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 Post subject: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
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A friend gave me an old Regal mandolin that "needs some work."

It's been through a fire.
The pick guard is missing.
It looks as though at some point the headstock got broken off the neck.
The tuners are pretty funky.
One of the back braces is cracked.
The neck joint is coming apart.
The top is split along the edge of the fingerboard extension and has shifted towards the soundhole about 1/16".
There is a badly-repaired hole in one side.
There is a patch on the outside of the back.

Other than those minor details, it's in pretty good shape. :-)

There isn't a lot of information about Regal mandolins on the internet, but the little I could find suggests that it has low collector value, so I don't need to feel guilty if my repair efforts are unsuccessful.

Here are a couple of photos. Repair of this mandolin will probably be my next project after I finish guitar #2.


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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:52 am 
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I think it's a very cool project; you can learn a lot from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5419
Location: Hegins, Pa
it isn't a high value but it had some learning value and can be made to play again.

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:23 pm 
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Posts: 940
I've decided to carve a new neck. That will solve several problems (major crack at headstock/neck junction, beat-up headstock surface, etc.) and allow the use of a dovetail joint to join the neck to the body. At the moment I'm thinking of trying to re-use the fingerboard. Final decision will come when I see what kind of shape it's in after I take it off. The first couple of frets are quite worn, so if I re-use the fingerboard at least a partial refret job may be in order.

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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5419
Location: Hegins, Pa
post lots of pictures. We will enjoy this process

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:20 pm 
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Posts: 940
I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity for laughs!

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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:06 pm 
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Posts: 940
I managed to get the back off in one piece. I heated on the kitchen stove a 1"x1"x5" piece of brass bar I had lying around and set it on the joint for a couple of minutes, then pried with a putty knife sharpened to a chisel edge. I don't know what temperature it got to, but the bar bubbled finish. It was quite hot. When I got a section loose, I moved on to the next.

The photo shows the rectangular hole in the back (why???) and the broken brace. I'm debating about replacing the back. The only reason not to is, if I do I will lose the label.


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_________________
Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5419
Location: Hegins, Pa
that looks good
now you can do a proper restoration

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:19 am 
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Posts: 940
It's going to be sort of like great-great-grandfather's musket that he carried in the Civil War. The stock was replaced, the barrel was replaced, the hammer was replaced, breech block was replaced, but it's still the musket great-great-grandfather carried in the Civil War.

I've photographed the old label and made a high-quality print. Assuming I make a new back -- and that is certainly the easiest way to fix that hole -- I'll try soaking off the old label and moving it to the new back. If that doesn't work, I'll paste on the photo I made.


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_________________
Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Regal mandolin
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:20 am 
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Posts: 940
A new idea! I'm going to patch the old back and put an inlay over it. My friend Carter, the luthier, remarked, "Someone looking at it will likely say,'"That's pretty, but what's it hiding?'." That may well be true, but it ought to look better than a patch. It will keep the old back (and label) and I hope come out reasonably.

The old tuners seem to have unique post spacing. I did some test hole spacings in a block of hardwood, and the tuners fit best in holes 0.914" apart. The modern standard is 23.0mm spacing, or 0.9055". According to StewMac, old Gibsons had tuners with a post spacing of 0.931". I decided to go with the existing tuners and their unique spacing. If I ever need to install new tuners, I'll have to redrill, but the new hole locations can be arranged so the maximum error is only 0.013".

_________________
Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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