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Thread: Mitchell MDJ-10 -5 string tenor conversion

  1. #1

    Default Mitchell MDJ-10 -5 string tenor conversion

    I have done a few conversions, ( OK, maybe more than a few), But this one might have been the easiest/most straight forward.
    These are cheap. You can find them for under $80 if you shop a little. They are a small 3/4 size with a 21 1/4" scale length. They also have a solid spruce top.
    I did remove the fretboard to cut it down but I'm not sure I wouldn't try leaving it on next time. The low F on a 21 1/4" scale is probably not to everyone's liking but I'm only picking melodies on this and even a floppy F is a fun safety net to drop down to once in a while.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Jun 2018
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Default Re: Mitchell MDJ-10 -5 string tenor conversion

    Looks great! How did you thin the neck? I assume you refretted it if you pulled the fretboard? I've flipped a few of the full-size Mitchell solid tops, and they aren't bad. I have a 23 1/2" scale acoustic I converted to 4 string as my knock around tenor, but I've been tempted to so something a bit shorter, like one of these. *wheels turning*

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mitchell MDJ-10 -5 string tenor conversion

    Thanks mreidsma,
    The easiest way I've found to thin the width of the fretboard is to use Dremel like cutting discs. I remove the board,draw the lines on it and use the cutting disc to cut through the frets. If you don't mind a little smoke you can actually just keep going and cut through the board as well. Then just use a shooting board with course sandpaper on it to even up the sides. You can usually salvage the binding from the cut offs and just glue it back on the board.
    When I glue the newly thinned fretboard back on the neck I use a sanding drum on a hand drill to bring the width of the neck down to the width of the board. Follow that with final shaping using a sanding drum on a Dremel tool and regular sand paper. Stain and try your darnedest to match the bullet proof spray lacquer finish that is on the rest of the guitar!

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