Repairing An Old, Messy Mandolin

Somethimes people bring in instruments which they or some other well-meaning person has attempted to "fix up", as they say.   We can usually un-do what they have done and re-do what is required to make the instrument whole again.  Here is a recent example.  A fellow brought in a mandolin which had been his Grandfather's, and after it was badly broken into three pieces where the headstock joins the neck he glued it with steel clamps and plenty of foaming polyureathane glue.   Here are the before, during and after pictures.  

                                                    

 

After heating the head carefully to soften the old glue, I disassembled the parts and cleaned off the messy old glue, and carefully picked the glue out of the exposed wood fibers.   Then, aligned and glued the parts back together.   After that, the entire instrument was built into a jig and a slot was milled into the neck and across the major repair glue joint.   This was done with the help of my LUTHIERS FRIEND   (see the Links page). 

 

                                           

 

Then, a spline of straight Hickory was made and fitted, then glued in and later trimmed and leveled: 

 

                                            

 

And then after sealing all raw wood, a finish was built up to match the original.  After the machines are installed this mandolin will be ready for another 100-years of enjoyment ! 

 

                                              

 

And, here it is with strings, ready to play.   And, an overview of the whole instrument.   An interesting, antque mandolin.