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Thread: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

  1. #1

    Default James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    I suspect this question has been answered before but for the life of me I can't find it. So, apologies in advance if I'm bringing up an old topic that's been addressed.

    Has anyone replaced the standard Northfield F5S tailpiece with a James? If so, did it require drilling new holes?

    Northfield is out of the James tailpieces they offer on their website and I've not heard back from an email to them inquiring.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Interested in this as well. The stock tailpiece is ok, but once I got my Kimble, I realized how much easier string changes are with the James.

    I'd need to have one drilled out for a K&K jack, though.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    I'm such an idiot. Eyeballing the two and taking some rough measurements, it appears to be a direct drop-in (excepting the jack drilling). I'll leave it to one of our luthier members (or Northfield) to confirm. James is on top in the photo.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Quote Originally Posted by js464 View Post
    I suspect this question has been answered before but for the life of me I can't find it. So, apologies in advance if I'm bringing up an old topic that's been addressed.

    Has anyone replaced the standard Northfield F5S tailpiece with a James? If so, did it require drilling new holes?

    Northfield is out of the James tailpieces they offer on their website and I've not heard back from an email to them inquiring.

    Many thanks!
    Good question and if it's not too much of a problem, installing a James tailpiece is a great modification. Good luck with it!
    "Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”
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    Registered User SwartDeco's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    To add another question, I had once removed the screws from the tailpiece on my F5S and could not get the tailpiece to budge. Is there something more to it? I didn't want to put too heavy of a hand on it in case I was doing something wrong. Thanks!

  6. #6

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    So glad I'm not the only one with these questions...

  7. #7
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Quote Originally Posted by SwartDeco View Post
    To add another question, I had once removed the screws from the tailpiece on my F5S and could not get the tailpiece to budge. Is there something more to it? I didn't want to put too heavy of a hand on it in case I was doing something wrong. Thanks!
    The tailpiece may be stuck to the finish. Be very careful and pull it off.

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    You might get some of these answers directly from Bill James himself if you contact him through his Axiom Inc website ( http://www.axinc.net/ ). He was very helpful when I contacted him there.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


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  11. #9

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Thanks, Don. I emailed Mr. James and he responded quickly with a schematic but he couldn't tell me if his tailpiece is a direct replacement. I left another message for Northfield today. Meanwhile, hoping someone on the Cafe has actually done the replacement and can share their experience. If not I'll try to decipher the schematic.

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  13. #10

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Hi all — Just found out from a reliable source that installing the James tailpiece on a Northfield 5FS requires drilling new holes. In other words, it is not a direct fit.

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    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Quote Originally Posted by js464 View Post
    Hi all — Just found out from a reliable source that installing the James tailpiece on a Northfield 5FS requires drilling new holes. In other words, it is not a direct fit.
    Check the hole alignment of the new tailpiece with the existing holes on the Northfield, you may find that you can stretch one or more of the holes on the new tailpiece without redrilling the mandolin. The screw heads are large enough to cover small sins committed on the tailpiece.

  16. #12

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Thanks much for that, mtucker.

  17. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    The tailpiece itself, will cover up the glued in plugs in the old holes, even if if you do have to drill new ones, It will be Your Secret..
    writing about music
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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    If I had needed to drill completely new holes for my James, I would have left the original holes unplugged, since they would be hidden anyway, plus they would be available for any future owner who wanted to use the original Gibson tailpiece.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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  21. #15

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    I put a James on and it went straight on no problem. The one which is 'stuck' just needs a little gentle persuasion. Stanley knife or similar. Maybe hardrier for 3 seconds or so but no more.

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    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Winn View Post
    I'm such an idiot. Eyeballing the two and taking some rough measurements, it appears to be a direct drop-in (excepting the jack drilling). I'll leave it to one of our luthier members (or Northfield) to confirm. James is on top in the photo.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You don't need to enlarge the hole for the jack-- the end of the jack is smaller than the main portion and fits right through the existing hole in the tailpiece.

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  25. #17

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Doesn't Northfield sell an after-market James? I assumed they would drop right on to an F5S?

  26. #18
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Northfield sells an aftermarket "Nugget" tailpiece...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/155461#155461
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  28. #19

    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Quote Originally Posted by jones View Post
    Doesn't Northfield sell an after-market James? I assumed they would drop right on to an F5S?
    They do. I inquired about how it would fit an F5S but haven't heard back.
    https://www.northfieldinstruments.co...eld-tail-peice
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  30. #20
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Chuck - you might want to reach out on FB or IG. Emails I've sent in the past have gone unanswered for quite a while.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  31. #21
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: James tailpiece on a Northfield F5S?

    Just heard back from Derek of Northfield on this.

    The James tailpieces are way behind schedule in manufacturing and they don't expect more anytime soon.
    They are not a direct replacement - drilling required for mounting holes and endpin hole.
    They have another upgraded tailpiece option on the horizon, and to check back in 2-3 months.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

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