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Thread: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

    We have an old Mandolin that was in my wife's parents attic for many decades. There is no label inside. My guess is that it is a Portuguese Mandolin with Preston tuners built in the early 1900's, possibly bought second-hand in New York City in the 1920's. Questions: 1) Where can I buy a set on strings mandolin strings with loops on both ends? String length to the center of the Preston tuner is about 22 inches (with 22 1/2" max, and 21 1/2" min). 2) From this photo, who do you think built this instrument and when. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    Beaverton, OR, USA

    Default Re: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

    I have a waldzither with Preston tuners. I have made my own strings from standard strings. If you dig around on on Google looking for "waldzither strings" or "preston tuner" strings or some such you will probably find info on how to make them and also sources for devices that wind the loops a bit more easily or precisely. I have never seen any double end strings listed for sale.

    I don't have any info about the instrument except that it looks Portuguese to me too and it looks nice.
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  3. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY

    Default Re: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

    Ron Fernandez has info and a tool to create that extra loop for those tuners.

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  4. #4
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Tavistock UK

    Default Re: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

    Thanks to you and others who have responded to my posting!

  7. #6
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Mansfield UK

    Default Re: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

    Yes, this is a Portuguese mandolin (bandolim in Portuguese). It is unlikely you will ever find out who made it.

    The only thing I will add to what has already been said is that these usually have a longer scale length than other people's mandolins. Therefore you must string them with ultra-light gauge strings such as the GHS A240 set (9-32) or even lighter. Otherwise the neck will bend.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  8. #7

    Default Re: Bolm Walddoline or Portuguese Mandolin

    great video. i have a portuguese string winder now-but for years i used a pair of plyers and a nail. that works. just don't over twist the loop or it will weaken and break. the video shows it right

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