Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Weymann Mandolute style 40

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    5

    Default Weymann Mandolute style 40

    Hello,

    New here, I also just posted asking repair/luthier advice in builders/repair. I am looking here for a range of worth/value to help me make a decision about my next step.

    I have a Weymann Mandolute style 40 (1921?). I got it in auction for what I think was an OK price (~$260 incl. tax). Probably not a bargain, but hey, proceeds go a 501(c)3 nonprofit. I figured I would have to clean it, probably naptha the tuners, get new strings, maybe find a tailpiece cover. Per description, was supposed to just have minor dings/scratches, stuck tuner. I didn't see any cracks in photos. No cracks described.

    The problem is that I received it and it is not merely "minor dings/scratches". I think it needs professional repair. The seam between the two back pieces has a section with maybe 4" separation.

    I do not know what cost for repair would make my total out of pocket exceed the value of the instrument. Am I already at that max value with what I spent?

    I do not have sentimental attachment to it, so I'd prefer to not spend more than it's worth to have a playable instrument. Not even sure what it sounds like yet, because I don't know if its safe to re-string at this point. This is my first mandolin.

    If the mandolute did have good sound, and you had a fondness for old-timey music, and this is the style of mandolin you wanted to play on for a bit, but you already spent $260, is it worth investing in repair?

    thanks,

    hattie

  2. #2

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    I am lucky enough that I have an expert who charges me unbelievably low amounts for superb repair work. On that basis, any bad buys I make are underwritten by his skill and kindness. I don't suppose a back seam repair would be that expensive but it depends on the repairer. Obviously, we cannot see the instrument but it might be a good idea to post some photos so that others can make an assessment. You might want to speak to the auctioneers and see about some discount. These are good instruments but the principle is about its condition not being as advertised.

  3. The following members say thank you to NickR for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Obviously, we cannot see the instrument but it might be a good idea to post some photos so that others can make an assessment. You might want to speak to the auctioneers and see about some discount. These are good instruments but the principle is about its condition not being as advertised.
    Here are some photos of the seam crack.




    There is also evidence of a previous repair on one side, where the seam is really pale. Missing finish and some wood.



    I took the mandolute to a repair shop in town. They said humidity might close up the seam some and it could be glued. Unfortunately, they also said it needs a neck reset. They said they rarely see that old of a mandolin in that good of condition, aside from noted flaws, of course.

    It's a neat mandolin, aside from the features that make it unplayable at the moment...


  5. #4

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    That news about the neck reset is very annoying- obviously, you cannot get back to the auctioneers over that problem. You might want to try for some discount regarding that seam. As you have been told, it may improve with some humidity. It does look to be a particularly good instrument despite the flaws. This is I am afraid one of the downsides of buying "sight unseen" from a non-playing seller who might highlight the flaws which may not be apparent to an auctioneer- and I am not being sarcastic. I bought a rosewood Regal Style 110 on ebay. The seller mentioned after a question that "the neck looks straight to me." I won the auction and the neck looked like a banana to me. There was an obvious crack across the headstock- recessed tuners making it fairly prone to such damage. The neck was coming away and my expert also told me that it had loose braces, the frets had been badly filed but he fixed it up and it is a real beauty with its rosewood body and vine inlays on the guard while it now plays well and sounds wonderful.Out of interest, how many pennies can you slide on top of fret 12 before they touch the low G strings? In an ideal world, twp pennies would not fit and the gap would be significantly less than two but more than a nickel which is thicker than a penny. It seems to me that the instrument is well worth fixing. Did you get a quote for the neck repair? As I originally wrote I am blessed with someone who is not charging the normal going rate for such work and he has dug me out of plenty of holes- not least that Regal mandolin. Here is an analysis on the Style 50 and I see he mentions the action is a mere 1/16th of an inch- which is basically the width of a single penny! His site also has articles on other model Mandolutes. https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...mandolute.html

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    That news about the neck reset is very annoying- obviously, you cannot get back to the auctioneers over that problem. You might want to try for some discount regarding that seam.
    Yeah, no foul on the neck, I wouldn't expect them to know that unless they specialized in instruments. Seam is pretty hard to miss though. It's possible that between the time they prepped it for listing and the time I received it that it dried out and opened up again. Also, I cringed when I received the shipping box that was maybe 1-2" taller than the height of the cardboard case. It is a small miracle it didn't arrive more damaged. Seam repair was quoted at $125

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    Out of interest, how many pennies can you slide on top of fret 12 before they touch the low G strings? In an ideal world, twp pennies would not fit and the gap would be significantly less than two but more than a nickel which is thicker than a penny.
    The tuners are sticky, was planning to take them off and clean then put back on before restringing. When I saw the split though, I thought it best not to do anything until someone knowledgeable looked at it. So I don't have coin measurements but even with loose strings it looks a bit excessive. The shop measured "relief" at 0.045+ and quoted neck reset with reinforcement for $450+

    I looked at the Wildwood site, his repair fees are substantially less expensive. I am on the other coast though. From what I read he has quite a bit of work to do before he could take on other instruments.

    I got a range of opinions on the mandolute during my shop visit. It's definitely a conversation piece. One comment was "this is basically folk art at this point", another was the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the instrument, and another that the quality of the instrument merits whatever money I would have to put into it to fix it. I'm somewhere between the latter two, but I'm income-limited.

    The luthiers and staff at the shop were really nice and generous with their time. This was my first mandolin purchase, learning so much.

    here's the evaluation.


  7. #6

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    I have to admit that those prices are a little troubling- that does not imply that you are being given excessive estimates but are way beyond my experience; which as I have written is probably not the reality for most folk- I am very lucky in that respect. Perhaps, you should just sit tight until Jake Wildwood can do the work although not having to ship the instrument would be ideal. It is a fact that repairs are often more than the instrument is worth but I would reckon that getting a mandolin of the quality of this Weymann would not be inexpensive if it were a new instrument. This is the crux of buying old instruments- is it worth the investment to get them playable? In this case, it probably is- but that has to be your choice. I have to admit, I do let sentiment get the better of me but others tell me that is not a bad thing! I'm not so sure if the guitar/mandolin maker feels quite the same about my stuff!

  8. #7
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    962

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    I just took a look at Jake Wildwood's website, and his repair prices are unusually low.

    I don't know of anybody else who will steam out and reset a neck for under $300. And most folks charge more than that.

    That's a nice looking Weymann. It would be nice to see it made playable. You might want to consider having the center seam repaired now, and installing a lower bridge to make it easier to play until you can afford to have the neck reset.

    You might check around and get another estimate. A violin repairman could also take care of the center seam. If you're handy with tools and you want to try making a lower bridge yourself, pm me and I'll send you a piece of ebony.
    Last edited by rcc56; Nov-26-2018 at 3:43am.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    Agreed. Jake's prices are below the national average, in my opinion. The shop where I work would charge similar to your written estimate.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    Hattie,

    I picked up a pretty trashy style 30 Mando-Lute from 1924, and I think it's a very cool instrument. The sound is somewhere in the direction of a carved top in relation to a Martin (my ref point), and I love the pot belly shape and the longer scale length vs. Martin. I paid $200 for mine, which may have been too much, given its condition. It plays fine, but has too much neck relief and lots of cracks and a rotten pick guard . If I ever see a cleaner one to adopt, I intend to do so.
    Can yours be salvaged with a lower bridge and ultra light strings? If that makes it playable and you develop a relationship, you can get the neck reset later. I wouldn't worry about the back crack unless there's rattling or flex. I say live dangerously, get a lower bridge, some ultra light strings and see where you end up, If it fails you're out $260. If you get it fixed up and end up not liking it, you're out more than that, as you might have trouble selling it for more than around 5 hundred, even cleaned up. (wild guess)
    Actually I guess that pencils out to about the same loss, but I like the low-investment approach better

  11. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,021

    Default Re: Weymann Mandolute style 40

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I just took a look at Jake Wildwood's website, and his repair prices are unusually low.
    I don't know what page on Jake's site you were looking and when NickR last had him do work but on this page he mentions that his hourly rate is in 2014. That is four years ago. I would check with him and see but I would guess that he may have upped his rates a bit.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •