Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 49 of 49

Thread: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

  1. #26
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,003

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    I'm wondering that if the fingerboard was removed,a new ''part neck/headstock'' could be made & fixed with a long(ish) scarf joint = plenty of wood to glue,the width of the headstock could be maintained,also the truss rod pocket could be moved further away from the nut area. Not a cheap job,but IMO,better than another 'original,similarly constructed' MD515 !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    To Ivan's point...a new neck/headstock could certainly be a way forward. I don't see any advantage to abusing Eastman here, though.

    It looks like the OP is (was) playing every string and every fret, so it must have been okay to play, hear, or otherwise learn on...

  3. #28
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,924
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    I don't think it's abuse to point out an obvious design flaw? The company has had a long time to address that issue and hasn't. For whatever reason. It's just a fact that putting the truss rod pocket close to the nut like that leaves the neck with a very weak point i.e., with little wood between intact and broken. I think it's fair to point that out. It's a point some might want to know? Enough said.

  4. The following members say thank you to Bernie Daniel for this post:

    Nevin 

  5. #29

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    I don't like the typical stand where the body rests on two prongs and the neck sits in a U shaped bracket. I like a stand where the neck hangs from the headstock and the back rests on a pad.

    My guitar stands are all like that. My mandolin hangs from the wall on a bracket where the weight of the mandolin closes a gate mechanism.

    While maybe not the best design, you can't expect to design for worst case. There would be no F5 headstock scrolls if that were the case.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. #30
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,232

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    ...The company has had a long time to address that issue and hasn't. For whatever reason...
    Production.
    When gearing up to produce a product, a mandolin in this case, someone must design that product. The design must then be adjusted for production as tooling, work flow and so forth are considered. Once tooling and production are finalized, it can take a huge investment in time, money, effort and down time to make any significant changes.
    Perhaps nobody in the design team understood the truss rod pocket situation. Perhaps nobody in the production team understood it either, or perhaps someone did but it was already too late to easily change it.
    If the mandolins are selling and most of them are holding up, even if the company does now know that the design is less than excellent, what is the financial incentive to make the change?

    It is easy enough to criticize flaws in production products, but making changes in a production situation is so expensive that we can expect produced items to contain compromises and left-over mistakes and design errors.

    In my admittedly biased opinion, that is just one more good reason to buy from an experienced hand builder rather than from a production company.

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sunburst For This Useful Post:


  8. #31
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,355

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    I don't think this is an issue endemic to Eastman mandolins. As one of the most widely sold beginner and intermediate mandolins, if this were a consistent issue, we'd have heard about it here many times before, no doubt. I think it really comes down to that particular neck from that particular piece of wood with runout at a poor location, and an accidental drop. Any instrument maker from big to small will have occasional flawed instruments. Maybe the flaw never surfaces, maybe the instrument gets dropped on its headstock and it does.
    Some of the differences are that an individual luthier will likely pay more attention to issues like these and likely avoid them more often than not. Instrument value from a local luthier will be much higher and would tip the scales towards the cost of the repair being worth it. And most importantly, the individual luthier might be the one to make the repairs.
    Instruments break from accidents. They can usually be repaired. Whether the cost of the repair is worth it is up to the owner.

  9. #32
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    PTC GA
    Posts
    1,010

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    I want to congratulate the OP on the excellent photographs. Your photography shows the details of the break and all of the wood and design problems that are involved quite well, making it possible to get good opinions here. I can't add much to what has already been said, but I'll say that long necks on most stringed instruments are very susceptible to snapping near the nut if the instrument falls over and lands on the tight strings, regardless of whether there is a truss rod nut pocket there, due to the small amount of wood in that location. The truss rod nut pocket further reduces what little strength is there, and there is really no good and reliable solution to that unless you put the nut inside the body. The grain of the individual pieces of wood is critical to the strength. Your photographs to me show flaws in the wood grain, but I doubt it would be possible to know they were there until the break occurred. As mentioned by others here, this break is clean and fixable in a couple of ways. The repair will likely be stronger. Maybe not. I would guess the cost of a good repair to be half to two-thirds of what you paid for the mandolin. I agree with your thought to upgrade.
    Tom
    Haywood Music Instruments
    Facebook ; Instagram

  10. #33
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    704

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Eastman banjo necks are available from Bernunzio Uptown Music start at $200, complete with finish and a fretted fingerboard. Maybe they can get you a mandolin neck. A ballpark price to remove and reset the neck on a flat top guitar might be $350 - $400. Additional set up and adjustment would be necessary.

    The cost of this repair is rapidly approaching the cost of replacing the instrument. Ivan's suggestion of replacing the head and a portion of the neck is interesting, but time-consuming. The fingerboard and truss rod would have to be removed to execute the repair, and then there would be finish work and at least minor fretwork to factor into the cost. I don't think you would save any money there.

    I think replacing the instrument and selling the old one to an aspiring luthier is a good solution. The body and the fingerboard are usable. A good opportunity for someone to practice neck building. Perhaps somebody will give you a couple hundred for the instrument as-is.

  11. #34
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,924
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Eastman banjo necks are available from Bernunzio Uptown Music start at $200, complete with finish and a fretted fingerboard. Maybe they can get you a mandolin neck. A ballpark price to remove and reset the neck on a flat top guitar might be $350 - $400. Additional set up and adjustment would be necessary.

    The cost of this repair is rapidly approaching the cost of replacing the instrument. Ivan's suggestion of replacing the head and a portion of the neck is interesting, but time-consuming. The fingerboard and truss rod would have to be removed to execute the repair, and then there would be finish work and at least minor fretwork to factor into the cost. I don't think you would save any money there.

    I think replacing the instrument and selling the old one to an aspiring luthier is a good solution. The body and the fingerboard are usable. A good opportunity for someone to practice neck building. Perhaps somebody will give you a couple hundred for the instrument as-is.
    Jerry Rosa just produced two videos (1 hour each) demonstrating that kind of repair. He cut out the area on either side of the break (from several inches of neck below the break to the lower third of the head stock then added new wood with a scarf joint on each end. Then he re-carved it. The repair was very successful but would be expensive as you need to remove the fret board and reset the truss rod in the patch too.

    Ir is a totally different topic but IMO if mandolin necks did not have a truss rod this kind of break would be much less of an issue. I have owned one or more mandolins since about 1973 I guess that I can recall one time or maybe twice that I tried to correct the "play ability" using the truss rod? Others might have found them more useful?

    I agree sell as a "repairman's special".
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  12. #35
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Adelaide, SA, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    I want to congratulate the OP on the excellent photographs. Your photography shows the details of the break and all of the wood and design problems that are involved quite well, making it possible to get good opinions here. I can't add much to what has already been said, but I'll say that long necks on most stringed instruments are very susceptible to snapping near the nut if the instrument falls over and lands on the tight strings, regardless of whether there is a truss rod nut pocket there, due to the small amount of wood in that location. The truss rod nut pocket further reduces what little strength is there, and there is really no good and reliable solution to that unless you put the nut inside the body. The grain of the individual pieces of wood is critical to the strength. Your photographs to me show flaws in the wood grain, but I doubt it would be possible to know they were there until the break occurred. As mentioned by others here, this break is clean and fixable in a couple of ways. The repair will likely be stronger. Maybe not. I would guess the cost of a good repair to be half to two-thirds of what you paid for the mandolin. I agree with your thought to upgrade.
    Thank you! I'm glad that I did take some decent photos and was able to spark a good conversation about it. It was the first instrument that I had purchased for myself after using a cheap starter instrument for about 4 years. I went to a store tested a newer version out (mine was built in 2008) and then bought one on reverb. I had no idea that the truss rod hole being where it is at would be a structural issue or that it really is an issue with most instruments as you have stated above. I had been looking for playability and sound quality for a while (I suppose I had a bit of scroll envy as well) and saw it for realatively cheap and took the bait. It's a great opportunity for me and I suppose others to learn about what to look for in the neck of a mandolin and the process for fixing it. And also a good lesson on what to look for when buying a mando in the future. It will be a good 8-9 months from now, since I am working in Australia until July, but boy am I ready for when the time comes!

  13. #36

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by grantula63 View Post
    It will be a good 8-9 months from now, since I am working in Australia until July, but boy am I ready for when the time comes!
    Where are you located in Australia

    Steve

  14. #37

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    I'm wondering that if the fingerboard was removed,a new ''part neck/headstock'' could be made & fixed with a long(ish) scarf joint = plenty of wood to glue.
    It can also be achieved very securely without the need for fingerboard removal as well.

    I call the process a reverse scarf

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RSHED24.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	91.1 KB 
ID:	173271

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RSHED48.JPG 
Views:	14 
Size:	74.9 KB 
ID:	173272

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RSHED55.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	214.6 KB 
ID:	173273

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mirwa For This Useful Post:


  16. #38
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,003

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    John Hamlett makes a very good point regarding changes when a product is already in production - especially if the items are machined to an extent. However,if the trussrod nut pockets are entirely hand carved,then it should be possible to move it away from the nut by a small amount. If the pocket is ''rough-routed'' prior to hand finishing,then tooling has to be modified. Changes to automated processes are always expensive. Changes made to something produced entirely by hand,can be implemented by word of mouth (mostly).

    Steve - Many thanks for your 'scarf joint' input - that's exactly what i was talking about. Being perfectly honest,if i was the owner of the broken mandolin - IF - the mandolin sounded really excellent to my ears,& i wanted to keep it,a scarf joint is the way i'd go. Expensive,yes,but IMHO,a 100% better than the ''apparently'' fragile headstock area of a new Eastman.
    Thanks for the link to the ''How To'' page - very interesting !
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  17. The following members say thank you to Ivan Kelsall for this post:

    mirwa 

  18. #39
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Chesterfield, VA
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Part of the value of these forum discussions is that we can learn from other's problems, while also providing a good sounding board. I learned from this: 1) to definitely keep my mando in my case ANY time I am not playing it and 2) Neck design/wood choice is VERY important when I consider my next mando. I have an Eastman MD615 now that I really like, and hopefully, what I learned will keep this from happening to mine.

    Thanks to all of the people who responded for helpful information.
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

    Eastman MD615SB
    Martin D35
    Gibson SG

  19. The following members say thank you to Mando Mort for this post:


  20. #40
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,453

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    I think most old Gibson mandolins have the same style truss rod pocket as well as their guitars. I have repaired lots of Gibson guitars with breaks there.

    Op should look at this thread:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...final-solution
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  21. #41
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,232

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I think most old Gibson mandolins have the same style truss rod pocket as well as their guitars. I have repaired lots of Gibson guitars with breaks there.
    Many, but not all, old Gibson guitars have the truss rod pocket nearer the nut. They have more wood in the neck, so perhaps it is easier for them to get away with having that feature. Old Gibson mandolins, including Loars, have the pocket a little over an inch above the nut, up into the wider part of the peghead. Observing that aspect of the Loar design is where I was first introduced to the idea and became aware of the design opportunity for a stronger neck/peghead transition. It is a feature often missed by observers, not immediately noticeable as a means of preserving some neck strength, and thus not incorporated into many newer instrument designs.

  22. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sunburst For This Useful Post:


  23. #42
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,453

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    You are right John, and my '22 A2 has the pocket up farther on the neck. I am not sure when they changed, but by 1950 they were much closer to the nut on the the A style instruments, but not the F's. Most of the 50's and 60's A style had the pocket closer to the nut.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  24. #43
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,232

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    You are right John, and my '22 A2 has the pocket up farther on the neck. I am not sure when they changed, but by 1950 they were much closer to the nut on the the A style instruments, but not the F's. Most of the 50's and 60's A style had the pocket closer to the nut.
    Yeah, for a while there Gibson forgot how to build things...

  25. #44
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,924
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Yeah, for a while there Gibson forgot how to build things...
    Certainly there was no "institutional memory" left (from 1940) when they decided to start building F-style mandolins again in the late winter of 1948!

    The difference between a 1940 F-5 and a 1948 model is startling -- a huge step backward in technology and tonal qualities?
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  26. #45
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    704

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Bear in mind that Gibson went through a change in ownership in when CMI bought the company in 1944. After the war, their primary focus was on developing electric guitars.

  27. #46
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,924
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Bear in mind that Gibson went through a change in ownership in when CMI bought the company in 1944. After the war, their primary focus was on developing electric guitars.
    True but oddly enough the acoustic guitars built in the war years were among the best the ever made -- like the banner J-45s etc.
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  28. #47
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    704

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Well, the J-45 was a pre CMI design [1942] that they didn't mess with until after 1954 [except for the logo-- boy, people will pay quite a premium for that banner and script].

    But the F-5's were redesigned as soon as they were put back into production after the war.

    And late '30's F-5's were a pretty far cry from the Loar period designs-- both the build and the finish were a lot heavier. We could rehash the long and colorful history of Sam Bush's "Old Hoss," but that story has been told elsewhere, and we're already pretty far afield from the original purpose of this thread.

  29. #48
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Adelaide, SA, Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    Quote Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
    Where are you located in Australia

    Steve
    Adelaide, SA. I'm doing a full time volunteer work gap year thing with the Lutheran church.

  30. #49
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,003

    Default Re: Broken headstock on Eastman MD515

    So - If you intend to have your mandolin repaired while you're in Australia,you need a list of 'Oz' builders who might be able to repair it ?. Time for our 'down under' members to contribute !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

Posting Permissions

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