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Thread: Oh dear

  1. #1
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Oh dear

    Sometimes, I wonder what some of these old builders were thinking:

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    Quality control anyone?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    Looks about the same as the 1932 Gibson A-4 that I had to replace the fingerboard on a while back.
    Did the saw need service? Was it the operator's first day on the job? Or did he have the Monday morning flu?? And yes, where was the QC man?
    The good news was that with a new board with frets in the right place, it turned out to be a pretty darn good mandolin.

    The moral of this story is that this sort of thing happens in the big professional shops also.

  3. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    What is it?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    A mandolin with hopelessly mis-placed frets.
    Tavy will have to tell us who the builder was.

  5. #5
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    Are you sure it's a mandolin? I don't see a body, just a short, stubby neck with a missing nut and nine missing frets. Since the entire pegboard isn't in the frame, there's no way to verify it is from an eight-stringer. For all I can tell, it belongs to a charango. Oh dear, indeed!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  6. #6
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Are you sure it's a mandolin? I don't see a body, just a short, stubby neck with a missing nut and nine missing frets. Since the entire pegboard isn't in the frame, there's no way to verify it is from an eight-stringer. For all I can tell, it belongs to a charango. Oh dear, indeed!
    Sorry, yes, it was a mandolin - a bowl back made by F DeMurada. It's the same instrument I'm up-cycling in the other thread I posted, but the shot was taken before I'd chopped the neck off in preparation for the new one.

    Interestingly DeMurada instruments seem to attract consistently higher prices than most other bowls, based on this one, I'm not completely sure why!

    BTW because of the construction of these (ultra thin fretboard with fret slots cut right through), it's not generally advisable to do a fretboard replacement, or at least a like-for-like replacement would be super hard.

    I also posted this on FB, and someone came up with some information on how these were done (at for the German makers) that was new to me. Basically they would have a "stick" with tacks pushed through at the fret spacings, and use that to mark the fretboard. Then use an angled edge pushed against the neck and a tenon saw to cut each slot by hand on the completed instrument. I suspect someone was badly hung over when they did this one

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  8. #7
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    "Basically they would have a "stick" with tacks pushed through at the fret spacings, and use that to mark the fretboard. Then use an angled edge pushed against the neck and a tenon saw to cut each slot by hand on the completed instrument."

    Not really designed for accuracy, IMO.
    Tom

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    What's wrong with installing a slightly thicker fingerboard?
    They probably orignally went thin to save on the cost of materials.

  10. #9
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    "Basically they would have a "stick" with tacks pushed through at the fret spacings, and use that to mark the fretboard. Then use an angled edge pushed against the neck and a tenon saw to cut each slot by hand on the completed instrument."

    Not really designed for accuracy, IMO.
    IF the tacks are in the right place, AND the craftsman takes care with cutting the frets I don't see why it wouldn't be accurate. Though I confess I wouldn't want to be doing this on a completed instrument. Other than that, it's not dissimilar to modern practices for custom scale lengths - except we now have computer generated templates to work off - and I wouldn't want to start cutting till both jig and board are firmly clamped in place, working on a completed wobbly bowl back would be like wrestling a truculent armadillo

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  12. #10
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    What's wrong with installing a slightly thicker fingerboard?
    They probably orignally went thin to save on the cost of materials.
    Maybe, to my eyes it just looks totally wrong - even upping the fretboard to 2-3mm thick would roughly double it's original thickness which is very noticeable. US made bowls had much more sensibly sized boards on them, and those are definitely replaceable, though generally they do seem to have been better cut in the first place!

  13. #11

    Default Re: Oh dear

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    IF the tacks are in the right place, AND the craftsman takes care with cutting the frets I don't see why it wouldn't be accurate. Though I confess I wouldn't want to be doing this on a completed instrument. Other than that, it's not dissimilar to modern practices for custom scale lengths - except we now have computer generated templates to work off - and I wouldn't want to start cutting till both jig and board are firmly clamped in place, working on a completed wobbly bowl back would be like wrestling a truculent armadillo
    The Truculent Armadillos would be a good name for a band

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  15. #12
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    The Truculent Armadillos would be a good name for a band
    Now that's that's the funniest thing I've heard today

  16. #13
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh dear

    John, I come from the land of truculent armadillos.

    We used to make headgear out of them when we were kids until the whole leprosy scare cut that out.


    I had to ask my wife for the translation but odontoiatria dei rettili might fit the bill here
    as an Italian riff on the regular Diego Garber quip: reptile dentistry.


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