August 24, 2009

My brother in law Bim’s sister Lisi sent me a mandolin for repair and it arrived today.  It’s very similar to the Romanian mandolin (Repair 9001) given to me by Joel Tepp.

Lisi’s mandolin is 50ish years old, with a gourd shaped back and some serious issues.  It sat in an attic for multiple decades, probably going through sever temperature variations and with the strings fully tensioned the whole time.  It essentially compressed itself over the decades.


This is a view of the butt end from the top showing how the tailpiece pushed against the top, compressed against the heel block and binding and shoved a center piece of spruce toward the soundhole.



The above shows the cracks in the spruce top.  The soundboard dipped, once there were cracks and nothing to keep it from dipping.  Another side effect was that the soundhole bowed up in response to the pressure from the cracked top.



Finally, the decorative back pieces have come loose and will need reglueing.


I think the best, and least intrusitve solution will be to remove the center panel on the top where it is cracked on both sides, get in and flatten the soundhole and add new bracing, reinstall the cracked piece and craft a new bridge.