Monday, July 25, 2011

Mandolin Rescue

Before
Repairing and refinishing musical instruments is not my expertise.  In fact, playing them aren't my expertise either.  But, if you have been following my blog for very long, you know that my teenage son is the musician in the family. He is the proud owner of an electric guitar, a beautiful acoustic guitar and a Koa Ukulele as well as an electric keyboard.  There is never a day in our house when there isn't music flowing from his room.  He has gotten pretty accomplished for his age and we no longer wince at the sound of him practicing.  Ahh......

A little over a week ago, we were passing a neighbors yard sale and he screamed out, "WAIT!  I see a banjo at that yard sale!"  Trying not to run into a tree, I composed myself and turned the car around to take a look.  After all, anyone screaming out in such a frantic tone would turn anyone around!   There was a banjo, three inexpensive brand acoustic guitars and a little unloved mandolin.  What an eye. Wonder where he has learned this skill. (wink)

The seller allowed us to take the mandolin and the banjo to a local music store before purchasing them because they were both damaged.  As it turned out, the banjo was going to cost more to fix than what it was worth.  The store wouldn't fix the mandolin, but every single employee in the place wanted to play it.  Sweet, warm sound.  Ahh.....  I realized that we had something with this mandolin.  I also thought to myself that I could fix this mandolin.  After all, I can restore furniture..... Why not a mandolin?!  Crazy? Me? Yes.
Most severe damage.
When we returned, he offered the seller 20 bucks for the mandolin.  The neighbor didn't want to sell it that cheap, but knows of my son's passions and made the deal right there.  Sucker. (sly smile)  Don't get my wrong, the mandolin was damaged.  The neck had come slightly apart from the body of the instrument and this was going to take some work to get the finish back to pristine.  I wasn't able to get a good image of the areas of the instrument that had issues with the finish, but suffice it to say, it needed work in those areas as well.

As soon as he removed the old strings, I got to work with a general cleaning.  I then got my Gorilla Glue and a few straps out to repair the joint.  Wetting the gap was challenging.  I just did my best, then strapped it tightly closed and let it sit overnight. 

I did check back several times in the first hour to wipe the ooze from the glue off the guitar.  I didn't want that challenge once the glue had fully set.





Success!
The next day after removing the strap and realizing that the repair had worked, I gleefully set out with some Min Wax Walnut Stain and wiped a coating over the surface of the instrument.  It nicely filled in areas that had seen wear. 

After a few minutes, I buffed the surface of the mandolin removing the excess.  I then coated the frets with a light wiping of Min Wax Wipe On Poly. Wow! Did that do the trick.  Really freshened up the surface. 

After the surface was fully dry, I followed up with a bathing of Feed and Wax and buffed the surface thoroughly. 

Today, he sat down and added a fresh set of strings.  What a sweet little instrument.  I wanted you to hear it, so my daughter taped a little moment for me to share on my blog. You might need to turn up your volume to hear it.  Hope you enjoy.....

Makes me feel so good that we were able to rescue this little mandolin.  He was able to add yet another instrument to his collection.  But this one.....it comes with a story and it involves his mom.....and I think that's pretty special. (smile)

-The End-
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13 comments:

tofubeast said...

This just might be one of my fave blog entries to date. Just brings a big ol' smile to my face!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

That is fabulous! Love the story, love your son's talent...all of it! Thanks for sharing.

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Great save! I guess talent runs in the family.

KAT said...

oh man how sweet.. great story..and I love that you two saved the prized mandolin. My 23 yr old son, Joe is also a guitar and uke lover and he always sees instruments he wants to buy but cant afford to get. He lives in Chicago and he and his friends often jam together and Joe loves his little uke too. Isn't it great to have musical children around? Oh Yes

Liz said...

What a fantastic story! So glad your patience and hard work paid off!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

I loved this post! What a great mom you are! You saved that instrument and your son will always have that story when he passes it down to his son.

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Wow Lesley, how neat, and what a great story. It must be wonderful to be musically gifted. What a great mom you are! Thanks for stopping by my place earlier, I always enjoy company!

Deneen said...

Funny My son is a musician too! He has me looking for a tenor sax right now! I would have done the same thing with the mandolin. Great job on the save!

Grammy Goodwill said...

What a great success for you and your son. When my brother was a child - he's now 60 - he took mandolin lessons for awhile. He didn't have the passion your son has for music.

Judy said...

What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing it at my Sizzle into Summer party.

Honey at 2805 said...

It's really neat that you we able to rescue this treasure!

Hope you will please drop by and enter my $50 Overstock.com Gift Card Giveaway!! If there are 500 entries, they will increase the Gift Card to $100.
Honey

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

Such a sweet rescue! The hubby is the musician in my family and plays mandolin too! We are always on the lookout for abandoned instruments! Happy your son now has a new toy!!

Mandolin Tuner said...

Wow, I didn't think the damage at the neck area was salvageable. Nice rescue!