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Thread: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

  1. #1

    Default early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    greeting from Whidbey Island USA ....my shop winter project will be a full go-thru of this mandolin ....she needs a "lot" of TLC and will get it all: refret, new headstock front veneer, headstock crack repaired, new bone nut, new top body binding, new sound hole binding, new fret marker inlays, new bridge, etc ....since this is my first mandolin restore, a couple questions ....fingerboard radius: right now, it gages out relatively flat so assuming it came stock with no radius when new ....any recs on either replane'ing it flat or a 12, 16 or 20 ? .....new tailpiece and tuners will be gold, so I want to go Evo Gold with the frets ...can anyone supply a link to where I can purchase Evo Gold fret wire for mandolin ? .....I am going to get creative with the body top binding, found a supplier making something angled staggered black / white so I will not be fab'ing those individual pieces, just removing them, cleaning up the channel and going from there to match as best I can......lastly, a bridge / bridge and saddle combo for this mandolin: any links as to where I can procure something that will work well highly appreciated ......besides the headstock crack, the entire bowl back, the neck and the top are 100% crack-free / damage-free (I realize very lucky for a mandolin of this age) ....any other tips, pointers or assist for restoring this mandolin also highly appreciated, thanks all Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    EVO wire is no longer available-- the manufacturer can no longer get the alloy. Their supplier has discontinued it.
    You can do what you like with the fingerboard radius, but if you want to adhere to tradition, most bowlbacks typically have flat boards.
    The premanufactured one-piece bridges that I see offered today are rather crude. It's not hard to make a nicer one from scratch, and it can be done with very simple tools. Choose a pattern and carve away everything that doesn't look like a bridge.

    If you change your mind about using pre-manufactured binding, there are a few tricks that can cut your labor time way down if you make the bindings yourself. If you can find some pictorials or instructions for how herringbone purflings are made, you will find shortcuts that you could apply here.

    Check to see that the braces are good and snug before you do anything else.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    great reply & intel, thank you ....so, with Evo Gold out of the picture, the location & procurement of another gold mandolin fret wire would be appreciated, if it's out there? ....yep, I have looked at many photos of this mandolin on-line and have made bridges from scratch previously, and if I have to go there, I can .....just was wondering if anything available as drop-in would work, and where they are for sale ? (as even crude I can dial in to get it nice) .....I will see how it goes with the pre-made slanted black-white binding I have on the way, once I get the channel cleaned up, will go from there ....the braces are snug & tight, nothing loose, no play inside

  5. #4

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    Where have you found large enough rope binding? I would use it for repairs that didn’t have to look original, but haven’t found a source. Because the white parts are often pearl, nothing else looks as good; I’ve used translucent white plastic that can be molded into that almost quarter round shape, and bent to fit the rebate for a little fill in that’s ok…from a distance.
    Bridge:
    When not sure about how a restoration will settle in under string tension - and by the way, ultra lights for a bowl back - I just put in any old approximate stick and let it sit before making a nicer one. Not only for the height, but since the thin ones have no mechanical strength, they will follow the top contour and possibly bow.

  6. #5

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    I have not studied the photos but this one does look like your mandolin: https://jakewildwood.blogspot.com/20...-mandolin.html

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  8. #6
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    [QUOTE=Uncle Freddy;1921799].....I am going to get creative with the body top binding, found a supplier making something angled staggered black / white so I will not be fab'ing those individual pieces, just removing them, cleaning up the channel and going from there to match as best I can......lQUOTE]

    Can I have those pieces please?


    I bought some of these bridges. They look very much like my Puglisi bridges.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/114192679467

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....
    Richmond RMA-110..... .Noname Bearclaw
    Pochette Franz Janisch...5 Pocket............Alfredo Privitera pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912.......Puglisi 1917
    3 Mandolinetto ..............C.Garozzo
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Møller 1945............Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

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  10. #7

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    I spotted this stuff on eBay, it would of course have to be double up'd, cut, sized, curved to 1/4 round, etc, etc ....a bit of work but I want to have this here to see how to mates up and looks, may go with it, may not ....the body binding will be the toughest call for this restoration ....there is also this stuff, one could meticulously fab individual slant cut 1/4 round pieces out of this but when you put 4 pieces of the original binding together, it forms an oval, not a circle so this route would be highly time consuming: https://www.amazon.com/MSEURO-Wear-R...0C4YTJMGV?th=1Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Uncle Freddy; Nov-28-2023 at 9:57am. Reason: typo

  11. #8
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Freddy View Post
    I spotted this stuff on eBay, it would of course have to be double up'd, cut, sized, curved to 1/4 round, etc, etc ....a bit of work but I want to have this here to see how to mates up and looks, may go with it, may not ....the body binding will be the toughest call for this restoration ....there is also this stuff, one could meticulously fab individual slant cut 1/4 round pieces out of this but when you put 4 pieces of the original binding together, it forms an oval, not a circle so this route would be highly time consuming: https://www.amazon.com/MSEURO-Wear-R...0C4YTJMGV?th=1Click image for larger version. 

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    Can I have the old pieces?
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....
    Richmond RMA-110..... .Noname Bearclaw
    Pochette Franz Janisch...5 Pocket............Alfredo Privitera pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912.......Puglisi 1917
    3 Mandolinetto ..............C.Garozzo
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Møller 1945............Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

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  13. #9

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    thanks, that link takes me to empty page ....? let me know ....or post the pics here ....

  14. #10

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    thanks, just ordered one of those bridges, looks highly do'able & correct, or as close to correct it can be, for this Wanamaker ....yes, if I decide to not utilize them, you can have the pieces ....feel free to email me at madscientistguitar@gmail.com

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  16. #11

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    with EVO Gold out of the picture, anyone have a lead / link / source on good gold fret wire for mandolin .....?? ....

  17. #12
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    This is the only thing I am aware of. I haven't tried it. Their smallest size borders on being a bit wide for a short scale bowl back.

    https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tool...gold-fretwire/

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  19. #13

    Default Re: early 1900s Wanamaker restoration

    turns out, the Evo Gold mandolin sized wire IS still available in limited / remaining stock, from Michael at Jescar:
    "The most commonly used wire profiles for mandolins are the 37053 and 37080. Both wires are available in 2’ straight lengths in EVO Gold and I will provide links to both variants below"
    https://jescarmusic.com/products/jes...45364978123054
    https://jescarmusic.com/products/jes...45364979499310
    I just ordered 6 ft of the .053
    Last edited by Uncle Freddy; Nov-29-2023 at 8:49pm. Reason: typo

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