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Thread: Replacing a broken tailgate

  1. #1

    Default Replacing a broken tailgate

    How easy is it to replace a like-for-like tailgate for a player with very basic DIY skills?

    I have an Ashbury Lindisfarne A-shaped mandolin and my tailgate has broken on one side. Itís held to the mando body by three small screws. Iíve contacted the shop I bought it from to see if I can get an exact fit replacement.

    DIY time or leave it to the professionals? Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Welcome to the cafe. If you have an exact fit replacement it should be easy. It is called a tailpiece however and not a tailgate. A tailgate is for a pickup truck. good luck
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    If the tailpiece looks like this one I can say I've never seen one for sale on the aftermarket in the US.
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    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  5. #4

    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Good point - I definitely wouldn’t change a tailgate ��

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    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Take a close up picture of the tail end of the mandolin showing the break please.
    Dave Schneider

  7. #6

    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Iím in the UK but think I may have located one. Hoping Iíve managed to post a photo. Iím new to the forum!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Well the good news is the piece that is broken isn't really needed, it will play fine without it. It will also be easier to change strings without it.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  11. #9
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    That's an unusual 3-screw pattern. If you search "mandolin tailpiece", you'll see that they commonly have 3 screws in a triangular format, often with the strap peg in the middle. And there are no standardized measurements for that pattern. (Sometimes the strap peg is part of the tailpiece, but more commonly it just presses into the body through a hole in the tailpiece.)

    The good news is that most replacement tailpieces could either be adapted to your 3-hole pattern, or would cover up your three holes, depending on the exact measurements. Similarly, it could be either trimmed to avoid your screw-in strap peg, or adapted to allow the peg to be screwed through the tailpiece, maybe at the lower apex of the triangle.

    Without exact measurement AND the mandolin in hand, it's all prettty much a seat-of-the-pants operation.

    It may help to know that the Stewart-MacDonald on-line catalogue usually has blueprints w/ exact measurements for their replacement parts, such as:
    https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-ha...lthier%20Tools
    - Ed

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
    How easy is it to replace a like-for-like tailgate for a player with very basic DIY skills?

    I have an Ashbury Lindisfarne A-shaped mandolin and my tailgate has broken on one side. Itís held to the mando body by three small screws. Iíve contacted the shop I bought it from to see if I can get an exact fit replacement.

    DIY time or leave it to the professionals? Any advice?
    I looked up Ashbury Lindisfarne and it looks like you should be able to buy a replacement tailpiece from the maker:
    http://ashburyguitars.com/cat/sales/...ilpiece-brass/

    Given that your old one broke where it did, a new one might break again in the same spot if youíre not careful. It seems that the unusual screw hole pattern of your current tailpiece might make upgrading to a better tailpiece impossible without making new screw holes.

    Pete

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    PS If you do replace it yourself, tape the bridge down to the top of the mandolin with masking tape before removing the strings. That way the bridge will remain in the correct position even with no strings on the mandolin. Replacing the old tailpiece like for like with a new one doesn’t require a professional.

    Pete

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Here's a source for that tailpiece.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Here's a source for that tailpiece.
    That ebay seller is in the UK. Itís probably cheaper for the OP, who lives in the UK, to go direct to Hobgoblin, the UK seller, here.

    Pete

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    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Well the good news is the piece that is broken isn't really needed, it will play fine without it. It will also be easier to change strings without it.
    If you decide to go this route you will want to smooth out the broken surfaces with a file. So as not to scrape your picking hand on the rough edges.
    Dave Schneider

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Mafia View Post
    That ebay seller is in the UK. It’s probably cheaper for the OP, who lives in the UK, to go direct to Hobgoblin, the UK seller, here.

    Pete
    Just what I was about to say but, unless you live near to Bristol or Canterbury where they’re in stock, you’re better ordering on line. But be quick, they only have 43 left!

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Mafia View Post
    That ebay seller is in the UK. It’s probably cheaper for the OP, who lives in the UK, to go direct to Hobgoblin, the UK seller, here.

    Pete
    That eBay seller is Hobgoblin Music but I'm sure you already knew that right?
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    That eBay seller is Hobgoblin Music but I'm sure you already knew that right?
    Yep. The link you posted was to Hobgoblinís US ebay page, with international shipping rates. The link I posted was for the tailpiece on Hobgoblinís own website in the UK. Seeing as the OP lives in the UK, it seemed to make more sense for them to order direct from Hobgoblin in the UK, vs Hobgoblin via eBay in the US.

    Sorry for any confusion.

    Pete

  20. #18

    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Great response from Hobgoblin. Got back to me the same morning to say they’d replace the part for nothing as it shouldn’t have broken. Thanks guys for all the advice. Good point about taping down the bridge.

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  22. #19
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Mine shows it in the UK with freight to the US. The price is cheaper.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  23. #20
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
    Great response from Hobgoblin. Got back to me the same morning to say they’d replace the part for nothing as it shouldn’t have broken. Thanks guys for all the advice. Good point about taping down the bridge.
    I prefer taping around the bridge so you know where it was supposed to be. I also take a pencil and mark the bass side of the bridge base and saddle on the underside. That's assuming it's in the right place to begin with. It's a good idea to understand where it should be.

    Just taping it down doesn't automatically mean it stays in the right place.
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    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Feb-12-2024 at 11:37am.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  25. #21
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Wonders will never cease - easily available mandolin spare parts in the UK!

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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    I like to mark the bridge underneath like Mike, so I know which side is bass. I also mark with a pencil the edge of each foot and continue the mark lightly to the top of the mandolin. I usually leave it there so if it moves over time I can align the two marks and be back in place easily. Should you want to take them off simply rub with your finger and they will come off both the bridge and the mandolin top.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  27. #23

    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Also, don’t be surprised if the new, supposedly identical one, isn’t. Or if it already has a fracture in the same place. Nature of these things. If you have to, new holes are ok. Use an awl to mark and start them, and if you can, drill a pilot hole. Use new, unworn good fitting screwdriver. Old holes can be left as is, or if annoys you, filled with a toothpick and a tiny dot of glue, then cut flush. Replace that little foam strip under as it’s sort of a damper.

  28. #24

    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Is that mandolin strung for a left-handed player, or is the image just reversed?

  29. #25
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    Default Re: Replacing a broken tailgate

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I prefer taping around the bridge so you know where it was supposed to be. I also take a pencil and mark the bass side of the bridge base and saddle on the underside. That's assuming it's in the right place to begin with. It's a good idea to understand where it should be.

    Just taping it down doesn't automatically mean it stays in the right place.
    Right on all counts, Mike. I was trying to remember how a recent purchase was shipped to me, I knew they had used tape with the bridge as they shipped it with the strings loose, but had forgotten they used the tape exactly as you suggested, rather than just taping the bridge to the top.

    Pete

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