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Thread: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

  1. #1
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    Default Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    I've had this crazy idea rattling around in my head for a while, and I can't shake it, so I might have to just go for it.

    StewMac has their Mini T-style kit in stock at a great price right now. I'm thinking about picking it up, narrowing the neck a bit, dropping a tuner, and setting it up as a five-string mando.

    Surely someone on here has tried this already. I'm not that original. What kind of trouble am I in for?

    Has anybody figured out a solution for taking the bridge/saddles from 6 to 5?
    The Loar LM-220 VS

  2. #2
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Jake Wildwood made me up a 5-stringer from a Squier Strat. He drilled holes above & between the existing holes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Can those holes be drilled with a hand drill?

  4. #4
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Pretty sure that's what he did.

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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Quote Originally Posted by Seonachan View Post
    Jake Wildwood made me up a 5-stringer from a Squier Strat. He drilled holes above & between the existing holes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's extremely helpful, thank you. The mini-T comes with an ashtray bridge with barrel saddles, but this would allow conversion to rectangular saddles. You don't have any problems with your action or maintaining tension with the base of the saddles raised like this, do you?
    The Loar LM-220 VS

  6. #6
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    No problems, other than tuning issues caused by the tremolo, which are not relevant to a Tele.

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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Quote Originally Posted by Seonachan View Post
    No problems, other than tuning issues caused by the tremolo, which are not relevant to a Tele.
    Great. I really appreciate that feedback.

    My intention was to tune this up like a mandola with a high e, but I'm worried I won't be able to get there on a 16.3" scale.
    The Loar LM-220 VS

  9. #8
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    You might be interested in this thread:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...r-kits-on-sale
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotter View Post
    You might be interested in this thread:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...r-kits-on-sale
    Did you ever try it? Looks like this scale is about an inch and a half too long for what I'm thinking.
    The Loar LM-220 VS

  11. #10
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    How about mandola tuning?I drilled 1/8” holes in a bridge plate with a colbalt bit.Hard to line them up exactly.Need a template.

  12. #11
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    I like the mini les Paul model as an 8 string mandola.Could get the saddles from a 12 string bridge.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    I have a mini Les Paul with a 19 inch fretboard. I'm thinking about setting it up for CGDAE - or maybe pitched lower with a capo to bing it to CGDAE. I tried to do this with a high B string once before, but the B string kept snapping.

  14. #13
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    I have the mini les Paul and made an eight string guitar tuning.it is now a lap steel.photo of it on Jan 26 2020Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #14
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    I have the mini les Paul and made an eight string guitar tuning.it is now a lap steel.photo of it on Jan 26 2020Click image for larger version. 

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    The mini les Paul I said could be a mandola is the stewmac kit like the op Tele.The eight string conversion was posted Jan 26 with photo.Was strung with
    double octave strings.different scale lengths

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    Default Re: Mini Tele Conversion to Five-String

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    How about mandola tuning?I drilled 1/8 holes in a bridge plate with a colbalt bit.Hard to line them up exactly.Need a template.
    I do want to tune it as a mandola, but with a fifth string tuned to high e. It's going to be tough, I suspect, with a 16.3" scale.

    I'll probably replace the bridge plate to a through-body model, so I won't have to worry about working around so many existing holes in the back of the bridge, and I can space them out where I want them. Then I'll need to replace the traditional two-string saddles with block saddles, or maybe the more narrow, modern one-string barrel saddles.
    The Loar LM-220 VS

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