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Thread: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

  1. #1

    Default Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    So my parents passed away and I got the mandola - it was my grandfathers. It is currently in the shop being repaired/restored but I do not have a case to protect it. It is a 1909 H2 and I am interested in purchasing a case for it. Any ideas? Web searching has proved futile.

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    My favorite source for oddball cases is Gold Tone, a company that lists many unusual instruments. I'd browse around and see if there are any whose dimensions are close to that of your H-2. Maybe an "Irish tenor" banjo case, with the right size for the body and perhaps some surplus neck length. I bought Gold Tone cases and gig bags that fit, for example, a "Pete Seeger" long neck banjo with a resonator, a Celebrated Benary "lady's banjo," and other such one-of's.

    Oh, and congratulations on inheriting such a fine and unusual instrument.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Please report back on what you find, if anything. I may well be in the same boat within the next week or so.

    Roger Siminoff was selling mandola cases but it appears they've been scrubbed from his website.

    I have some contact info for a local chap here in the Seattle area who may be up for a build. If I decide to go that route I'll get a quote from him. Perhaps he could build a pair.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    I have some contact info for a local chap here in the Seattle area who may be up for a build. If I decide to go that route I'll get a quote from him. Perhaps he could build a pair.
    Handmade case? I'm guessing that wouldn't be cheap.......

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Handmade case? I'm guessing that wouldn't be cheap.......
    It might be cheaper (or, at least, not any costlier) than a vintage period-correct Geib mandola case! Mandolin cases can be found occasionally, but mandola cases almost never.

    Funny, GoldTone currently offers a mandola that comes with a case, but I don't see that case listed separately on the GoldTone site — not under "mandola case," anyhow. Here's what it looks like, but it's difficult to tell whether it would fit a Gibson. https://www.ebay.com/itm/GOLD-TONE-M....c100005.m2219
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  7. #6
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Try Saga. They include a hard case with their Trinity College mandola. They don't list the case on their website, but if you get in touch with them, you might be able to order the case only. If they won't talk to you, go to your closest acoustic instrument store and ask them to try.

    If that doesn't work, it would be fairly easy to build a rectangular or arrow shaped case. You don't need luthier's skills, just carpentry skills. Or find a friendly cabinet maker to do it for you.

    Plywood from the lumber yard, lining from the fabric shop, hinges and latches from any good instrument supplier, and padding shouldn't be hard to find. If you don't want to cover it with vinyl, you can give it a nice stain and spray it with polyurethane.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Trouble with both the GoldTone and Saga cases may lie in the fact that they are both longer in scale than a Gibson mandola, and so the fit is likely to be a poor one if the Gibson fits at all.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Good point, but if the body fits, one can usually finesse extra neck length.

    The Gold Tone and Trinity College mandolas are flat-tops, and I wonder if the carved-top H-2 wouldn't have too much curvature, so that the bridge was mashed a bit by the case top.

    I'd be perhaps looking at a banjo-family case, though the body shape's not the same. Good luck, in any case (pun intended).
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Measure before you order. If the case is long and the accessory pocket is in the way, the pocket can be moved easily.
    This doesn't have to be too complicated.

    Further info-- Interior dimensions of an original Gibson 'teen's mandola case, measured liberally:

    length: 29"
    maximum depth: 4 7/16"
    maximum body width: 12"

    Peghead and tuner accomodations:

    4" wide at a point 24" from the endpin
    4 3/4" wide at a point 27" from the endpin.

    These measurements are for the standard 11 1/4" wide 'teens Gibson mandola. Make sure your mandola is not one of the early ones that are 12" wide.

    This should be enough info for you to order a case. These should be considered the minimum acceptable dimensions.
    Last edited by rcc56; Nov-17-2017 at 8:23pm.

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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    Weber is currently making carved body mandolins. They list the A style body [which is similar in shape to your old Gibson] as a special order, available only through their "specialty" dealers. If you go to their website, you will find 11 of these dealers in the US. I suggest contacting one of these dealers with some measurements and see if they can order a case for you.

  12. #11
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a case for a 1909 H2 Gibson Mandola

    From the "Ah, if only..." department:

    https://reverb.com/item/3438324-vint...-gibson-models

    $40? This could easily have sold for $300.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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