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Thread: Foam rubber armrest?

  1. #1
    Registered User eastshores's Avatar
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    Question Foam rubber armrest?

    I'm looking at practicing more and one thing I've noticed given the length of my arms is the edge of the mano digs in pretty good closer to my wrist. I was wondering if anyone has ever seen a mando armrest the is foam rubber or something similar? Basically I'm looking for something of a similar material to the shoulder rest or my chin rest pad that I use on my fiddle. It's a non slip soft and slightly padded material that deals well with sweat.

    I've searched some and seems like all of the armrests are hardwood. I suppose I could buy a cheaper one and affix my own thin layer of foam rubber if there isn't anything on the market. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    I think the reason you see this is that many people here are afraid of ruining the finish by contact with (unknown) materials, including hundreds concerned with the tiny foam pads on clip-on tuners! No guarantees, but I’ve been using polyethylene (white, closed cell packing foam) for an armrest, held down with (horrors) blue painter’s tape, which has minimal and weak adhesive. Even made a cradle from the stuff to keep a nose-heavy mandolin from slipping on my lap. So far, on about three mandolins.
    Caution again: instrument finishes are very variable, and some of them are delicate. Actually, if it’s a choice between not playing and a damaged finish…

  3. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    My wrist will dig in on my tail piece I just adjust how I’m holding it. I find it is the angles that
    My did n. I have considered a wooden armrest but haven’t found it a must yet. I would suggest maybe a leather arm band. I found I the colder months it doesn’t bother me probably because of the cuff of my flannel shirts.
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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    To keep my forearm off the Mandolin, I use a sports wrist sweatband.
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  6. #5
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    I too would be concerned about a naked foam pad's effect on a nitro finish or making an imprint on new varnish. You could make a "pillow cover" to protect the finish, at the expense of interfering with the vibration of the top & affecting tone or volume. They also might affect right forearm mobility. The best wooden armrests clamp onto the non-vibrating rim & don't muffle vibrations. They are also contoured so they are very comfortable, don't interfere with the right forearm motion, and don't require padding.

    I have used a sports sweatband or a basketball shooter's forearm sleeve in the past - they helped, but now I prefer a wooden armrest.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Mangio View Post
    To keep my forearm off the Mandolin, I use a sports wrist sweatband.
    I have been doing this for years now. I tried all kinds of things, including a tied bandana, (inspired by a Steve Earl video), one arm of a sweater, one of a pair of wool leggings, a wool sock with toe cut off, (inspired by Ron Thomason) etc. I have kept with the terry cloth wrist band.
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  9. #7
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Perhaps get an armrest and glue the foam to it

  10. #8
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Then there’s something like this…

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  11. #9
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    I have used the Oasis Guitar Sleeve in the summer to protect the finish of my mandolin. It is the same idea as the sweat band or bandana.

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Or attach some cork to the top of a armrest, nicer/softer material. I get by with a hand towel folded in quarters on guitars like Les Pauls that have sharp edge that dig into picking arm's forearm, or you can tuck a fold into a tonegard to hold it in place. Also pretty essential on any guitar/mandolin when it's hot and i'm schwitzing a lot.
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  13. #11

    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Why not hardwood? Good ones are rounded over, smooth, and quite comfortable on the arm.

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Modern era Gibson finishes are sensitive to some types of foam rubber, and can be noticeably damaged by it in a short period of time.

  15. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    A friend of mine had your same problem. He resolved it by cutting of a cotton crew sock and wearing the padded part on his wrist/arm where he was feeling the contact. In other words, the arm rest doesn't have to be on the instrument.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  16. #14

    Default Re: Foam rubber armrest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian560 View Post
    I have used the Oasis Guitar Sleeve in the summer to protect the finish of my mandolin. It is the same idea as the sweat band or bandana.
    I use the Oasis sleeve, as well. I've got an arm rest on my mandolin so it's no so much for me about protecting the finish. I just sweat a lot and hate the feel of my sweaty arm kind of "squeaking" on the arm rest.

    But with no armrest I'd definitely recommend the Oasis sleeve. Fits snugly, easy to wash and dry, very low friction if you like to keep your arm lightly in a place and let it move around a bit as you play.
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