8/16/2013

c.1915 Weymann Mandolute Mandola (Octave Mandolin Conversion)


This is #2 of only 2 Weymann mandolas I've seen in existence. It came to me with similar problems to the first one I worked on, namely bad seam repairs, a bit of missing binding, and a bad neck joint (this one had a mild warp plus the fretboard extension no longer lined up with the neck's back-angle). Unlike that first one, however, this one had far fewer cracks and was in better condition, basically.

After doing structural repairs, I removed the old, warped-up, messed-up dyed maple fretboard (missing most of its binding), planed the neck, and prepared this to accept something new. I used a StewMac rosewood board but rather than sticking with a 17" scale like the original, I extended the scale to 18 3/4" so I could make use of this instrument's very-oversized body as an octave mandolin.

Don't shoot your arrows, yet!

The conversion turned out perfectly and actually placed the bridge in a more-similar place over the bracing like on the mandolin version of this instrument. This dolaoctavolin can be tuned to CGDA with a set of regular light mandolin strings (34w-10) or, strung with 50w, 34w, 22w, 14 this becomes a killer short-scale octave mando (that's how it is, now). It's not as loud as a modern instrument but most of these Weymann Mandolute-family instruments trade pure volume for added sustain and clarity, anyhow, which this has in spades.


It's a beatiful instrument with a "domed spruce" top and extra-flamey maple neck, sides, and back. Both the top and back "fiddle edges" are in great shape and the only replaced hardware is the tailpiece. The original had lost its cover and was deformed.


Lovely floral-engraved tuner plates (note how they're recessed)! These days, when I replace fretboards, I tend to use a zero fret and bone nut. I love the simplicity and clarity of a proper zero fret approach and it means the setup process is a lot easier.


See the binding for the board? Yeah, I wanted something "special!" The pearl dots are oversize vs. the originals but I liked the look better with the larger dots. The frets are brand-new "banjo style" frets and feel great. The action is spot-on at 1/16" at the 12th fret. Really fast!


Tain't that a pretty thing?



The flame is outrageous on this guy!




Yessir, the wood choice alone exudes quality and confidence.




The two-piece maple neck is oh-so-pretty.




Please excuse the off-center tailpiece -- it was necessary. The strap button is placed "on center" since there was a hole there for one anyhow.



Right -- just wanted to show off that new binding!

This instrument is already sold as of this listing, so folks, please don't badger me. I know it's lovely! I want it, too! Heh heh.

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