Frankenstein Mando-Cello

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.

Frankenstein Mando-Cello

Postby Greg Steil » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:25 am

Dear Hive mind, one of my on again off again projects is converting an old Harmony arch-top to a Mando-Cello. Problem one...a soft Maple fingerboard that was stained Black, and now I have it sanded down to re-fret, there are still splotches of stain. What would you suggest to re-stain a nice dark Black? Problem two....Tail piece? I'd like to keep the "trapeze" style. I have the original. Any ideas for modifying it? Many years ago, I inlayed a steel bar in the neck, and sorta bolixed up the job, so cosmetics will involve Black laquer for sure. Thanks in advance for any ideas!....onward through the fog!
Greg Steil
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:54 pm

Re: Frankenstein Mando-Cello

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:22 am

Mohawk makes a black ultra penetrating stain that can be used to directly dye wood and also mixed with lacquer (and other finishing materials) to make black lacquer. I believe it costs about $22 -25 a quart (which can dye a lot of material).
With the tail piece you may want to use the two outside holes and drill a couple of new ones for the middle strings. Is your mando cello 4 strings or eight? I have made some guitar bridges that could be strung with six strings or 4 pairs.
Sounds like a fun project!
Clay Schaeffer
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Frankenstein Mando-Cello

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:09 am

I just worked on one of those Harmony guitars that had the soft maple fingerboard. I cursed it loudly a few times, that fingerboard was crap. If it was my guitar, I thought it would improve a whole bunch in tone and structure if I made a new fingerboard for it.
    Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff
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Mark Swanson
Posts: 1967
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:11 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan USA

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