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Thread: James Mandolin Tailpiece

  1. #1

    Default James Mandolin Tailpiece

    Hey,

    Anyone ever try polishing a nickel or silver James Mandolin Tailpiece? All the pictures I've seen are matte.

  2. #2
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    The surface is slightly textured, so to get it to be glossy I believe you would have to sand it flat and have it re-plated. It has a similar finish as the satin Waverlys.

  3. #3
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    If you can live with the matte texture, you could try to carefully rub out the nickel plating with graduated concentrations of polishing compound, but if you go through the plaiting the bronze will show through.

    I also had this concern, trying to match with standard nickel plated parts, until I saw how good it looks on my mandolin as-is...
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    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
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    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to replace it? I have both matt and polished (in gold) but the plating is wearing on the polished one and I concluded some time ago that trying to get it re-plated involved too much effort.

  5. #5

    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    Thanks for the feed back! Having a hard time finding a flat top tail piece that has a shiny appearance but is better than the stamped sheet metal pieces. I suspected it would be difficult to polish but wasn't sure what other options I had.

  6. #6
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by hawthorn1213 View Post
    Thanks for the feed back! Having a hard time finding a flat top tail piece that has a shiny appearance but is better than the stamped sheet metal pieces. I suspected it would be difficult to polish but wasn't sure what other options I had.
    The James tailpiece is incomparable to a stamped piece imo, end of discussion.

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  8. #7
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    Agreed. My mandolin collection contains almost every style of tailpiece under the sun and the James beats them all hands down.

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  10. #8
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    The small nugget tailpiece from Northfield?
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  11. #9

    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    Mine has become very tarnished as well, having been in the US Army I have decided to not polish in any way as I had my fill of that years ago...maybe they sell one coated like the sta-brite brass buttons, etc.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  12. #10
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    I use the "Silver Wipes" by Connoisseurs that can be obtained at home interior stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond. They are soft, paper thin cloths treated with a mild cleanser and polish. Very simple to use and effective.

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  14. #11

    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    If you must have polished, sell your James and buy an Allen. You give up ease of use for looks.
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  15. #12

    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    If you want a James tailpiece, then be ready to accept the matte finish "for what it is".

    I sense that trying to "polish it up" might make a mess out of things...

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  17. #13
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    IMO, there is nothing wrong with a matte finish, and it goes just fine with any polished items found elsewhere (like nickel- or chrome-plated tuners).

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  19. #14
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    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    I was thinking about getting a James tailpiece for my Pava A5 satin, has black buttons on tuners... I'm thinking gold would look real nice.
    Last edited by CBFrench; Dec-05-2019 at 9:05pm.

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  21. #15

    Default Re: James Mandolin Tailpiece

    I have both a James and an Allen on mandos. The Allen cleans up easily now (I don't know how many years the lacquer coating will hold up) but changing strings on it is not an enjoyable experience. I consider the satin finish just to be a hallmark of the James tailpiece and find it to be subtly classy.

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