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Thread: A guys walks into a thrift store...

  1. #1
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    Default A guys walks into a thrift store...

    And comes out with a Howe - Orme, (Style 1?) mandolin that looks like it has never been played.
    At first I was excited to find a good clean old mandolin to play and care for. I ordered ultra light strings and a new humidifier right away. Then I realized that it's much much older than I expected. I would be devastated if I were to be the one to damage it after all these years. So it's sitting in my violin case while I collect my thoughts.
    I have wiped it down with a damp cloth to clean off dust and dirt. Gave the fret board a quick lemon oil cleaning because I noticed some fine cracks.
    It still has 5 strings and a nice low action. Pitch was sharp so I relieved that to a semitone below pitch.
    All tuners are frighteningly stiff.
    As mentioned, some cracks on the fret board. No cracks in the body. Finish is checking a bit.# A couple dings on the back of the neck.
    I would be grateful for thoughts and advice on how to procede in caring for this instrument. I'd like to bring it back to playable condition.

  2. #2
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Sweeeet find! You may want to consider posting your questions in the 'Builders & Repair' section.

    Good luck!
    I recently finished a new homemade 4-song EP of original solo acoustic songs; (sorry, no mandolin content this time). If you are interested in a FREE copy, feel free to send me your address via Private Message, and I will be glad to send you one. Trust me, it will be worth the price!


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  4. #3

    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    I would lubricate the tuners.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Nice score, it would be nice to see some pictures of it.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    I would have it inspected by a good luthier to make sure the seams and braces are tight, and adjust the action if necessary.
    The tuners should be carefully lubricated and adjusted if possible.
    And yes, extra light strings would probably be the most appropriate.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    ..... and how about some photos so we know what we’re talking about?

  10. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    For the tuner issue take a look at Paul Hostetter's page on reviving old tuners.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Lots of good advice already. Thank you. I knew I could count on you guys.
    I'll read up on how to upload pictures.

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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Attachment 172400

    Here's a picture I took when I bought it.

  14. #10

    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    I would add, don’t be too nervous. If you have the skills, begin by taking the tunners off the instrument entirely cleaning and lubricating them and bring them back on. At that point it’s not risky to put on new Strings and tune the instrument to pitch.
    BradKlein
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    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    The attached picture you added doesn't show anything.
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    I'm having a bit of trouble uploading a picture.
    Hopefully this works.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	HoweOrme.jpg 
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ID:	172422  

  18. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    You might want to take a look at this page. Gregg Miner put it up years ago.

    Rick Turner talks about them and their guitars on this page.

    When I first came to the Cafe I posted some wrong information about the company and Gregg and Rick were kind enough to set me straight.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Thanks Mike I'll check out those links. I have poked around a bit reading up already. Orme seems to be the same company that I've bought furniture from in Ottawa.
    I had a bit of time to inspect the mandolin today.
    I found an open seam in the back along with what may be a fine crack. And what may be a 1/2" crack in the top.
    I do set up and repair the instruments that I gig, but vintage instuments I typically take to a pro. That being said I'm going to address the stiff tuner issue.
    Last edited by Consecon; Nov-07-2018 at 9:31pm.

  21. #15
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Here's some better pictures.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	172428   Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	172429   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	head neck.jpg 
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ID:	172430  


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  23. #16
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Very Cool!... Congrats on the cool find!
    aka: Spencer
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    Check them out here

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  24. #17

    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    I read those articles Mike posted. It sounds like the OP found a rare bird! Congrats.

  25. #18
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Wow, what a find!
    Chuck

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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You might want to take a look at this page. Gregg Miner put it up years ago.

    Rick Turner talks about them and their guitars on this page.

    When I first came to the Cafe I posted some wrong information about the company and Gregg and Rick were kind enough to set me straight.
    Rick’s the man viz Howe Orme. He posted a photo of his living room once with literally a wall of H-Os.

    Mick

    I love these kinds of pot o’ gold stories.
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  27. #20
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    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    I truly stumbled upon this and had it dropped in my lap. I had been putting off some errands all week. On my way I decided to swing by the thrift shop across from the best bar in the worst part of town. I was looking for a leather pouch for harmonicas. No luck there but I did pick up an audio cable. As I waited to pay, a lady at the front of the line asked to see something from behind the counter. Just in the door that hour, a mandolin. Her friend talked her out of the purchase. When my turn came I was lucky to have a bit of cash on me. I left with a cable, a mandolin and four dollars change.
    Steve

  28. #21

    Default Re: A guys walks into a thrift store...

    It looks by the pictures to be serviceable structurally and really cool visually. Put some new light guage strings on it, tune it up to pitch and see if it can take the strain and sound good. Nice find indeed.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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