July 12, 2009

I have been working with Joel Tepp to develop and refine my repair experience.  Yesterday he delivered a gift of a mangled Romanian Mandolin which needs extensive work to resume playability.


There’s plenty wrong, and lots of opportunity to “practice”.  First the back is separating from the body, and the braces are loose.  As well, the butt block and sides are separating.



Next, the sides are cracked and poorly repaired, and the neck heel is cracked through along the line of the side cracks.



Additionally, the top plates are separated, and the finish is terrible.  The frets are down to nothing, the saddle needs to be rebuilt, and the nut has come loose.  Just a few things to do, but I think the side cracks and neck crack are going to prove to be the most challenging.

I removed the back and braces from the back using my silicon heating blanket to soften the glue.  First repair was to reglue the butt block to the sides.




I pulled out the frets and resurfaced the fretboard with CA.  It should sand down nicely, and the fret slots are deep enough and intact such that new frets should seat nicely.  I’ll try and fix the side cracks, but if it proves unsatisfactory, I may replace the sides.