I picked this up at a yard sale on my way to do yard work at my daughters,she saw it and said ,”you know,I’d been wanting to learn how to play one of those !” So I said I’ll restore it for you to learn with!,it’s my chance to learn about Mandolins.There is no name or brand on it ,but nicely made - it is missing its fretboard and a tuner and has some loose joints,but very fixable,anybody recognize it’s maker or hint as to its origin?

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It could be anything, they made bowl back mandolins just like that all around the world from the late 1800’s to the late 60’s? Maybe some clearer close ups, especially of the tuners, I can sometimes guestimate by looking at the style/quality of the tuners? Have you looked inside with a bright flashlight for any stamps or handwriting, sometimes you can find them on the underside of the soundboard, especially if it’s a custom build? Good luck with it, CB Gitty has a good price on Narrow/Low fretwire by the way?

 I will try again,(I lost my reply) but ,I found the woodwork was really good ,as a woodworker myself,the metal parts have no brand but were stamped nickel silver the tuners machine made no real artsiness to them but functional,there was no label inside for a maker but overall nice work ,my guess is sixties or seventies? The finger guard at the hole appears to be celluloid plastic.here’s some pics

Yes, looking at those plain stamped tuners shouts that it’s a lower model from the 60’s, if it were earlier, it would have some ornament engraved on the tuner plate. Also the tailpiece is a later style, an earlier tailpiece would have stretched way over the soundboard & had some filigree around the border? Hopefully you come across another one with a maker’s label, have fun restoring this one :)

Love that bowl!

Hi, also the tuners are upside down, the gear wheel is normally at the underside of the worm drive gear. Have a look on inside of the plate for any markings too.

Also check that the neck is at the correct projection to the bridge and will not contribute to a high action. Fingerboards we’re pretty thin on many of theses instruments so you could make up any problems when you design your new fingerboard.

The slots in the top of the tuner posts is unusual, it may help in tracing info.
Cheers Taff

dont forget HTML for comment 

Hi again, I just checked my stash box of old tuners and have set's the same look as yours, without the slot dating prewar. Top brand Waverly also had the same look back in the day.

To check if the tailpiece is original remove it and look for the footprint or screwholes of an original unit. Slotted screws make me think it may be older than I first thought.
Taff
HTML remember...

See that,I never noticed the backwards tuners even though I know that tuners are placed that way for a reason, (inexperience,)I will keep it as original as possible when I make the fretboard and it might require a slight angle to the fretboard as in thicker at the sound hole end and thinner at the nut to make good action,I have to make some good measurements to tell ,but a piece of Wenge
Will be used either way and a special clamp might have be made or bought to reach into the sound hole to clamp that end of the fret board to the soundboard.if I can fix the tuners then I can flip them .I also notice a joint in the slats of the bowl is loose and needs glueing and might need to be clamped in some manner to tighten it back together,any ideas how that is done? Maybe a rubber band clamp?thanks for the help of any kind!

Hi John, no offers? Ok, here is what I do but it depends on the situation. I have used this Citar repair as a way of demonstrating extreme separation.

You are on the right track with the rubber band method...



...and a differents instrument...


That should give you something to think about, but wait theres more...next time.
Cheers Taff

Amazing put together,was that made from a gourd of some type? I’ve used rubber band clamps for gun work and woodwork,useful where you want even pressure but not the mechanical power of clamps,I’ve got a few big giant rubber bands .planting and yard works kept me busy I’ll start this weekend on that mandolin. Thanks

Been awhile, lot of work to do on the Mando,took the deck off,now i have try repairing it or make a new one,the front of the board by the neck is basically several cracks or -splintered in other words,the rear crack is just one long one almost to the sound hole,,an attempt was made to repair that long ago and the front brace is unglued,if i make a new one a wide thin plank of spruce or cedar shouldbe sourced .

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