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Thread: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

  1. #1

    Default Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    I pick this mandolin up once or twice a week. Flatiron A5-Jr. Tonight, top strings very out of tune. But I couldn't get them stay in tune. Then heard a noise at the bottom and looked down and saw this. Is this a normal occurrence? Recommendations on fixing?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Not very common! Just replace it, anything can fail. Shouldn't cost more than $30, but of course you can spend as much as you like on a replacement. Just don't expect a more expensive model to impact the tone.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    The price and quality of these are all over the place but I generally go for the Prucha tailpieces sold by Greg Boyd.

    https://gregboyd.com/product/prucha-...lpiece-nickel/
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #4
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Before I started building, I had a mandolin that was built in a factory in this country and it happened several times. I replaced the tailpiece about 4-5 times. I guess it was just some bad metal. It eventually stopped. I just replaced the t/p.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    I usually get a stainless steel tailpiece like Mike recommends. Different source, but in stainless they are much stronger. Haven't had one of them fail so far.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Flatiron's are known for this - I had the exact same incident as have many others.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    I too have been treated to phosphor bronze spaghetti upon opening a case. Some of the Allen cast tailpieces have hole patterns that match your Flatiron. Whether you do it yourself or have it installed, it's a satisfying change. Treat yourself.
    You can't get there from here.

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  11. #8
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    That tailpiece looks like thin brass sheet. Prucha tailpieces are stainless steel base and covers are plated brass. They are much stronger.
    Adrian

  12. #9

    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Thank you all for the responses. I'll look at those tailpieces.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Can't help You but if You now have a cover spare, I would like to have it ;-)
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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Yes, the fitment of the cover ,if you have the original "Flatiron", may be difficult. There seem to be several makers of these over the years. The Prucha may be the best bet to start.

  15. #12
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    It happened to me once when I let a mando sit for too long and I believe humidity had a factor. And it too was on a Flatiron.

  16. #13

    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Electroplated steels are subject to hydrogen embrittlement, and low-cost products like this hardware are often steel, already damaged by the stamping and forming processes. Plus, the plating I’ve seen is *wrong* in terms of being just a single film.
    Common (300 series) stainless both will not embrittle, and also doesn’t need plating. So a ss base with any kind of material for a cover should be durable. Bronze, aluminum also ok, but of course cast items can suffer from bubbles and fractures, so snapped-off hooks may be seen.
    The shine-entranced bike and hotrod crowd often have experience with important parts that shouldn’t have been chromed!

  17. #14
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    The broken original is certainly brass if you zoom in you can see the golden cast at the break. Very likely the britteness due to stamping process is reason why it broke.
    Adrian

  18. #15
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailpiece busted - is this normal?

    Yup. The tailpiece on my Flatiron is a replacement. Like everyone else has said, go for the stainless steel. Not sure which model mine has, but the original cover slips fairly well.
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