Stradolin Jr., or not?

  1. TonyLaboca
    I just picked up another project mando. I believe it's a Stradolin Jr. but there is no name on the headstock. It looks very much like my 1939 Strad. I bid on it because it appeared to have a solid back based on the way it was cracked. I figured solid back; solid front. Everything I've read says that Stradolin Jr.'s are always laminate. Well, this one has a solid front and back. My guess it's probably birch. Turns out to need lots more work than I anticipated, but that's fine. I mostly get them to learn repair techniques. It's date stamped Feb 13, 1936 inside and has an asymmetrical headstock. I tried to insert an image, but can't figure that out.
    The orignial url is
    It's still up today.
    Anything you can share would be appreciated.
    Mike Workman-Morelli
    aka TonyLaboca
  2. MattyWhalen
    I have a Jr made in 1940, and this looks an awful lot like it (the style of the f-holes, the painted line around the border of the top,the matte like finish and the tail piece all scream JR to me). From what I can tell though, mine is ply. I have two other Stradolins (not JR's) from 1935 (an oval hole and an Comma F-hole) that are all solid woods with a much different finish. The headstock is the most confusing thing to me. I've seen theories that the dog-eared headstock was only present on models they sold under different distributor names, but the history is so murky its hard to really know.

    All that said, my plywood Jr is still a great mandolin and I use it as my travel instrument,
    or for outside gigs where weather might be a concern. Good luck restoring it and enjoy it!
  3. TonyLaboca
    Thanks. Sounds reasonable to me. I don't think the "birch" is worth fixing. If the top were spruce, I'd try. I'll probably put it toward the end of my project list or see if I can salvage some parts. Then again, I may do something really crazy and make a solid top and back for it.
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