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Thread: Please help! Newbie looking for bowlback to learn on!

  1. #26
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help! Newbie looking for bowlback to learn on!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Usually, yes.

    However I have a L & H type bowlback that has some soundboard distortion and yet the action is fine and the tone is great, so it's not always a dealbreaker, but that would be a case-by-case basis.
    Embergher and CF Martin both added reinforcing plates to the underside of the top between the soundhole and the neck block.
    This suggests to me that they knew there could be some distortion problems in this area or observed it in other mandolins, even back then.

    A simple addition that I'm surprised more builders didn't adopt.

    I've even seen small braces to either side of the soundhole on Embergher mandolins. I assumed these were structural as well, rather than tone modifiers.

    I've added both these reinforcements to my posse of bowls as a precautionary measure after having that area buckle in a bit on a very sweet Favilla bowl.
    Hide glue for the braces, of course. No noticeable modification to the sound at all.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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  3. #27
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help! Newbie looking for bowlback to learn on!

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    This Washburn bowlback is currently in the classifieds.

    Price looks reasonable. Seems worth requesting some further photos from the seller.

    Mick
    I looked into this one when it was first posted. Unfortunately I didnít save the additional photos. It looked to be in decent shape, but I didnít like the tuners. I have a similar Washburn with the same tuners and one has become a bit troublesome. Thereís not a screw holding the gear to the post so the gear likes to slip off when I bring it up to pitch.

    I donít have enough experience to say if this is a common problem with this style tuner, but seeing them made me lose interest. This is a picture of the tuners on mine.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #28

    Default Re: Please help! Newbie looking for bowlback to learn on!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve 2E View Post
    I don’t have enough experience to say if this is a common problem with this style tuner . . .
    It unfortunately is, Steve. The worm wheels on these were simply peened onto their posts. Too often, the joint eventually slips. I had similar under-coverplate tuners on my ca.1907 style 225. Several were slipping and couldn't be brought to pitch. I had the tuners replaced with a slightly later set that have the gears mounted to their posts with a screw. The newer plates were just a little larger than the receiving slots, but the guy who did the work for me cut the plates to fit.

    I've also heard of people drilling a very small hole spanning slipping worm wheel and its post and soldering a very small rod into the hole to fix gear to post. While I've heard the process described, I've never seen it executed.

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  6. #29
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please help! Newbie looking for bowlback to learn on!

    Yeah, I kinda figured others had a similar experience, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. At least now I know what to look for in tuners on these old bowlbacks. I do like playing mine, but that one tuner is a major nuisance!

  7. #30
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    Default Re: Please help! Newbie looking for bowlback to learn on!

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    I could deliver to some half-way point, but I'm sure the action is too high on this George Bauer. Folks, is there any way to help the action on this? It's fun to mess around with, and the slippery back actually bothers me more than the action - but I'm just playing some really simple stuff on it. The bridge is floating - someone actually "helped" me by straightening it, but it needs to drop a little on the left for intonation's sake. It looks like there might be a little room to sand it.
    Last edited by RFluke; Jul-24-2020 at 10:19am. Reason: doubled photo

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