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Thread: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

  1. #1

    Default F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Hello everyone! This is my first post here on mandolin cafe and naturally for me it starts with a question about building. I am building an f-5 style mandolin that matches the specs of the old 1920s gibson f-5 mandolins. I usually only interested in building guitars but I am starting to migrate into the world of mandolin making. Normally, on guitars, the dot size is usually 1/4 inch, is this the same on the Lloyd Loar gibsons?

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. They are at least 1/4", and I think they might be 7mm.
    To me, they are too big and they almost look like cartoon dots inlaid in an instrument the size of a mandolin.
    (Sorry I didn't answer your question, I guess I just felt like interjecting an unsolicited personal opinion this morning.)

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  4. #3

    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    no worries
    I understand completely what you say about the dots being big, personally I like them, and to be honest, small or big, pearl is pretty! I will buy a few dots of 1/4 size, and some 7 mm dots, and see which looks closer to the originals.

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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    If you would just be a little more patient, I’m sure you will get a definitive answer here. Plenty of experts on those.

    I might speculate that perhaps they were 1/4 inch in the 20s because they were probably using US sources, but later were 7mm as they had to turn to Asian sources. The rest of the world is pretty much metric except us.
    Don

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  6. #5

    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    That actually seems like a better idea. By the way has anyone here ever used the .072 truss rod cover screws from Stewart Macdonald? Do they look correct on a Lloyd Loar F5 replica?

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    Registered User Max Girouard's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Loar signed Gibsons have 1/4 inch mother of pearl dots.

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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Thanks for the info!
    What are the dimensions for a Gibson truss rod cover? same as the ones we see on the les paul or smaller?

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    Registered User Max Girouard's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marn99 View Post
    Thanks for the info!
    What are the dimensions for a Gibson truss rod cover? same as the ones we see on the les paul or smaller?
    Not sure on that one, the plans are hiding somewhere in the shop. Speaking of plans, I recommend picking up a set of Adrian's plans (HOGO on the cafe) if you are planning on building a replica of a Loar signed Gibson.............

    https://www.elderly.com/gibson-lloyd...-version-3.htm

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Girouard View Post
    ...Speaking of plans, I recommend picking up a set of Adrian's plans (HOGO on the cafe) if you are planning on building a replica of a Loar signed Gibson.............
    I second that, and if I had thought of it, I could have looked for my copy and remembered the dot size!

  11. #10
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    I second that, and if I had thought of it, I could have looked for my copy and remembered the dot size!
    Snippet here:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Adrian

  12. #11

    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    FWIW, I use 1/4" dots on most of the acoustic and resophonic guitars we make. I started out using them on our mandolins too, but when I started making A-5 mandolins, I switched over to 6mm dots. They are a little bit smaller (.236" vs .250"). Not much of a difference, but I just think they look better on the smaller neck of a mandolin.

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  14. #12

    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Thanks for the responses everyone! I have a few more questions about Lloyd loar gibsons and mandolin making if you don't mind. What type of maple was the back and sides, Sugar (Hard) or red and/or bigleaf (Soft)? What type of wood was the end block material? and what type of wood is the kerfing? Also, is Don Macrostie's video on mandolin making from stewmac worth it? I looks good and I have heard good things but I am apprehensive due to the price.

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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marn99 View Post
    Thanks for the responses everyone! I have a few more questions about Lloyd loar gibsons and mandolin making if you don't mind. What type of maple was the back and sides, Sugar (Hard) or red and/or bigleaf (Soft)? What type of wood was the end block material? and what type of wood is the kerfing? Also, is Don Macrostie's video on mandolin making from stewmac worth it? I looks good and I have heard good things but I am apprehensive due to the price.
    Gibson catalogs of the era mention "Michigan hard maple" but possibly red maple of Michigan origin could easily sneak in there as well... Blocks were Honduran mahogany, lining was basswood.
    The video is good - perhaps some methods may be pretty specific to his making and tooling and the time when the video was filmed, there are many other ways to do it, and IMO, you can get all the instruction you will ever need and more here on the cafe...
    Adrian

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-5 pearl fret marker dot size?

    Marn99, you have found some of the most generous builders you may find in your entire life here. The plans from Adrian are beautiful and, would be a fine investment into the project. I suggest you also take a look at the “Mandocello build thread” from sunburst, the size may be different but many of the techniques he employs will help in the project. If you get in a bind, ask here, wait a few hours and you will have several suggestions as to how to work it out.
    Have fun and post some pictures as you go!
    Good luck!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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