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Thread: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Looking to repair missing sections of "edge banding" (not sure what you call it) around the top edge. Can you purchase this material? or do I need to glue it up myself?Click image for larger version. 

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    What about the pick guard? (it is inset into the face of the top)
    Last edited by Splinterd!; Jul-22-2022 at 2:39am. Reason: added text

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Most luthier's suppliers carry a diagonal checkered purfling strip, but chances are that it won't be an exact match. Check LMI, International Violin, etc.
    If you want an exact match, you'll probably have to make it yourself.
    An alternative is to replace all the purfling with modern material.

    You will have to make the pickguard from scratch. If you want to use celluloid, Rothko and Frost might ship it without the $30+ hazardous materials fee that American vendors are required to charge.

    I wouldn't pull that pickguard unless it is gassing off or turning to powder. If you do pull it, a hair dryer at low temperature may be helpful. Work slowly and patiently to avoid tearing up the top.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    What rcc56 said. Wholesale binding/purfling replacement is the way to go. It won't devalue the instrument.

    You might be able to (carefully) buff the existing pickguard back to acceptable appearance and leave it in place.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Thanks for the info.
    I've been a woodworker for years, this is the first time I've worked on a musical instrument.
    I'm glad I found this website!
    As to gluing the new binding on, what type of glue do you recommend?

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    If that pickguard is celluloid and I'm pretty sure it is then you need to understand that it is highly flammable with a low flash point.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Splinterd! View Post
    Thanks for the info.
    I've been a woodworker for years, this is the first time I've worked on a musical instrument.
    I'm glad I found this website!
    As to gluing the new binding on, what type of glue do you recommend?
    Sorry read the post wrong????
    Last edited by pops1; Jul-22-2022 at 6:10pm.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    For gluing the binding people usually use Duco cement. I have used 3M Emblem Adhesive from auto parts stores.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Duco and similar contact cements are not suitable here. They can be used for plastic bindings, but the purfling and binding on this instrument are wood.

    I recommend hide glue or Titebond Original here. Since this is not a high stress joint, a cold-set hide glue can be used if it is fresh.

    I've made purfling from scratch before. It's a slow and delicate process, but it can be done. To make this type of purfling, several strips of the alternating colors are joined together into a block, and then strips are cut out of the block at an angle. This creates the diagonal. A good razor saw is an essential tool for the job..

    Several short strips can be joined to make a strip of the necessary length. Glue a border onto the purfling as you go to keep it from falling apart from handling. Always make extra for this sort of job in case you break a piece. The hardest part is getting everything to the right size. You will have to devise some sort of jig and method to thin the strip to the appropriate width.

    If I remember correctly, I cut a channel of the appropriate depth into a block of wood, inserted the purfling strips into the channel, and worked them down with a sandpaper block.

    If you search the web, I'm sure that you can find pictures or diagrams that explain the process.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Two thoughts. I've often bought "junk" or broken bowlbacks for parts, many have the wood marquetry. Finding a PERFECT match, might be a challenge, though. Another technique I use is to remove some of the trim from the backside to use on the top where it is most noticeable. The advantage of this is a perfect tone match colorwise, if you use new marquetry or make some you will need to tint it using various techniques. Then you still have to deal with the donor area of the back, which may not be as critical, since your instrument has a lot of cool character, IMHO.

    I saw the other pictures in the Vintage category and if it were mine, I would address the binding, give it a good cleaning, get it playable, and call it good. Be aware you can overclean it and remove too much of the original "vibe" IMHO. Most people who deal with vintage instruments prefer a worn original finish to a shiny refinished instrument, FWIW. Very cool logo plate -- don't polish or buff it. And, the coolest feature is the 1927 penny -- don't even think about replacing the tuners.

    That would be my take on it. To preserve your grandfather's instrument without overdoing it. Good luck!
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Jul-22-2022 at 6:23pm.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    It can be done at various levels of complexity depending on the time you can spend. One fairly easy way is to replace the whole section with a single or a few wood strips, glue in place, carefully sand or plane the curved profile to match top and side, uniformly color in brown, and paint on the black pattern. I’ve also used a low temperature molding plastic, but I think wood will be better.
    The pickguard is basically guncotton that’s in touchier shape than when it was formed, due to camphor loss. Can’t tell from your photo, but it doesn’t look really bad, and you can leave it alone. There is no protective or remedial treatment, and a careful replacement would be in celluloid. Exact pattern match unlikely. Amateurs, like me, with less collectible instruments, can use vinyl. At least you don’t have an inlaid pattern to worry about.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Thanks for your input!
    I think I'll go through my wood pile and see if I can find a close match. I have a lot of maple, and walnut.
    I think you're right, repair the binding and clean up.
    Also need to fix or replace the bridge. Part of the plastic has cracked, (no place to put the E string)
    Should be playable after that.Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #12

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Id love to see pics of this when its done!

  14. #13
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Splinterd! View Post
    Thanks for your input!
    I think I'll go through my wood pile and see if I can find a close match. I have a lot of maple, and walnut.
    I think you're right, repair the binding and clean up.
    Also need to fix or replace the bridge. Part of the plastic has cracked, (no place to put the E string)
    Should be playable after that.Click image for larger version. 

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    I dig the Wheatback Abe tuner knob.

    That would be a keeper for me.

    Wish it were on the A string.

    Then it would always be in tune.


    Mick
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  15. #14

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Duco and similar contact cements are not suitable here. They can be used for plastic bindings, but the purfling and binding on this instrument are wood.

    I recommend hide glue or Titebond Original here. Since this is not a high stress joint, a cold-set hide glue can be used if it is fresh.

    I've made purfling from scratch before. It's a slow and delicate process, but it can be done. To make this type of purfling, several strips of the alternating colors are joined together into a block, and then strips are cut out of the block at an angle. This creates the diagonal. A good razor saw is an essential tool for the job..

    Several short strips can be joined to make a strip of the necessary length. Glue a border onto the purfling as you go to keep it from falling apart from handling. Always make extra for this sort of job in case you break a piece. The hardest part is getting everything to the right size. You will have to devise some sort of jig and method to thin the strip to the appropriate width.

    If I remember correctly, I cut a channel of the appropriate depth into a block of wood, inserted the purfling strips into the channel, and worked them down with a sandpaper block.

    If you search the web, I'm sure that you can find pictures or diagrams that explain the process.

    Completed the lay up of my binding strip blank & cut out the rough pieces for the repair. (decided to do just the 2 section of missing purfling)
    I used maple and wenge, which when I put a finish on it, will look nearly identical to the existing.

    This will leave me with enough to replace all the purfling on the top edges if I decide to do that at a later time. Also cleaned up in the areas of missing binding, and cleaned up the mandolin overall.
    Just have to sand the purfling to final size and glue it up. frr56 mentioned titebond original for attaching, I think i'll use that.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Splinterd! View Post
    Also need to fix or replace the bridge. Part of the plastic has cracked, (no place to put the E string)
    Should be playable after that.
    I would replace that plastic saddle with bone. Better sound.
    Jim

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  17. #16

    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I would replace that plastic saddle with bone. Better sound.
    Have one on order. After the repair of the binding, I'll be able to replace that and put a new set of strings on it.
    Will have a playable instrument. I guess I'll have to learn how to play it now. LOL

    There is a couple of cracks, that I'll attempt down the road. Found a few videos on youtube on how to fix those using magnets for clamping force.
    May be the way to go, though not sure as yet how to get the magnet to where it needs to be on the inside on a mandolin. (the videos I saw were on guitars)

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Repairing "edge banding" on old Sovereign mandolin

    A magnet on the inside can be controlled by a magnet on the outside. You will know exactly where the inside one is. The rare earth magnets work well as they are powerful.
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