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Thread: Loar Picture of the Day

  1. #26
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (f5journl @ Aug. 14 2003, 6:08)
    absolutely..the dovetail is cut left of center and at a slight angle so that the centerline of neck crosses the centerline of the body at or near the bridge
    Wow...
    I thought so...
    The 2 non-symetrical side buttons are kinda a giveaway, no?
    How much off center?
    Do the Morgan (or any other) plans depict this?

    Great thread!

    "Hey Bruce.......where did you get the fixture?"

    I've been collecting Loar pics for awhile now in anticipation of building one (man, now I know why I gave up building these things&#33, but I'm not really sure where that picture came from...

    Darryl....
    Have you ever noticed how many of the Loars have miss-matched tops? I've seen a few and would love to know how many are made from 2 different spruce trees...

  2. #27
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    None of the plans accurately depict the off center neck. The original F5L plans do show the offset neck angle..but not really correctly. The new master models are very close.
    I have pics on this subject..will post or send some

    Mismatched spruce....haven't noticed/paid attention to this..will investigate

    The F5 form..the person that has it doesn't think it is from the Loar era, however I do. He says the shape is off...but the shape would be off if you compared it to a Kalamazoo F5L that you thought was correct..eh
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
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  3. #28
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    Yup.

    It probably came from the huge Kzoo auction in '84. I find the bolt "hole" in the headblock area very interesting.

    I think I've mentioned it before, but the necks really aren't that far off center. It's just that the scroll throws the center-line out of whack. If one digitally removes the scroll and point, things are pretty well centered. However, due the the hand-work nature of dovetail neck-fits, there are differing levels of being off-center in different Loars.

    Charlie

  4. #29
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    On most Loars I've seen, the "buttons" at the 15th fret are non-symetrical by a millimeter or two....
    Is that about how far the neck is off the center line, thus affecting the shape and size of the button....?
    Or is it more extreme?

    We've had huge discussions (ad nausem, in fact) both here and on Comando regarding miss-matched spruce in the Loars...
    It is an interesting topic, IMO, and not just because I'm a woodcutter...(g).
    John Reischmann's, for example, is obviously made from 2 very different trees, and I remember seeing several others at Loarfest several years ago....
    I think it's odd that during a period when most of the A's were made from anal-retentively bookmatched wood, the top-of-the-line flagship mando is cobbled together from 2 un-matched pieces...

    This was a common intentional technique used in 17th century Italian making, for example, which begs the question "was it intentional in the Loars"?...

    I like the idea, myself....

    PS...
    Sorry to yank the pic of the Loar form....
    Apparently it wasn't supposed to exist...(g).

  5. #30
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    I've noticed the un-matched aspects of certain Loar tops, also. However, I always assumed they were flip-matched instead of book-matched. The ones I've seen (and remembered) have the same grain line-per-inch count on each side. I don't remember John's.

    Charlie

  6. #31
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    Okay, GREAT topic and a lot of very knowledgeable people are weighing in on this. I have one question, if you are right about the mismatched tops and bottoms, could this be a contributing factor in why the Loar's sound so wonderful????
    Ron Lane
    2002 Gibson F-9
    Martin DC-18GTE

  7. #32
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    Bruce ,I wasn't sure at first what you meant by buttons ,but I think you mean the things on the side of the fingerboard where the cross-piece goes through ,half headblock and half extension. I looked at that on Caleb Roberts Loar ,and what they did on the scroll side was cut away a large part of the "button" to make the scroll opening look right.So that side is generally smaller for that reason ,not nessesarily because of the off-center issue.

  8. #33
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    John R.'s is a total miss-match...
    That's pretty cool really...

    It's sometimes hard to detect whether a top is matched or not, but if you "gunsight" it right over the tailpiece, usually the graining is a lot easier to spot...

    This works with actual-size pictures in a book, too...(g).

    After the whole miss-matched top discussions, Will Kimble made a real nice A model with Engelmann in the bass side and Red in the treble, and it was amazing how the woods matched up...
    And it wasn't 'bursted...
    Kinda blonde, in fact...

    Sounded good, too....

  9. #34
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    Nice pics Daryl !!!!!!

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    Jim, You said :"what they did on the scroll side was cut away a large part of the "button" to make the scroll opening look right.So that side is generally smaller for that reason ,not nessesarily because of the off-center issue"

    The experts will correct me if I'm way off here, but I think this IS the meat of the off-center issue ....When you have the scroll and it's opening that close to the neck, it necessarily makes the neck joint area LOOK off center, unless you re-shaped the opposite (point) side to match.
    # Another thing is, what's center on an assymetrical instrument like the F-5? The top joint? Not necessarily...Due to the nature of copy carving machinery (which, I understand was used to carve to plates of the Loars) and their cutter rotation ,it's common to have plates being carved a tad off the planned center....I've found this in my own work. It matters little though because the top joint is hidden at either end by the Fretboard extender and the tailpiece.
    So I guess I'm saying that though the dovetail mortise may appear off center when compared to the top joint does that truly indicate that the neck was planned to be "off center" ?
    I think the combination of the two factors I mentioned could be the reason for this strange bit of "off center Loar Lore" . What I find most important in my work is the alignment of the scrolls on the top & back regardless of the plate centerlines, and I suspect this was the primary concern for the guys that built the Loars....ok that's my theory, #rip me a new one fellas. *g*..........Jamie




  11. #36
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    "Another thing is, what's center on an assymetrical instrument like the F-5? "

    Funny you mention this...
    I have a tracing of the original F5 form (supposedly), with no centerline indicated...
    I've put this tracing up against the Davis and Morgan plans, and it's a crapshoot as to where I'm gonna stick the center line...they are in 2 different places by a considerable margin...

    Anyway, I'm gonna download one of these wonderful Loar pics, size it in Photoshop to actual size, hold my pattern up to the computer screen, and mark where the neck goes...

    So thanks for the template, Darryl...(g).

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    You mean I miss checking this message for two days and a great thread like this pops up. Man that'll learn me!

    thanks for the cool pics and keep em up,

    -e

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    Darryl ,I'd like to know how your posting such great photo's and staying within the file size limits.

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    <"Loar Expert" hat on - even know I know pretty much nothing about them. #This is all in good fun!>

    Seeing as how these Loars were basically all hand made, these slight discrepencies could be nothing more than variences in how each individual instrument was crafted. #I have a feeling Mr. Loar is may be laughing in his grave at how we are all trying to scientifically analyze his creations in an attempt to capture the tone he created in his mandolins.
    No disrespect to all those who know so much about these wonderful instruments. #They are a thing of beauty, and I can certainly see why everyone wants to duplicate them (myself included). #Just a thought.


    <"Loar Expert" hat off>

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    Thanks for the great discussion! Looking at the straight on shot above, you can see the 15th fret ivoroid projects out from the fretboard less on the bass side than the treble side. I got out my new Siminoff drawings, and he shows the neck offset this way, with the bass side ivoroid at about 5mm and the treble ivoroid about 8mm+. I understand what Jamie is saying about the centerline of the top joint being off, but if you use the apex of the heelblock as the upper midline, the neck is definitely offset to the bass side, regardless of where the top joint is. Interesting. I planned on retooling a bit on my next mandolin, so I will incorporate this detail!
    "No point in thinking outside the box until you know what's IN the box. . ." #Frank Ford

  16. #41
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    DGW:
    Weren't you at one time planning on releasing a 'coffee-table' book with pictures of Loar instruments, in conjunction with the Journal?? #That still a plan?

  17. #42

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    sorry about the quality, I had to downsize considerably, this is the top of John Reischmanns feb18 loar, different grain width and alignment from a local feb18 1924 a couple of serial numbers away
    Mr hillburn, if you're coming to pagosa, bring $, Mr harvie will be ther with maple and spruce fer sale! if not, just tell drew to bring you some early xmas presents!
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  18. #43
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    Wow Bill...
    Thanks for that pic of John's mando top....
    I've been trying to (unsucessfully) take a pic of that graining for years now....

    Yep, I'll be at Pagosa this year....
    I'm on the hunt for Blue Spruce in un-matched 1/2's for future Loars, and really looking forward to the road trip...

  19. #44
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Hi guys..I'm back from Phoenix..I'll post some stuff in the morning...I am glad the thread did'nt fall behind...

    I think the Riechsman Loar has major grain runout..but I haven't studied the pic well yet...will be in touch tomor
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
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  20. #45
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    By the wat ...my provider cut me off on the "bandwidth traffic" to do with this thread...I'm working on a solution..

    To the gut that questioned the resolution issue..I simply pointed the pics to my homepage on another server...but they don't like the overall traffic
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
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  21. #46
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    Thought I would add a few to the list. Here's one of Lloyd Loar's signature. The mandolin is top bound and serial number 75317. All the following pictures are of the same mandolin.

    Jim



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    Here's the headstock.
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    Here's a front shot.
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  24. #49
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    Here's the dated label.
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  25. #50
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    And finally one of the back.
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