Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: H1 Mandola tailpiece

  1. #1
    Registered User verbs4us's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Irvington, New York
    Posts
    167

    Default H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Was tuning my 1914 'dola last night and the G string popped. Peeled open the tailpiece to discover the little metal prong has given up after 107 years. Others are also bending so they are not long for this world. I keep it tuned to concert pitch. How would you repair this? A James? Something else?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dola.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	515.3 KB 
ID:	196617

  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    2,640

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    That tailpiece base does not appear to be the correct style for a 1914 Gibson. An original would have had 12 prongs, each one shaped rather like an arrowhead. Also, the large rectangular cut out is not typical of a 'teens Gibson tailpiece.

    You can go ahead and replace the tailpiece, or just the base if you wish.
    I have a modern base which I am not using. Although it is shiny and new, it is the correct style for a 'teens Gibson, and should fit your instrument and the original cover. PM me if you like.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    24,967

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by verbs4us View Post
    Was tuning my 1914 'dola last night and the G string popped. Peeled open the tailpiece to discover the little metal prong has given up after 107 years. Others are also bending so they are not long for this world. I keep it tuned to concert pitch. How would you repair this? A James? Something else?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dola.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	515.3 KB 
ID:	196617
    If you'd like to keep the original you could remove the tailpiece base and use a jewelers saw to make two cuts farther down to create a new prong. They don't have to be the same lengths.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:

    Nevin 

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    24,967

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    That tailpiece base does not appear to be the correct style for a 1914 Gibson. An original would have had 12 prongs, each one shaped rather like an arrowhead. Also, the large rectangular cut out is not typical of a 'teens Gibson tailpiece.

    You can go ahead and replace the tailpiece, or just the base if you wish.
    I have a modern base which I am not using. Although it is shiny and new, it is the correct style for a 'teens Gibson, and should fit your instrument and the original cover. PM me if you like.
    It's a mandola. I seriously doubt there was an aftermarket in 1914.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    15,190

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    If you'd like to keep the original you could remove the tailpiece base and use a jewelers saw to make two cuts farther down to create a new prong. They don't have to be the same lengths.
    They don't have to point the same direction either. You could cut the two slots in the direction of the neck on the other side of the opening. Then the slots don't have to be as long and no bending is required.

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sunburst For This Useful Post:


  8. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,735

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Am I mistaken that all vintage Gibson mandolins and mandolas use the same size tailpiece?
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  9. #7
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    2,640

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    The mandolins and mandolas used the same tailpieces in the 1910's. The only way your base might be original is if it the older style with the "pineapple" cover, and I'm not sure about that-- it's been a long time since I've seen one of those, and if your instrument is from 1914, it is very unlikely that it left the factory with a pineapple tailpiece anyway.

  10. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    24,967

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    It's also possible that the tailpiece is pre the 1910 patent model. Gibson had a habit of sweeping the floor or if the prongs broke on the new model maybe somebody had the old model laying around. Unfortunately all the old old mandolins and mandolas in the Mandolin Archive either have covers or if they don't have a cover the picture is too small to enlarge and view. I'm guessing the OP will take Bob up on his offer.

    As far as sizes go, I know a guy with a pineapple cover on a 70's F5.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #9

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Going off of John's idea, if you set it up on a CNC, you could do something like this and never have to worry about it again...
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2021-09-30 19_47_48-Untitled-3_ @ 66.67 % (CMYK_Preview).png 
Views:	22 
Size:	581.4 KB 
ID:	196619
    Or you could do it by hand, with a little 1/32" hole drilled at one end of each tab.

  12. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Marty Jacobson For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Registered User verbs4us's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Irvington, New York
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Very clever!

  14. #11

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by verbs4us View Post
    Very clever!
    "Deverishry crever, indeed!!!"

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  15. #12

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    My 1914 H1 mandola has a tailpiece with 12 prongs.

  16. #13
    Registered User verbs4us's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Irvington, New York
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: H1 Mandola tailpiece

    i think I'm going to chance the StewMac Golden Age version. Looks like the Gibson cover will slide on top of that. If it lasts the next 107 years, I won't complain but can't vouch for my heirs.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •