3/23/2013

c.1895 Washburn Style 115 Cremonatone Bowlback Mandolin


I worked on this same model in 2010, though I suspect that this one might be a few years older than that other one. It's also in not-as-nice condition but it fixed up just fine and plays and sounds great. This was on the lower end of Lyon & Healy's Washburn "Cremonatone" series of bowlbacks but that still meant that it sported a rosewood bowl, ebony board and bridge, mahogany neck with fixed steel truss rod, good-quality tuners and the general Washburn fit and finish.

Work included a neck reset (which fixed a previously botched neck reset attempt), some seam regluing to the treble edge and bowl seams, a couple strips of replacement (period parts-bin stuff) binding on the treble-side top, and of course the usual fret level/dress and setup.


I've always liked the faux-tortoise celluloid pickguards on old Washburns. They're sort-of fiery like 30s Gibson pickguards and they look nice in contrast to the fairly Spartan binding and rosette.


Rosewood headstock veneer, ebony nut. All the hardware is original as well, including low but functional bar frets.


Pearl dots in the ebony board.



The bridge is actually raised just a tiny bit on 1/32" veneer under its foot. That was the only adjustment needed at the bridge (thankfully).



This doesn't have anywhere near as many ribs as on fancy bowlbacks, but the rosewood is good quality. There are a couple places where a small amount of the maple stripe between the ribs is missing but they're not too obvious and have been filled in the past.




After a little WD-40 the tuners operate perfectly.



The tailpiece is missing its hinged cover but works just fine. The overtones aren't over the top, either, so I didn't even bother with muting the extra string length from the bridge to tailpiece.


Here's that big old Washburn "Latest Model" label inside.

No comments: