Introducing me and my Stradolin

  1. bmac
    Just thought I'd introduce myself. I am an avid Stradolin enthusiast having spent the last three years playing my Stradolin dating 1935 (or 1936).
    I bought it in ruined condition from a Cafe member who decided that the repair was more than he could handle. Someone apparently sat on it cracking the base side from the top of the f hole down to the bottom and across three quarters of the bottom to just short of the back of the mando. One tone bar was not connected at all but the other was secure and stopped the crack from going even further. The mando had been incompetently repaired using some sort of plasticky rubbery glue Which may have held it together for five minutes or so. The bridge was shattered but repaired... Though it will never adjust again. Most of the screw holes were stripped from overtightened screws so I rebuilt and redrilled all the screw holes. After taking it apart I reglued any loose or cracked parts on the inside. I cut clothpins to cut eight cleats for the crack I reshaped the rather clunky tone bars according to Siminoff's thinking. After putting it back together I was able to salvage much of the original finish and stabilized it with a few coats of laquer to prevent further flaking. So far the finish has held up well.
    My efforts were rewarded by a really fine sounding mandolin. Probably much closer to a bluegrass sound mandolin than any of my others. It looks well worn but respectable. I find it perfect for blues which is my musical interest.

    I will see if I can upload some photos of the repairs soon.
  2. bluesmandolinman
    "It looks well worn but respectable!"

    I like those roadwarriors !

    "I find it perfect for blues which is my musical interest"

    Maybe you want to post a video on blues mandolin social group with your Strad ? Pleeease ;-)
  3. bmac

    Like your Youtube stuff...

    Would you believe I was once a computer wizard and was pretty good at computer animation and web page construction.. But alas... I had a stroke which left me with only a tiny bit of vision and no memory of computer and web usage whatsoever. (Strokes do funny things) So I am slowly re-learning to use the computer and the web.

    Any video I do of my own work (Mando restoration or playing) will be a little primative because I have barely learned to use my digital camera. (Whatever happened to the Kodak Brownie camera?)

    But hopefully this will motivate me to learn and relearn how to do some of this stuff.

    Just last week my wife and I restored an old La Melodia Mandolin. That's the one you see on the cover photo of the "Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps and Blues" album. Charlie McCoy holds his La Melodia Mandolin. Not a bad sounding mandolin... No plywood and closer in sound to a resonator mandolin. A fun mandolin but my Stradolin is my favorite soundwise.

  4. bluesmandolinman
    Hi Bart , hope you soon regain all your former skills

    Blues can be primitive and still rock the house so feel free to post whatever you are able to record

    I send you a PM ....
  5. bmac
    Cloud Tailpiece

    The only thing I am missing on my Stradolin is the original cloud tailpiece cover so if anyone has one for sale I would appreciate learning of it. I would need the cover piece only but would certainly buy the complete unit. Presently I am using a modern shell reproduction tailpiece which looks OK but not authentic.


  6. bmac
    Regarding cloud tailpiece:

    Ha!!! I finally snagged a cloud tailpiece on eBay.... only thing is I had to buy the instrument it is attached to.... Hopefully the tailpiece is as good as it looks in the photo. But what the heck... once I fix up the instrument and install another tailpiece on it I should be able to get my money back and then some,,, (sez I with my fingers crossed).

  7. bmac
    Curses!!! Foiled again!!!

    We received the banjo-mando with cloud tailpiece a few days ago and while the tailpiece is in perfect shape, so is the rest of the instrument... and my wife won't let me scavange the tailpiece off of it. I don't really blame her as with a minor repair to the tuners it is worth far more than the amount we paid. If it sounds as good as it looks we will most likely keep it.

    Such is life...

  8. bmac
    Roughly once a month I have to remind myself how lucky I am to bought and repaired a broken Stradolin for my own use. At last count I had roughly 10 mandolins (not all playable yet). Most antique, all interesting, and a few outstanding but I have to say that my Stradolin is the one I come back to for its playability and tone.

    I wish I could afford a nice hand made mandolin because my Stradolin points me in a direction tonally which I would love to explore further... maybe someday... but until such time I remain a very happy blues guy with a Stradolin.
  9. Doc Simons
    Doc Simons
    From a newbie: I got my first Strad 40 years ago at a pawn shop in Queens,NY. It had a great DeArmond pickup. It was destroyed, but I have bought 3 others since One is older period with the real binding/inlay. Very beat up and very good. A second is a later period (sharper angle headstock) and is very very beat up, but sounds even better. I just bought an Orphrum/Strad of the later period which is a 2 point and in sweet condition. Very pretty, but not as good sounding.

    I spend way too much time researching company history and am thrilled there are other nuts out there who are also on a mission. Ilook foward to posting and reading in the group and will post pictures as soon as I figure out how.
  10. bmac

    Glad to meet another Stradolin enthusiast... Regarding your Orpheum/Strad. Intereting to hear that it doesn't quite have the tone of the earlier Stradolins. I would love to have a two point some time just cause I think they are cool looking... I am visually impaired ( My wife makes me use that term instead of "blind"). I have a little vision but haven't figured out how to post a photo yet either. I have a mess of low end mandos and banjos and my Stradolin is tone/wise perhaps my favorite mandolin, though not my most interesting looking. My most interesting looking is a Lyra which was sold under several names and looks a bit like a limp scroll coming from the headstock and another from the neck/body joint. I haven't quite got it to playing condition but am looking forward to hearing how it sounds. Though I doubt it will sound as nice as my Strad. It is kind of interesting that some Strads have really nice sound and some don't. as far as I can tell the body of my stradolin is made entirely of maple (no plywood)_ or some other very hard wood, steam pressed into shape.

  11. bmac
    Cloud tailpiece... again:

    Well I finally found another cloud tailpiece!!! This one is in like new condition.... but once again it is attached to my brand new 1960s Harmony batwing which I just purchased in ruined condition. (someone apparently sat on it... full weight shortly after buying it) There is no wear on it whatsoever. So with a little luck,,, if I can get this one back together the tailpiece will have to stay with it.

    So I'm still looking for a cloud tailpiece.
Results 1 to 11 of 11