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Thread: Work done on the Rybka mandola

  1. #51
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    The tuners on this instrument, like many of this type and age that I've encountered, work really smoothly and really well. I did not remove them from the instrument because there was no need, and why risk damage from removing them(?).
    I gave them a surface cleaning and a few tiny drops of Triflow.
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  2. #52
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Backing up a little, here is the bridge with the new top.
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  3. #53
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    The tailpiece is silver plated. I don't know if using silver polish on silver plating is acceptable, and I don't know it using silver polish on a vintage mandolin tailpiece is acceptable, but I decided against it all the same and just gave the tailpiece a little cleaning with soap and water.
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  4. #54
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    I put the (original?) pearl nut back in place to see if the height would still be OK with the new (old) frets and happily, it was. I was even able to clean up the string slots and lower them very slightly for good string action at the nut.
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    I had to lower the bridge a little by removing some wood from the new top (rather than from the original bottom) and I was able to get the action nice and low. There isn't much downward adjustment left in the bridge, but there may not be any need for it because the action is low.
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    Last edited by sunburst; Jun-13-2018 at 3:30pm.

  5. #55
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    After a day or so of string tension I checked the neck for straightness and found that some bow had pulled into it. The truss rod easily adjusted it straight, and I was able to adjust it for a slight bit of relief and nice low action. It plays and sounds great.
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    - - - Updated - - -

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  7. #56
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    I have a few other pictures that might be of interest to some folks. I'll post some of them later.

  8. #57
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    John, you’ve earned yourself a nice end of the day cocktail!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  9. #58
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    I think I remember some discussion of the mounting of the Virzi and whether a tone bar was notched. I managed to get some shots of the "feet" of the Virzi. Not high quality, no fiber optics or anything sophisticated, just aiming my small digital camera through the end pin hole and f holes.
    This is the central foot toward the tail block. it looks about the same as it would in a mandolin.
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    This is one of the feet to the side. It sits near the tone bar.
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    Here is the one on the other side.
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    How did they do that? I can only assume that they cut an arched notch in the foot and it straddles the tone bar. Surely they didn't cut a piece out of the tone bar and set the foot in the space. I can't really know because I can't see it any better than these pictures show.

  10. #59
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Here is the case. I assume it is original.
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  11. #60
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    I did not lift the case by the handle while I had it in my possession!
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    The center part of the handle seems to be twisted printed material, in a language that looks like German to me (just guessing). It leads me to believe the case was made in Europe, not in America. I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable historians around here will know.

  12. #61
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    I'd like to know the story of how this happened.
    The mandola barely fits in the case. Here's the position of the peghead when the instrument is in the case.
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    Here is the condition of the interior resulting from having to nearly force the instrument into the case.
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    Same thing at the lower body point.
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    I found an end pin in the case compartment, checked it for fit, and put it into the tail end of the instrument. I didn't think any more about it until I tried putting the mandola in the case. It will not fit with an end pin installed! That's why it was in the case compartment!
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    So, how did Gibson end up getting a case (cases?) that is too small, and why did they send the instrument out in the case instead of getting something that fit better?

  13. #62
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Perhaps it was H-4 case for shorter neck instrument?
    The Virzi installation is hillarious! I would guess they cut right through the tonebar from those pics as the grain of the virzi cleanly hides behind the bar wood and no gap, filled or unfilled, is visible from this angle. Can you, please, have a look with a mirror through the f hole to confirm?
    Adrian

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  15. #63
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    Perhaps it was H-4 case for shorter neck instrument?
    The Virzi installation is hillarious! I would guess they cut right through the tonebar from those pics as the grain of the virzi cleanly hides behind the bar wood and no gap, filled or unfilled, is visible from this angle. Can you, please, have a look with a mirror through the f hole to confirm?
    Perhaps the owner can do that. I've sent the mandola back to him.
    I looked at it with mirrors and I couldn't tell exactly what they did. Whatever it was, and arch in the foot or a piece cut from the brace, they got the fit so good that I can't tell which they did.
    I could see it better than I could photograph it (bad focus and lightning here) and I simply couldn't tell.
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  16. #64
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    That is why the end pin is removable! It’s for when the case is too short, the light is not brighter!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  17. #65
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    John, you made me happy with this thread. It is really very instructive and interesting.

    Might you (or the owner) have a soundfile that could be posted? Please.
    Olaf

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  19. #66
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    I don't have a sound file, but it is a very good sounding mandola. Perhaps the owner will consider such a thing.
    Perhaps he'll also chime in here. I don't think he is concerned about folks knowing who he is, but I make it a policy to not reveal the identities of owners of instruments I work on.

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  21. #67
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Thank you for posting this restoration - very interesting!

  22. #68
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    John,

    You truly are a Master Luthier. Please post your next adventure. I love seeing this kind of workmanship.
    2010 Weber Yellowstone

    I maybe wrong, but it is highly doubtful.

  23. #69
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by George R. Lane View Post
    ...Please post your next adventure...
    Ha!
    I have "adventures" going on constantly around here. Even if I had time to post them all folks would soon tire of them.
    This was at the request of the owner who thought it would be of interest to many people with an interest in Lloyd Loar, Gibson, history, and mandolins family instruments. It is now a recorded part of the history of this rare instrument.

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    40bpm 

  25. #70
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Ha!
    I have "adventures" going on constantly around here. Even if I had time to post them all folks would soon tire of them.
    This was at the request of the owner who thought it would be of interest to many people with an interest in Lloyd Loar, Gibson, history, and mandolins family instruments. It is now a recorded part of the history of this rare instrument.
    I am glad that the owner requested this documentation. You did very well. Looking forward towards a possible recording. I also tip my hat towards your privacy policy.

    There are a couple of people that have something to say here and whose posts I generally read (if the thread interests me). You (among others) are one concerning mandolin construction, Almeirastrings and Foldedpath are some that I follow concerning recording and PA-sytems, Big Joe is about Gibson etc.
    Olaf

  26. #71
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    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    This is one of the best I've seen on here! Its really special to see the work done to make that old Loar get playable again. Great attention to detail. Thanks to John and the owner for putting this up.

  27. #72

    Default Re: Work done on the Rybka mandola

    The Great Grand nephew of Joseph Rybka auctioned this mandola and I stepped up.... I have been in contact with him since the auction, and he was most pleased that it went to someone who loves old instruments, and Loars in particular. He was thrilled to think that this Mandola will be referred to as the "Rybka Mandola" on through the years, and I offered that it certainly was my intention to do so. Much of the recent history was covered in the thread discussing the Mandola referenced in the first note from John...
    I felt that significant work on significant instruments should be documented, and shared with the greater community. This is at odds with what often happens, where someone has work done on an instrument, almost in a secretive way.... maybe to hide what has transpired, thinking of a future sale value....
    I have always followed the path of making sure every old instrument that passes though my hands, leaves it, in better condition, than when I received it. This wonderful Loar mandola, needed some tender loving care, and I felt that John was one of the obvious, gifted luthiers to tackle the project. He did not disappoint.
    Loar mandolas are that much more rare than Loar mandolins, and deserve the best....

    If not THE best, John is certainly one of them...
    thanks to him for taking the significant amount of time to record and share his work.... we all are better for it, and this instrument certainly is better for it as well...
    John D

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