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Thread: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

  1. #51
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Great thread. I've been using Novus 2 and a microfiber cloth to address any superficial dullness in the varnish finish on my mandolin. I find it gets dull from my arm touching where an armrest would be. Just a little bit of the Novus 2 seems to do the trick. Otherwise, I put it in the case whenever I'm not using it and keep it in a reasonably humidity controlled environment.
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  2. #52
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Don't use the Novus too often. Although it is only a very mild abrasive, it is still an abrasive, and if used too often, it will eventually cut through the finish.

  3. #53
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Wonderful. Thank you for that suggestion. I appreciate it very much. :-)

    Is there another product that is more gentle?
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  4. #54
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Well, you can wear a long sleeve shirt when the weather allows. And certainly wipe it off with a soft cloth every time you're done playing.
    When I was studying classical guitar at the conservatory, one of the other students had a cotton "half sleeve" that he would put on his forearm when he played. I never did that, but it was a good idea.

    If you play an instrument, the finish will lose luster, especially in the the forearm area, no matter how careful you are. The best thing to minimize the wear is to wipe it off.

    Rottenstone and a little mineral oil on a soft rag is the least abrasive cleaner/polisher that I know of. Violin people have been using it for centuries. You can get the rottenstone at International Violin Co, and the mineral oil at your local drug store. I still wouldn't use it very often, no more than twice a year or so.

  5. #55
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    I use my instruments, but don't abuse them. I definitely don't abuse them, but the ones that I play have all gotten that first ding that I put on them, even the older instruments that I bought used. Mostly in the case when not in use, wiped down most of the time after I play, change strings carefully to avoid bloodshed... but I have a tuner on the headstock most of the time and an armrest (insect repellant or sunscreen + sweat can do some serious damage to a top), and a ToneGard - all leave evidence of their presence on the instruments I keep.

  6. #56

    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    My mandolin very rarely leaves the friendly confines of our music room at home. So with no special effort on my part, it gets to lead a pretty "babied" life I suppose, compared to folks who play outdoors and/or at jam sessions a lot. I still have managed to put a little wear on it, even so.

    The guy who built it told me its French Polish finish can be touched up if it ever gets looking a bit worse for wear but I'm nowhere near that point yet.
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  7. #57
    Old Guy Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Wow! Welcome back Brent!
    Thanks

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  8. #58

    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Thank you.
    The first man who whistled
    thought he had a wren in his mouth.
    He went around all day
    with his lips puckered,
    afraid to swallow.

    --"The First" by Wendell Berry

  9. #59
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    I used to. Now they baby me...
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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  10. #60

    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    I heard one of the high-end luthiers describe his owners as players or polishers. I'm a player. I don't abuse my mandolins but I don't baby them. I play them.
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  11. #61
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    I keep them in their cases. I don't baby them, I just have cases!

    I have been keeping my Eastman octave mandolin out, 'cause I'm playing it every day and it came with a gig bag!

    When I go to the beach, I don't carry the case too! That's too much weight! I have my mandolin in my beach bag and I have a towel over it. It stays under the bumpershoot if I'm not playing it. I'll change out those strings!

    They've all gone on flights! I would travel for work; so I'd always bring a mandolin.

    They are insured. I've never had a claim.

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  12. #62

    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Mandobart nailed it. My daily player has a few minor scratches from wear (evidently I anchor my pinky on occasion-who knew!?). I keep it in the case when not playing it and am well over the playing behind chicken wire type of gigs. That said, it's fallen out of the stand on occasion when playing out and survived without damage so I guess I'll keep doing what I've done.

  13. #63
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    LOL - of course I do. Each has a story and each is cherished!

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

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  14. #64
    Registered User Denis Kearns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Living in earthquake country, I keep my nicest instruments in their cases unless being played. I have less valuable instruments out for playing anytime I feel like it. My current “kitchen mandolin” is a less-than-pristine 1950 Gibson A50 I got for cheap in a local pawnshop. I can play it without worrying about washing my hands first, sweating on it, or adding to it’s history of dings. My oldest guitar, which I bought brand new, has the finish worn off the neck in spots from 50+ years of barr chords and has a t-shaped ding on the rosewood back from an old girlfriend who accidentally hit the edge of the couch while playing. She was mortified when this happened, but as it was an accident, I didn’t get upset. Now I think fondly of her when I see it. It’s a Guild D55, so it stays in the case unless being played, despite it’s “history”. I try to be careful when playing my nicer instruments, but they are made to be played and I expect them to collect their share of “history” during my tenure. One thing I don’t do on either guitars or mandolins, is to scratch the top by picking. Never understood that. If you have to play so loud that you end up scratching the top, you either need to play through an amp or stop playing with banjo players. :-)

  15. #65

    Default Re: Do You Baby Your Mandolin?

    Naw. They're just tools. Mind you, I don't spend much on my tools. (Craftsman not Snap-on)

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