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Thread: Removing the Florida extension

  1. #1
    2TonCommon
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    Default Removing the Florida extension

    Hi everybody. I was wondering if "I" could safely remove the Florida extention as I almost never play past the 6th fret(bluegrasser)
    Does it absolutely have to be done by aluthier or could I use a fine saw and re-apply the extra trim. I have passable woodworking skills and understand what I would be doing.
    Thanks,
    Joe
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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by 2TonCommon View Post
    Hi everybody. I was wondering if "I" could safely remove the Florida extention as I almost never play past the 6th fret(bluegrasser)
    Does it absolutely have to be done by aluthier or could I use a fine saw and re-apply the extra trim. I have passable woodworking skills and understand what I would be doing.
    Thanks,
    Joe
    You own the mandolin it's your decision. I scooped mine a few years back. I didn't remove it, I simply got rid of the top layer. I started with Frank Ford's method and the Courage of the Ignorant. I started out using a laminate trimmer where he used a router and if I did it again I'd just use hand tools. I realize this doesn't apply to just cutting it off but it gives you some idea as to what you might be capable of.

    Here is Sam Bush's mandolin that has had the Florida removed.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Yes, it can be done with a saw. It will leave a rough edge that will need to be cleaned up. Sometimes it is possible to re-use the old binding, sometimes not.

    I strongly recommend guarding the top with a double layer of cardboard, taped firmly in place so it won't move.

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  6. #4
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    I prefer to leave the extension on and scallop it. I've done this in the past using a dremel with a small sanding drum. The advice to protect the top is a good one as you don't want the sanding wheel to skip off the extension and hit the top. Cutting off the extension will often reveal an unfinished area.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Scalloping can also be done with hand tools such as chisel, gouge, rasp, file, and sanding block. But both the tools and the fellow on the smart end of them have to be good and sharp.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-29-2019 at 12:20am.

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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

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    Recently scooped the end of a collings. I prefer a rapid removal file. Then sandpaper in different gauges, and a buff with 0000 steel wool.
    Be careful if you use a power tool as heat buildup might cause binding glue to release in places you don't want. The hand file allows a low heat option. Takes maybe 10 min with this file, and that's going slow to allow good control. Definitely cover any part of your Mando that's exposed in case of a slip of the hand.

    I used the small flat razor file, 4165, love this file. I have the small curved also.
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...zor_Files.html

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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    I freely admit that I’m no luthier but doesn’t it also depend on how well the top is finished beneath the appendage?

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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Yes be careful- I scooped the end of the board of a mandolin I had a monster sounding 1937 Gibson F-7 Randy Wood conversion and got a wee bit overzealous with the dremel and it wasn't an even job!-more of one side than the other. It didn't bother me as this one already looked like an old war horse and sure went with the whole mando look! The new owner loves that thing, I also sanded the back of the neck for a speed neck job as to take down the slight V that Randy put in it, and I could've done a better job as toward the back by the scroll in the remaining finish you could see scratch marks where I didn't use a finer grit! All was fine and the guy I sold it to, I pointed that all out but hey-he loves it!

    So my word of advice is YES take your time-granted at the time I was suffering from serious health issues that was effecting my mind due to my heart messing with everything like my Liver-had the hepatic "wet brain"-you act like you just drank a 5th of whiskey in the flick of a switch! I've done great work on the other hand on things but just take ones time and you can accomplish anything! Just do your homework, and don't mess with things when your sick!

    I also at the time made a few bad trade choices-got rid of things I shouldn't have for what I got! Gave away certain cherished possession's to those I thought would like them-health problems will do a # with the brain!

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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    The top may need to be polished under the Florida.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The top may need to be polished under the Florida.
    This is always my concern in these situations - exposing something that the builder never intended to be seen. I scooped the florida on my Jade with just a round file and a chisel. Started with round file on the empty fret slots, using them as a depth gauge to keep everything even, then pared off the remaining wood with a chisel. Easy-peasy.
    Mitch Russell

  18. #11

    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    My take is that if you are still catching the Florida after it is scooped, you need to adjust your technique. I see no need to chop it off.
    Silverangel A
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    We removed mine on the rhinestone Loar. Just pulled a fret and sawed through the fret slot. I donít remember if it was Randy Wood or Danny Ferrington

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Recently scooped the end of a collings. I prefer a rapid removal file. Then sandpaper in different gauges, and a buff with 0000 steel wool.
    Be careful if you use a power tool as heat buildup might cause binding glue to release in places you don't want. The hand file allows a low heat option. Takes maybe 10 min with this file, and that's going slow to allow good control. Definitely cover any part of your Mando that's exposed in case of a slip of the hand.

    I used the small flat razor file, 4165, love this file. I have the small curved also.
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...zor_Files.html
    Daryl, I think that is one of the most tasteful Floridectomies/scoops I have seen. Really like the look. Good job!
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  24. #14

    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    If you do floridectomize, save the cutoff for a swell bolo tie. As tasteful as a virzi bolo!
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by oldwave maker View Post
    If you do floridectomize, save the cutoff for a swell bolo tie. As tasteful as a virzi bolo!
    Excellent!
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  27. #16

    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    When you get a look at a mandolin under computer analysis, there is a lot going on around the fingerboard extension area. I used to chop it off but would often wind up with an unexpected bikini line. Now I'm much more likely to keep it and go with a scoop.....
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  29. #17
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    My DMM got the scoop treatment this past weekend (sorry Henry ).

    I am SOOOO much happier without the constant background pickclick staccato.

    And a major shout out to Randy Wood who did the deed quickly, beautifully and for a very reasonable cost. I highly recommend calling his shop if you are looking for top notch lutherie and awesome service.

    Cheers.
    2005 DMM D-70321

  30. #18
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    If you don't play above the 6th fret... why not scoop from the 7th and be done with it.

    Oh, that would be limiting? So is removing the extension for many players (currently and historically) who not only got along with one, but used the territory.

    Narrow nuts and no extension.. swell.

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  32. #19
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by Benski View Post
    My DMM got the scoop treatment this past weekend (sorry Henry ).

    I am SOOOO much happier without the constant background pickclick staccato.

    And a major shout out to Randy Wood who did the deed quickly, beautifully and for a very reasonable cost. I highly recommend calling his shop if you are looking for top notch lutherie and awesome service.

    Cheers.
    I scooped mine years ago. I don't miss it. I like the scooped look better because I like the way it looks with the Florida. Dave Apollon played up there but he had to have a fret removed to use the one he wanted to use, Those fretted positions weren't made for guys like me with fat fingers.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  34. #20
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by Benski View Post
    My DMM got the scoop treatment this past weekend (sorry Henry ).

    I am SOOOO much happier without the constant background pickclick staccato.

    And a major shout out to Randy Wood who did the deed quickly, beautifully and for a very reasonable cost. I highly recommend calling his shop if you are looking for top notch lutherie and awesome service.

    Cheers.
    No worries, Ben; everything's fine.

  35. #21
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Ignore this post - was a deletion.
    Last edited by 2TonCommon; Aug-07-2019 at 6:23pm. Reason: delete

  36. #22
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Kind of a rude response. Expected better from a member of this forum. And yes, I could very easily play just fine without the extra frets. Sarcasm does no one any good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    If you don't play above the 6th fret... why not scoop from the 7th and be done with it.

    Oh, that would be limiting? So is removing the extension for many players (currently and historically) who not only got along with one, but used the territory.

    Narrow nuts and no extension.. swell.
    Last edited by 2TonCommon; Aug-07-2019 at 7:07pm.
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

  37. #23
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    One person's "rude" is another person's reasonable and obvious query.
    "Blunt" perhaps, but nothing personal as my observation, and further response, indicated factual, general information.

    Just as many prefer wider nuts and fully fretted fingerboards and some folks prefer dot inlays, some diamonds, some go without, and some prefer snowflakes; there's room for everyone.

    No need for your PM since you aired it here.

    Hope you will be able to achieve your end result and are pleased with it.

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  39. #24
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    One person's "rude" is another person's reasonable and obvious query.
    "Blunt" perhaps, but nothing personal as my observation, and further response, indicated factual, general information.

    Just as many prefer wider nuts and fully fretted fingerboards and some folks prefer dot inlays, some diamonds, some go without, and some prefer snowflakes; there's room for everyone.

    No need for your PM since you aired it here.

    Hope you will be able to achieve your end result and are pleased with it.
    Hi Jeff.
    Yep, you're right and I dropped the ball on this one. My apologies(seems I'm doing that a lot lately).
    Thanks for the insight and wisdom.

    Best wishes,
    Joe
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

  40. #25
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the Florida extension

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    If you don't play above the 6th fret... why not scoop from the 7th and be done with it.

    Oh, that would be limiting? So is removing the extension for many players (currently and historically) who not only got along with one, but used the territory.

    Narrow nuts and no extension.. swell.
    I use every fret on my mandolin, all 29 of them to high A.

    "If you don't play above the 6th fret... why not scoop from the 7th and be done with it."

    That's my feelings about this issue!

    Thanks for saying it so well.

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