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Thread: I'm Crushed!

  1. #1

    Unhappy I'm Crushed!

    I'm looking for direction regarding repair or replacement of the top of my f-hole Ibanez mandolin. Approx. nine years ago my wife bought it as a gift for my birthday. I'm a guitar player but love string instruments and am interested in learning to play the mandolin. Enough sentimental background. After a couple of beginning attempts to get started on my own, I put it back in the soft case and set it aside for another day. That day came last year. But when I opened the case I found that the top was cracked at the left f-hole and below the pickguard. Without realizing it I had set some things on top of the instrument while rearranging the room several years ago.

    So, do I get the top replaced or have it repaired? I'm sure my first step is to bring it to someone for an assessment, estimates, etc. Do I take it to the dealer (probably Guitar Center) or to a private luthier? Of course, I won't be going anywhere just yet but when the dust settles and it's safe to go out I want to take it. Any useful suggestions are gratefully appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    S.W. Wisconsin

    Default Re: I'm Crushed!

    It is hard to tell the damage from the pic's, especially with the pickguard on. I would look into having it repaired most definitely, but DO NOT go to Guitar Center. Go to a luthier.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Portland, Ore.

    Default Re: I'm Crushed!

    Also, invest in a hard-shell case. They're designed to protect your instruments from the world.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I'm Crushed!

    Steve, if you feel you want to repair it I would use a violin f hole clamp and cleat the crack Several times so it would not wander! Fill the crack with a filler of equal parts shellac, sandarac and copal in alcohol evaporated to a soft gum. This would not look like a factory or luthier repair but unless it is a highly collectible mandolin it would be acceptable. The filler may take weeks to dry but it will last a lifetime.

  5. #5
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe

    Default Re: I'm Crushed!

    You want the cracks to be glued well and if they are well glued there is no need for filler at all, perhaps some finish touch up, but from what I see, these could be fixed nearly invisibly by someone skilled even with no touch up (drop of CA can work perfectly on cases like this as a touch up and will blend seamlessly with poly finishes). If you post where you are, folks could advise someone capable of doing that work near you. The bass side crack would likely need no cleat as it is diagonal wih good gluing surface, on the other we cannot see the start. Perhaps some additional work will be needed to strengthen the area (weakened by the cutuouts for electrics and now also cracks) but that would be judgement of the luthier.

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