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Thread: Sacrilege?

  1. #1

    Default Sacrilege?

    I've been surfing classifieds looking at old metal resonator mandos.

    The ones with faux wood paint jobs don't look as good (to me) as the metal ones. That's not at all a deal-breaker for me, but it does make me wonder: do people ever strip the paint off old resos to get down to the bare metal? Do they go to hell for it?

    =O.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    If you strip it down they rust, you could refinish it, but what are you going to put on it, paint that doesn't look like wood. Go for it.
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    If you strip it down they rust, you could refinish it, but what are you going to put on it, paint that doesn't look like wood. Go for it.
    Aha! The paint is actually functional!

    There's always good old clear coat. That that means skipping primer. Probably not a good plan. Hm.

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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Yep you got it. A friends old national had the crinkle paint on it and over the years it wore away leaving a rust bucket. He tried several times to paint, but not much worked well. The original formula was not passed on and it took national a long time to recreate that finish. Really need to acid dip it first to make sure the paint sticks and looks good.
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  7. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Aren't most of the vintage painted Nationals made of steel? And aren't the silver ones plated?

    I suppose if you have one stripped you could take it to a collision shop and or car customizer and have them paint it for you. Wouldn;t that be the same process as painting a car? You could have a cool literally flamed National.
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  9. #6

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    . . . Really need to acid dip it first to make sure the paint sticks and looks good.
    Interesting idea. I painted my car once using rattle-can self-etching primer on all the patched places and after-market sections. I put on the color and clear coats in a spray room. They stuck.

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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    The steel bodied one's are just that, steel. The plated one's are bell brass that is nickle plated, then chrome plated. Chrome won't stick to the brass to it has to be nickle first.
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  12. #8

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Nickel pops, Pops! I wonder how much it costs to get a stripped mando nickel-plated.

  13. #9

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    I have a 30's National guitar that was originally painted, according to its serial number, but a previous owner had it nickle plated (probably 40 or 50 years ago.) Probably to mimic a fancier model.

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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Nickel pops, Pops! I wonder how much it costs to get a stripped mando nickel-plated.
    Long night last night and still not awake. I am not sure I would plate a steel body guitar, the sound is something special and the plating may add too much mass and change that. You might contact National about the crinkle paint and see if it could be applied locally. It would be interesting to know if the person Jeff knew thought it changed the sound.
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  17. #11

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    . . . I am not sure I would plate a steel body guitar . . . .
    It's probably pricier than I'd ever want to go, anyway. A rattle-can of self-etching primer and a not-too-annoying top color (nitro? poly?) would probably look good at a nice price.

    Though Jim G.'s flame idea is appealing . . . .

  18. #12

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    I watched a YouTube video earlier. Of a spray on chrome plating system. Seemed easy enough to apply. Could be an option.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    I kinda like the painted-on "wood grain". It adds to the funkiness quotient - and if a reso mandolin isn't funky, what is?

    Also makes me think of old baseball cards ...

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  22. #14

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    I kinda like the painted-on "wood grain". It adds to the funkiness quotient - and if a reso mandolin isn't funky, what is?

    Also makes me think of old baseball cards ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So true! Old TVs, radios, dashboards, and stereos, for that matter. With the looka real wood!

  23. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Genuine imitation woodgrain!
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  25. #16

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    And whoever heard of a Country Squire without genuine vinyl stick-on woody panels?

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  27. #17
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Hey Charlie, maybe some woodgrain shelf paper. Just stick it on, now that's funky. A nice yellow might be good too.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  29. #18

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Charlie old boy, you didn't ask, but im offering........

    !.if you want a resonator, and I would totally get it, as I too want one, buy the one you like, not a bargain. I don't like the painted ones either.


    2. respectfully, truly, if YOU repaint the mando, anything than what looks just exactly like a national paint job,

    IMHO, its gonna look like a fish in a tree to anyone who is familiar with them. Maybe Prince could get away with his "cupids arrow " guitar, but most of us couldn't. id be more prone to use stickers......its hard to describe, but most have an eye to see what it ought to be, and catch whats not quite jake.

    an all brass resonator, might just look like a car in primer......one thing will happen, its gonna tarnish and get onto clothing.

    ive polished many a t?rd, so I know. ive come to realize sometimes its better to pay more and get satisfaction. its amazing how much fix up can cost in the long run. and, its rarely every made quite right, at least that's my experience.

    replating .......hold on to your wallet, its a lot of money, having done it on some old worn Gibson parts.

    an analogy, ???????, well, sorta like a beautiful purple metal flake paint on a Rolls or BMW etc., it may be a super job, but, in all but rare cases, its not going to look right or be harmonious with the object.

    my point, is not to dis the idea, at all, but, rather, if you dig a national, save and get one you are gonna love every time you see it.

    save you money it will.......

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  31. #19

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevedenver View Post
    . . . my point, is not to dis the idea, at all, but, rather, if you dig a national, save and get one you are gonna love every time you see it.

    save you money it will.......
    Or just leave the goofy look-o-real-wood paint job on it. Cheapest, easiest, and I want a player, not a looker. I mean, those walnut RM-1s are cute, but when there old beaters around for a fraction of the price . . . .

  32. #20

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    And whoever heard of a Country Squire without genuine vinyl stick-on woody panels?

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    That picture makes me think how times have changed in 50 years. Nowadays kids would need to be strapped into child seats. Back then, we just let kids enjoy the breeze and the scenery. Sure, once in a while a kid fell out going down the highway at 75 mph, but it was a very small percentage and certainly within accepted limits......

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  34. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Or just leave the goofy look-o-real-wood paint job on it. Cheapest, easiest, and I want a player, not a looker. I mean, those walnut RM-1s are cute, but when there old beaters around for a fraction of the price . . . .
    IMHO, there really is no comparison between the vintage National mandolins and the RM-1. I have owned both and in terms of playing did not find much use of my late 1920s silver #2. In std tuning it was too strident even to my younger ears. Bear in mind that I am a fool for vintage stuff and always have been but I was seriously impressed with the first RM-1 I played. So when I had the opportunity to acquire one I did so. My poor little #2 sat around I played so I bid it find farewell. That doesn’t mean they aren’t cool instruments but they are in different universes.
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  36. #22
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    You can put some felt on the ledge the cone sits on to dampen it down a little, I have seen this on some old Nationals. The new ones really are much warmer. The old Dobro is also warmer, might have something to do with the wood body.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  38. #23

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    IMHO, there really is no comparison between the vintage National mandolins and the RM-1. I have owned both and in terms of playing did not find much use of my late 1920s silver #2. In std tuning it was too strident even to my younger ears. Bear in mind that I am a fool for vintage stuff and always have been but I was seriously impressed with the first RM-1 I played. So when I had the opportunity to acquire one I did so. My poor little #2 sat around I played so I bid it find farewell. That doesn’t mean they aren’t cool instruments but they are in different universes.
    It's good to read that. Thanks!

    Now that I'm retired, I just don't expect to be paying RM-1 prices for instruments anymore. Unless I sell a song. And since I haven't sold a song yet . . . .

    I might just have to stand pat - use my A5 for gigs and parties and my flattop for picnics and busking. Two mandos is a whole lot more fun than no mandos!

    Still, it wouldn't hurt to just test drive an old National or two. Just to keep a finger in the game.

  39. #24

    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    You can put some felt on the ledge the cone sits on to dampen it down a little, I have seen this on some old Nationals. The new ones really are much warmer. The old Dobro is also warmer, might have something to do with the wood body.
    Aha! There IS a way! Felt? Dobro? I sure like the sound of my my Dobro roundneck.

  40. #25
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sacrilege?

    As discussed, National made some of its earliest guitars of "German silver," a shiny copper/zinc/nickel alloy -- other than the resonator cone, always aluminum, either spun or stamped. There's an outrageously engraved "presentation grade" German silver mandolin in the Brozman book.

    Later Nationals were either nickel/chrome plated brass, or steel (and a few wooden ones, like my National Havana). The steel bodied ones (mostly Triolian or Duolian) had painted finishes, either "polychrome" often with painted or stenciled Hawaiian scenes, or "walnut sunburst." My Triolian mandolin is the latter.

    The nickel or chrome plated instruments often were engraved with floral patterns, or had Hawaiian-motif scenes sandblasted into the plating's surface. My Style 0 guitar has the faint outlines of palm trees and a man in a canoe, still visible on the back.

    Faux wood painting was also common on aluminum instruments, like my probably-Pfretzschner aluminum bass fiddle. I've often considered stripping it down to shiny aluminum, similar to Everett Allen Lilly's bass when he played for the Charles River Valley Boys, but never get around to it. The aluminum bowl of my Merrill mandolin, however, is left "natural" and engraved.

    Concur in Jim G's evaluation of vintage National mandolins vs. the new RM-1. I wouldn't trade in my Triolian, but I'm pretty sure the RM-1's a more versatile instrument. I'd never take the ol' Triolian to a Celtic session, for example.
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