View Full Version : Unplayed Mandolin

09-26-2012, 04:25 AM
I dug out an old mandolin that I hadn't thought of much in the last twenty or so years. Basically all that is left, that' worth saving, is the body and the tail piece. The tuning machines are gummed up, and broken. The nut is broken off, the bridge is long gone. I believe I paid $70 for it some 35 years ago. It is not a name brand.

I was thinking of fixing it up but was told that an instrument could deteriate to unplayable status if not played over a period of time.

Is it worth fixing up or should I stick flowers in the F slots and hang it on the wall?

09-26-2012, 04:39 AM
If you enjoy the process of rehabbing an instrument, or if the instrument has sentimental value to you, it's worth doing. If it's the nut, the tuners, and the bridge, these are all items that are pretty straightforward to replace. You could do it yourself with a little coaching, or you could hire someone to do it and their service probably wouldn't run into too much cash.

If you're just doing it to have a playable instrument, however, it may well not be worth the money. If I make some assumptions about the likely quality of a $70 mandolin, by the time you've finished fixing it up, you could probably have applied the same amount of money to an instrument that's already in playing condition.

09-26-2012, 05:30 AM
Thanks. I think it would be more getting it back into playable condition rather than having a playable instrument that I probably wouldn't play.

As far as I can see there are no cracks in the wood, or anything like that. It was unstrung, or at least the strings were very loose. Just something I could play around with as time and finances allow.

Rubio MHS
10-05-2012, 05:53 PM
I have an old Stetson bowl-back mandolin with a broken neck. The body is beautiful Brazilian rosewood, and I've been meaning to get it fixed for some time.