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Thread: Need parts

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Default Need parts

    Found this unique mandolin in an antique store - as is.
    I understand Kay was a popular design as well as a few others - This has an amazing spruce top and mahogany back/sides. No plywood.
    ~ looking for correct brand / model and pictures
    ~ fret board or copy
    ~ headstock cover

    Thanks for looking - hope the attachment opens
    JoeR
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    Joe Romanello

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Romanello View Post
    Found this unique mandolin in an antique store - as is.
    I understand Kay was a popular design as well as a few others - This has an amazing spruce top and mahogany back/sides. No plywood.
    ~ looking for correct brand / model and pictures
    ~ fret board or copy
    ~ headstock cover

    Thanks for looking - hope the attachment opens
    JoeR
    It was built by Kay of Chicago, one their body shapes, one of their headstock designs. Nothing really unusual about it.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=kay+...w=1278&bih=788
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need parts

    Some catalog pages can be found here.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...raft-questions!
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Need parts

    You can get the parts you need from Luthiers Mercantile...

    https://www.lmii.com/
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need parts

    And tuners, and a bridge, and some strings too. However, there may have been a reason someone needed to remove the board and the other parts, possibly to either fix this one or provide parts for another, so I’d think the first thing, although difficult, is to inspect as much inside and out as one can, paying attention to the angle the neck forms with the body, if it’s flat enough, and calculating if that’s going to work with the proper bridge.
    Since the experts here having not pegged this one as particularly rare or valuable, the good news is that there’s no reason to make it look totally original, so your choice on parts. Have fun!

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need parts

    The other side is don't automatically expect the back and sides to be solid. Kay was selling laminated sides and backs as a feature as far back as the thirties.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #7
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Need parts

    It should be made clear that the fingerboards and peghead overlays that can be purchased are raw parts, not completed assemblies.

    LMI can sell you a pre-slotted fingerboard. You will have to furnish the correct scale length to them, buy and install any inlays yourself, and install the frets yourself.

    Peghead overlays are available from several suppliers. They will be raw wood or plastic parts, and you will have to apply a finish yourself. Many of the Kay overlays were painted and/or engraved plastic. You may have to hunt to find a supplier that has a plastic that looks reasonably close to the original style. If you want to reproduce that look, you will have to do the painting or engraving yourself.

    This may be a bigger project than you realize. In addition to checking the glue joint between the neck and body, and checking and, if necessary, adjusting the neck angle, there appears to be a lot of wood missing from the face of the neck. You will need to graft in some new wood and level the surface before you can install a new fingerboard. You will also need to inspect the inside of the instrument and make sure that all the braces are present and securely glued.

    Some of the early Kay and Stromberg-Voisinet mandolins had specially designed tuners that were mounted in an unconventional way. You will have to measure the peghead thickness, including the thickness of the overlay that you intend to install, and make sure that it adds up to around 9/16". If the peghead is not thick enough, you will have to add some more wood to it or the posts on modern tuners will stick up too far.
    Last edited by rcc56; Nov-25-2021 at 11:56pm.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need parts

    If, in fact, this one was stripped to repair another one, it might be expedient to extend the chain by looking for a more-destroyed parts donor. Like one that had been sat on or submerged. I’m no luthier, but some must have scrap bins. Compared with having to fabricate a fingerboard, unsticking one from a donor might be easier and far less-expensive. And old tuners should be workable unless missing parts. Again, without trying for strict originality, any old donor species should work.
    Having said that, and having amateur-restored about a dozen in my new isolation hobby, and having some background in indiscriminate and sometimes neurotic restorations, I do appreciate that some things would be difficult in a DIY cold start without applicable skills and tools. But again, it doesn’t matter even if it’s an eventual fail.

  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need parts

    There is some good news here. The tailpiece cover is there. If the tailpiece has all eight pins left then the tailpiece and the cover are worth more than the carcass of the mandolin. Depending on what the OP paid for the entire thing the tailpiece could get that back plus.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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