Monday, June 29, 2009

Luthier Restoration My 1st Attempt

The Following are a set of Pics recently taken of a project I just finished . I found a Bowl Back Mandolin on Ebay for $ 16.00 and decided what the heck . Never Having tried Luthier Work this is my first attempt. I tried very hard to keep it Original.

What I found was as follows :

You can see its Quite Filthy And Old , Figure as best as I can Tell its 1920's -30's era .

If you look close you can see the Neck Is Broke off the bowl at the heel of the neck . Looks like a small crack and around the sound hole by the finger board its caved in almost 1/2" look closely and you can see the strings are quite high over the Fingerboard / Frets.

This Pic Shows the break in the neck better , The crack is Quite visable in this one.

I had to remove the neck from the unit and do so without breaking the Fingerboard , sadly wasn't so successful . The Board Broke into about 8 pieces so I had to re glue it together like a jigsaw puzzle and was successful at that.

The neck was attached to the body with a dowel originally, and it had bent and broke . I set up my lathe and made a new Hard Maple Dowel and re glued it in the neck and cleaned out the area in the bowl area to receive the dowel as well.

As you can see I have clamped a block of Hard Maple into the face side of the bowl as a cleat to flatten it out and bring that 1/2" of " Caved in " Area Back out so the strings will be at right height for playing.

After everything was finished gluing I still had approx 1/6" inch of drop in the body at the sound hole. So to solve the problem I cut a small spacer and glued it to the body and sanded it to the proper height and that allowed me to glue the neck and finger board back in place and get it at the correct height . I KNOW A PROFFESSIONAL RESTORER is gonna read that a freak , but as I said I'm new at this and did best I could.

I purchased a Product that's called restorers polish that has no silicone in it and used that along with a couple hours elbow grease and rags to get it cleaned up and still retain the "old" look as it should have. As you will see its quite good at what its designed for.

So You Have Seen My Project From The Start , My Next Post will be the Finished Pics of The project . Thanks For stopping By.


Heidi said...

WOW! I love the sound of a mandolin... Milk Man wants to know when your gonna post the rest of the pictures... he wants to see it finished.. LOL :) I want to hear it played when your done!

Heidi said...

When I was lol - it was because he is impatient, not because its funny.. am I making any sense? no - I didnt think so either....