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Thread: Damaged teens Gibson A3

  1. #1

    Default Damaged teens Gibson A3

    A friend of mine has an early teens A3 with a badly damaged neck. He was told by a luthier that it would be a good wall hanger. The body is in tact and I was wondering about finding a neck and putting another neck on the body. Looking for advice.

    Thank you
    Joe

  2. #2

    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    Post some pictures and see what the experts think......

  3. #3
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    Yes like Jeff said, post some pix? Some neck cracks can be repaired! Also sometimes on evilbay or the like you can find necks, or old Gibson's with mashed bodies. You could also place an add looking for a replacement, or some luthier can make you one.

  4. #4
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    the neck on my A3 was removed and straightened. I think it involved heat and steam? Wasn't there, but it was 35 years ago and it's still fine.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    First, get another opinion before you settle on neck replacement.

    Yes, a neck can be successfully replaced on an A-3 if it is absolutely necessary to do so. Expect such a repair to be expensive, and allow a long time for the repair to be completed. Only a very highly experienced worker should be engaged for that type of repair.

    It would be quite difficult to find an antique neck in good condition. The most likely source would be to buy another A model with a badly crashed body, if you could find one at a reasonable price. It is likely that it would be more practical to have a new neck installed.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-22-2020 at 11:56am.

  6. #6
    MandoHog MandoHog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    An A3 neck s/b pretty straight forward to replace and probably less $$ than you'd think. But i would try and repair the original if at all possible. Hopefully he got it on the cheap or you might soon be upside down on cost vs value. But we're on Mandolin Cafe after all, so when has that ever really been a consideration?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    I would not call pulling the neck from an early Gibson mandolin a routine repair. The joinery of the neck joints on these instruments is very tight. I have not pulled one, but I would expect it to be much more difficult than pulling the neck on an old Martin guitar, and I have pulled a few of those.

    Matter of fact, I am reluctant to consider removing a neck on any dovetailed instrument to be straightforward. There are an awful lot of things that can go wrong when you are pulling a neck, no matter how skilled you are and how many times you've done it before.

    You're not going to get a job like this done well for a few hundred dollars.

  8. #8
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    Not much more to say without pics. It amazes me how much good advice can be found from the generous experts here with nothing more than a rough description. “A badly damaged neck” can mean so many things...

    But, now some of us are waiting with bated breath to see the actual instrument! We can all learn something from this example.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jomamma View Post
    A friend of mine has an early teens A3 with a badly damaged neck. He was told by a luthier that it would be a good wall hanger. The body is in tact and I was wondering about finding a neck and putting another neck on the body. Looking for advice.

    Thank you
    Joe

  10. #10
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    It can be fixed. Only an in-hand examination will determine what it would take to fix it, and it won't be cheap, but probably less than a replacement neck.

    In fact, as broken peghead repairs go, this one with no truss rod and no peghead inlay is less work than it if had those features.

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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    Yes, it can be repaired. The question is whether or not it would be worthwhile to do so.

    The instrument is not an A-3, it is a plain style A; and it appears that most of the original finish was removed. It is not a valuable instrument, so the owner should take that into account when deciding whether or not to go to the expense of repairing it.

    The instrument also needs a bridge, a nut, the body should be checked for loose glue joints inside and out, and would probably need at least some fret work to make it playable.

    The cost of the repairs necessary to put the instrument into playing condition might approach or exceed its market value after the repairs have been executed. A plain style A with non original finish and correctly repaired neck breaks will be worth only a few hundred dollars.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-23-2020 at 12:30pm.

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  14. #12

    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    Looks like glue residue from failed previous repair attempt.

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  16. #13
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    If it was his great granddaddy's mandolin, fix it at any cost and remember that there is only one Stradivarius violin in the world with the original neck. Be prepare for a serious dumba$$ tax for all that Elmer's glue...

    If it is just a random old broken mandolin, sell it on ebay as is and move on. The repairs will exceed the value.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    What about this early Gibson A model? How much would this cost to reattach the peg head? It looks nice-all original finish-no cracks or seam separations that I see- but the headstock is mangled but looks like a somewhat clean break that pry can be fixed-has that KOOL "The Gibson-gold decal!" If it won't cost to much, I may get her if I can buy really cheap that is! Chime in John and I would have you fix her?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1906-Gibson...oAAOSw75lfE7vB
    Last edited by William Smith; Jul-30-2020 at 7:30am.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    When I see the header "Damaged teens Gibson A3", I keep thinking this is about the instrument played by the mandolinist in some folk-punk band called "Damaged Teens."
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  19. #16
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Damaged teens Gibson A3

    A very talented luthier friend of mine repaired a Gibson A with a history of repeated headstock repair fails by making a replacing headstock and partial neck by cnc. He scarf joined the newly created headstock to neck and got the finish to blend well. He even cnc'd the new headstock inlays. I should have taken a photo of it. He did this for a friend of his and I doubt that he charged his normal rate as it would not have made economic sense.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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