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Thread: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

  1. #1

    Default ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Howdy folks-
    My beloved J. Bovier took a major hit this week - it apparently blends into the brown leather couch very well because it was sat upon, and the top exploded. I've emailed a few places, but would love if anyone has any recommendations, or if you think I should just cut my losses, bury it in a shallow grave, and move on...Thanks in advance for any referrals or encouragement. I've been going through all the stages of grief... I am located in Washington state...east of Seattle.

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  2. #2
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Man, sorry to hear that. I know it must hurt, it is painful for me to look at.

    I don't have any suggestions for you, other than to perhaps let us know where you live in case there might be local resources available.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Slightly less valuable mandolin but a recent question regarding a re-top -
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...o-re-top-an-F5

    Unless you are willing to buy a CNC top and do it yourself or find someone wanting experience in instrument repair and enough skill to attempt a reasonable outcome I would cut your losses. You can get a new Eastman or Kentucky for the less than the price to fix this by an experienced luthier. I recently got a good deal on a Kentucky KM-750? series mandolin. I have had quite a few Kentucky mandolins and this one is surprisingly good, a great value.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Thanks- just updated the post

  7. #5
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Sorry that happened. It's hard to imagine a more direct hit.

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  9. #6
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    "...cut my losses, bury it in a shallow grave, and move on..."

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  11. #7
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Quote Originally Posted by Bababooey View Post
    Howdy folks-
    My beloved J. Bovier took a major hit this week - it apparently blends into the brown leather couch very well because it was sat upon, and the top exploded. I've emailed a few places, but would love if anyone has any recommendations, or if you think I should just cut my losses, bury it in a shallow grave, and move on...Thanks in advance for any referrals or encouragement. I've been going through all the stages of grief... I am located in Washington state...east of Seattle.
    Sorry to see this. If it were me, I'd definitely replace it ASAP so I have something nice to play again. But also...

    At this point, you have nothing to lose.

    If it were me, I'd learn from it. Maybe make it a project -- if I have the time and a little money, I'd put together a hide glue kit, get out my steamer, my hair drier and palate knife, and carefully take the rest of the top off, and then see if I can put this puzzle back together. Even if it never makes music again, at least after trying to glue all the pieces back together, I would know very well how to use hide glue.

    I know of at least one mandolin that was very painstakingly resurrected after suffering a similar fate. A very special mandolin, yes, but it proved it could be done. That doesn't mean I could also do it, but at least I can learn from trying.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
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  13. #8
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Sorry to see this. If it were me, I'd definitely replace it ASAP so I have something nice to play again. But also...

    At this point, you have nothing to lose.

    If it were me, I'd learn from it. Maybe make it a project -- if I have the time and a little money, I'd put together a hide glue kit, get out my steamer, my hair drier and palate knife, and carefully take the rest of the top off, and then see if I can put this puzzle back together. Even if it never makes music again, at least after trying to glue all the pieces back together, I would know very well how to use hide glue.

    I know of at least one mandolin that was very painstakingly resurrected after suffering a similar fate. A very special mandolin, yes, but it proved it could be done. That doesn't mean I could also do it, but at least I can learn from trying.
    I totally agree. May not be worth the cost having a good luthier spend her time on, but I would consider buying a top from International Violin, Luthier's Mercantile, Stew Mac, etc. and try my hand at voicing, fitting and finishing it.

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  15. #9
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    Unless you want to play mandolin repair-person yourself, at the price point of your JBovier, I'd say go hunt another mandolin.

    Perhaps homeowner's insurance might offer you some compensation –- if you have listed your musical instrument(s) among your household property. Not an insurance expert myself, but might be worth contacting your agent. One of my singing partners got her Martin M-36 restored by Martin (no warranty, she wasn't the original owner), partially funded by her insurance, after a car accident.
    Allen Hopkins
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  17. #10

    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    * Update * The maker, Jeff Cowherd, has graciously offered me substantial credit for the parts for the broken mando, against a new instrument. Very very difficult trigger to pull, but ultimately I'll never be happy with anything less, and it's been my desk-side companion for long enough that it's worth it to replace for my own sanity and happiness! YOLO!! Thanks for all the feedback. Cheers- ~Hugh

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: ISO Luthier to carve and install new top

    I agree it is worth checking with your insurance company. In my case, I add a little insurance for all of my instruments that does cover accidental damage, up to the cost of a new instrument. It also covers loss or damage away from the house.

    Good luck. I do understand this is difficult.
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