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Thread: A Successful Failure

  1. #1
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default A Successful Failure

    Last night I decided to give up on my reconstruction of a guitar-body tenor uke/octave mando/mandola that I've been working on for years. I owe a great debt of gratitude to many of you--too many to mention by name--and want to thank all who contributed.

    I learned a lot from the experience. I want to share some thoughts. But lest I step over the TL:DR line, I put it in my blog, here: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/e...ferrerid=27672

    I want to suggest that it might be particularly useful for those people who write in to say "Is it possible ?" or "Can I ?" Please feel free to post your thoughts.
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Successful Failure

    Apparently it never occurred to me that I could just give up on projects like this. I seem to just stack them in the corner of my shop and try not to think about them. Thanks for the insight.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Successful Failure

    Definitely a successful failure. You learned a ton on doing it. My question is, though, is the attempt to take a particular tenor body and install an OM neck the failure or are you saying that an OM neck on a tenor uke body in general just does not work? It seems more the former to me.
    Jim

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Successful Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Apparently it never occurred to me that I could just give up on projects like this. I seem to just stack them in the corner of my shop and try not to think about them. Thanks for the insight.
    That's my strategy too, until I'm forced to do something else. Maybe the only reason I got to it was that right behind it is an acoustic bass guitar that I want to finish, so that I can build a couple of tenor guitars.
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Successful Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Definitely a successful failure. You learned a ton on doing it. My question is, though, is the attempt to take a particular tenor body and install an OM neck the failure or are you saying that an OM neck on a tenor uke body in general just does not work? It seems more the former to me.
    I didn't exactly graft an OM neck on a tenor uke body, but I did change the tenor uke body to accomodate the additional stresses and the additional strings. The problem didn't have anything to do with anything Octave-manadolinish. The problem was the neck joint. It might not have failed on a Uke, I suppose. Or had my son not traveled with it to the hottest, most humid area of the world. But whatever the case, it not only failed but kept failing, right until I cut it out and completely reconstructed it. Unfortunately, by then all of the other parts of it were starting to be problematic.

    It's too long a story to tell. But here's a metaphor from life. My favorite dog, Seamus the Airedale, died in the middle of playing ball with me. He just crumpled up mid-jump and died. I rushed him to the vet, though I knew Seamus was no more. The vet examined him, and I guess tried to revive him. But he couldn't. "I can't explain it, "he said. The dog is in perfect health." I was a little taken aback. I said: "You mean, in perfect health ... other than being DEAD."

    Just like that instrument. The neck was great in the end, but ...
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Successful Failure

    +1000 for letting it go rather than spending another 400 hours on it!

    Don't forget the final step:
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Successful Failure

    Ah, a specialist in pyroluthiery!
    Jim

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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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