7/27/2012

c.1922 Gibson A-Jr Carved-top Mandolin


This is also a customer's mandolin, in for crack repair and setup. I wound up regluing a portion of the brace below the soundhole, slightly fitting the bridge better, and doing a very light fret level/dress as well. It came in a bit wonky, but now it's a real winner. I'm hoping the owner of this realizes what a good instrument he has -- a lot of As can disappoint at their price breaks, but this one is on steroids -- big round, warm tone with lots of volume and cut. I like.


While the dark brown finish is normal, this whole instrument appears to have been oversprayed. It also shows a number of old seam repairs as well as a repaired split to the heel.



Nice teens-y headstock look. Replacement nut.


Rosewood board with pearl dots.


It's hard to see the repairs, here, but there are two longish hairline cracks that opened up on either side of the soundhole, going to the neck block. Stress cracks! The owner had good sense and brought it in to get fixed up pronto. If unfixed, these would have contributed to top warp over time. After gluing and cleating them up, I backfilled the slightly open top part of the crack with rosewood dust and then a thin coat of finish. This minimized the look of the crack and sealed it all up, too.


Pretty typical aftermarket rosewood adjustable bridge. The very end of the treble side of the foot still has a little "sunlight" at its tip, but otherwise it's now well fitted. It was horribly fitted before, with only two points in the middle of the bridge touching the top. That's a recipe for top sink, since a bridge on a mandolin like this essentially acts as a 2nd brace as well.


 
Top and bottom edge are bound in tortoise celluloid, which looks great when sunlight catches it.



Tuners work nicely.




Tailpiece is probably original.

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