would be to file the head stock flat and then add a new piece of mahogany to build up the thickness and then drill and mount the tuners. They were too busy to take it on in my time frame. (I have to leave the country with the mandolin on January 30th.) I then took it to Geoff Benge (www.chicagoguitarrepair.com). He immediately came up with the same strategy and could do it in two weeks so I left it with him. He appeared very charmed by the instrument and I think he will do a good job. Thanks again.

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