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Thread: 60s? Japanese mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default 60s? Japanese mandolin

    Hi
    I've just acquired a sad 60s or 70s A-shape f-hole Terada mandolin ('bout the same as a Lyle LM200, a Kent or a Lindell). In a bit of a state .. no nut, tuners, bridge or tailpiece. However no dangerous cracks just LOTS of dents! I have 2 questions, please.

    #1 I'm guessing this might be a luthier-reject, maybe having been brought in for a refret. The frets are VERY narrow & quite low, but I guess playable, no grooves; HOWEVER there is a zero-fret. I can fix everything apart from a refret, I have no experience or tools. So, if the zero-fret is too low, & I can't remove it, what would be the possibility of building some (strange) nut that overlaps the fingerboard & sits where the zero-fret is? Is that silly?

    If the main frets are no good I can turn it into a slide-mandolin, but I still need to have the correct scale length.

    #2 The back is laminate, but the top LOOKS like it's solid un-carved (book-matched wood with two curved braces inside). It's quite a lightweight mandolin - will be I be risking its structural strength by fitting my normal EJ-74s (11 - 40) or should I limit it to EJ73s (10 - 38)?

    Many thanks for your help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 60s? Japanese mandolin

    If there aren't dents in the zero fret you should be fine. Most put in a larger fret for the zero, I like to use the same size as the rest of the frets. Guess you won't know till you string it up. Hopefully it has a truss rod, and I wouldn't put too heavy a set of strings on it, at least to start.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: 60s? Japanese mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    If there aren't dents in the zero fret you should be fine. Most put in a larger fret for the zero, I like to use the same size as the rest of the frets. Guess you won't know till you string it up. Hopefully it has a truss rod, and I wouldn't put too heavy a set of strings on it, at least to start.
    Thanks Pops. Maybe it'll be ok .. there are slight identifying "marks" on the zero fret but not what I would call dents as such. Plenty on the woodwork though!!!
    No, there's no truss rod; guess I'll stick to the 10s. I'll let you know how it goes, maybe post a pic. It could turn out to be a nice little "beater" mandolin hopefully. Many thanks

  5. #4
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    Default Re: 60s? Japanese mandolin

    Pix? I like vintage-ish Japanese instruments.
    Kentucky km900
    Yamaha piano, clarinet, violin; generic cello
    Stage 1 pedal steel (highly recommended); banjo, dobro don't get played much cause i'm considerate ;}

    Shopping/monitoring prices: marimbas, Roland drumsets, Yamaha brass and single/double reeds

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