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Thread: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Hi all!

    I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. I found a Stella Mandolin in an old Virginia wood shop and would like to know more about it. I'll attach a few pictures including one taken shortly after dumping the sawdust out of the case, which was filled to the top! It probably helped preserve the instrument. Back home in Florida.....I needed to reglue a couple of joints at the back of the bowl, but that was the only repair. I should have new strings on it this weekend and look forward to playing it!

    There is a number (model, serial?) inside the sound hole rear brace. Hopefully this will shed some light on it's vintage.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Looks like you need to fit a bridge, hopefully it's with the instrument.

    Then you'll have to see what the action looks like, hopefully the neck is set OK.

    Use VERY light strings specifically for older lightly built mandolins.

    It's hard to tell what else is going on under the sawdust. Anyway, this is a basic bowlback and is not particularly valuable, but it may well sound good and play well once set up.

    Keep us posted please.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Manufactured by or for the Oscar Schmidt Company of Jersey City, NJ. Most likely sometime between 1900 and 1920. That number is probably a mail order house (like Sears or Wards) catalog number.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Yes, I do have a bridge. The neck set looks good. Taking your advice and installing a light set of strings and will post pictures.

    Thanks!

    Sean


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Looks like you need to fit a bridge, hopefully it's with the instrument.

    Then you'll have to see what the action looks like, hopefully the neck is set OK.

    Use VERY light strings specifically for older lightly built mandolins.

    It's hard to tell what else is going on under the sawdust. Anyway, this is a basic bowlback and is not particularly valuable, but it may well sound good and play well once set up.

    Keep us posted please.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    These pictures should give a better idea of the condition of this Mandolin. It appears to be in great shape for something that is a century old!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk1 View Post
    Yes, I do have a bridge. The neck set looks good. Taking your advice and installing a light set of strings and will post pictures.

    Thanks!

    Sean
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #6
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    The neck and frets appear like they may work!

  10. #7

    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Excellent! Thank you.

  11. #8

    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    The neck and frets appear like they may work!
    French Rub.....Progress!

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    We finished repairing the Mandolin today and put on a set of strings. I am pleased with the way it sounds and it frets very easily. As you can see, it turned into a bigger project than originally planned! The fret board was warped near the sound hole. We removed a couple of frets and the fret board crumbled so "Papa Jack" had to make a new one! Now I need to learn how to play it!

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    Hey there! Just wanted to say i recently started refurbing a stella, and your post inspired me to learn french polish! How many coats did you use for this guy?

  15. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Info needed on a Stella Mandolin

    You may or may not get a reply to this 4 year old thread. The last time that member was online was Oct-12-2016.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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